Cornwall Heritage Trust are hiring! If you have an interest in Cornwall’s heritage and a track record in fundraising this exciting new role for a Fundraising Officer may be perfect for you! Based at Krowji in Redruth, the Fundraising Officer will contribute to the Trust’s income generation by making applications to grant-giving charities, trusts, corporates and foundations and work on growing the membership of CHT locally, nationally and globally. They will join the Trust’s small team of staff and trustees and will need to be able to work flexibly to gain the best possible outcomes for the role. For more information on this part-time role please visit the CHT website where you will find a detailed job description and application form. Closing date for applications is Monday 15th October. If you have any questions please email Cathy, firstname.lastname@example.org
An exciting opportunity has arisen to join the National Trust team at Godolphin as the Visitor Experience Officer. They are looking for someone who will be responsible for the delivery of effective interpretation and engaging programming for their year-round offering of events as well as managing all communications with visitors, promoting the great visitor experience to be enjoyed at Godolphin.
Please call Claire North on 07775 004527 or email email@example.com for further information regarding this role.
Closing date – 15 October 2018
Cornwall Museums Partnership and SW Museum Development recognise the excellence within these organisations and believe there is a lot we can learn together and from each other. We want to reward the wonderful work they do and share their achievements.
Now in its second year, Cornwall Heritage Awards was designed to promote best practice, share and celebrate the brilliant ideas and activities that go on in museums and heritage organisations across Cornwall. The Award scheme is run in partnership with South West Museum Development Programme and is designed to include larger museums and heritage sites along with community and voluntary organisations.
We are seeking an experienced project manager to continue to develop and manage the scheme and deliver a successful awards ceremony in March 2019. Please find the full brief available to download below.
Deadline for proposal submission is: 16 October 2018 by 5pm
Applications to firstname.lastname@example.org
This week I’ve had two emails about partnership working in the museums sector. One reminding me to fill in an Arts Council England survey and the other from the National Museum Directors Council. Both are about the developing Partnership Framework for national museums emerging from the Mendoza Review recommendations.
As CEO of Cornwall Museums Partnership, I’ve spent the last 5 years of my museum career testing, coordinating and thinking about partnership working. I’ve learned a few things about working collaboratively in the museums sector. About what works and what doesn’t. This post offers some reflections on partnership working, from things I have, mostly, learned the hard way.
- People make partnerships, not organisations. Partnerships are about relationships and these take time to develop. Successful partnerships are built on trust, mutual understanding and a shared sense of purpose. I have never known a successful partnership to be conducted via email. They need genuine conversations and people who are prepared to visit one another, to have first-hand experience of each other’s museums and the places in which they operate. Good collaborative working emerges from multiple touch points between organisations, including buy-in to collaboration from the top (board and Director level). It needs people to behave like humans and, before they do anything else, have a meaningful conversation/s.
- The deficit model of partnership working is disempowering. Starting with the assumption that one organisation has the expertise/ resources/ networks to solve another’s problems is the wrong place to start. I don’t know about you, but I have never found one-way relationships to be particularly satisfying. A more productive and creative place to start is to ask, ‘what are the opportunities we could seize together?’. My observation is that the most fruitful conversations start with a focus on strengths not weaknesses; instead why not ask, ‘how can museum partners use their respective strengths to be more than the sum of their parts?’
- Expertise and scale are not inextricably linked. It is as unhelpful for colleagues in national museums to assume that they have all the expertise to ‘fix’ regional museums’ problems as it is for people working in regional museums. I’ve been lucky enough to meet and work with smart, creative, innovators in every kind of museum. According to the ACE survey ‘Some non-national museums will be facing challenges with digital technology’. A colleague from a national museum recently emailed me and asked me to send them a fax. Enough said.
- Partnership working is as much about the ‘how’ as the ‘what’. I’m currently reading Deep Work by Cal Newport. The basic premise, that our ability to be productive ‘knowledge workers’, is shaped by the way we work strikes a chord with me. If we are really serious about driving the sector forward, then we need to think about how we are working not just what we are doing. This is absolutely the case with partnership working. If we follow Newport’s theory, hastily filled out surveys and Friday afternoon email responses (or ‘non-cognitively demanding, logistical style tasks often performed while distracted’) are unlikely to form the basis of a good strategy for partnership working. What he calls ‘shallow work’ is likely to produce shallow strategy. To quote Nina Semczuk we are ‘shuffling papers instead of laying the bricks to build a house’.
So, with that in mind here are some suggestions from me. Some things we might try to help us create lasting and fruitful collaboration…
- Get out of the office. Forget touring exhibitions, how about touring museum directors? I’m not sure if any national museum directors have been to any museums in Cornwall recently. Maybe on holiday. Similarly, I suspect some regional museum directors are better than others at proactively making contact with national museum directors. Seriously, people need to talk to each other. Could NMDC meetings be held in regional museums from time to time?
- Exchange staff. Could we offer staff exchange programmes to build a working knowledge of regional/ national museum practices, systems and priorities in our museums? Could national museum staff spend some time working in regional museums? Could regional museum staff join national museum teams on international visits/ touring exhibitions as part of a CPD programme?
- Host away days. We are interested in the way Derby Museums Trust talk about their partnerships and so we’re holding our board away day there next month (thank you Tony Butler). Could national museums provide free or subsidised venues for regional museum away days? Could opportunities for knowledge exchange be built in to these visits?
- Share networks. How might national museums share some of their contacts with regional museums at a distance from London? Which networks could be of mutual benefit to national and regional museums?
When it works, collaboration is a joy. Here at CMP, we firmly believe that collaborative working provides fertile ground for innovation and creativity. And if you’d like to work with us, pick up the phone, we’d love to have a conversation.
Emmie Kell, CEO – email@example.com
When I ask the question to Board members ‘What skills and experience do you think Trustees need?’ I usually get a bit of a list: ‘We need a marketing trustee, a finance trustee, a fundraising trustee, etc.’ I suppose I’m being intentionally vague with my words which might be unfair but what I’m really hoping to hear about is leadership, team working, questioning and challenging minds, excellent communicators, and diversity of experience. That’s not to say that those other skills aren’t important, they are, but the culture of the Board and the way in which it behaves is more important.
I’m sure some people will find this thought controversial, but by having specific business skills as the focus of Board development rather than values, culture, and diversity of experience, charities are limiting their ability to be effective and in turn not delivering the absolute best that they can for their stakeholders.
Good governance is not about ticking boxes, it’s about attitude and culture, and making sure that the positive values of your organisation are embedded throughout your charity and in everything that you do.
Small charities may say that this doesn’t apply to them, as they’re only a little charity and we’re talking about the big charities. But for any charity that relies on the goodwill of the public and for any Trustee that has the best interests of their organisation at heart, this matters.
‘The bottom line is, good governance is no longer an optional extra. It’s essential to charities effectiveness and probably survival too. Charities need to be able to demonstrate they take it seriously’ – Sarah Atkinson, Charity Commission 2017.
For more information on good governance and how we can support your organisation, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
Applications are now open for the Winifred Tumim Memorial Prize, which celebrates best practice in charity governance. To find out more and apply go to https://www.ncvo.org.uk/practical-support/information/governance/winifred-tumim-memorial-prize
Clare Pennington, Rural Proofing Resilience Manager – email@example.com
Having worked for Cornwall Museums Partnership for six months now, some people would say I’m fully settled in and some may argue that I’m still fairly new, and to be honest I don’t know which bracket I fall into as the job itself varies according to the needs of the charity. I know it sounds cliché, but I do learn new things (almost) every day.
Friends, family and other apprentices at college are always asking, “What is it EXACTLY you do?” and I can’t even answer that myself. A colleague described the role as “the glue that holds CMP together”, but I see myself as more of the chameleon of CMP as I like to think that I can adapt to whatever is needed of me. One day I’m processing invoices, the next I’m on the other side of Cornwall setting up remote-control army tanks at Cornwall’s Regimental Museum.
The office itself fluctuates several times a day in that one minute it’s a loud, busy office with phones ringing left, right, and centre and the next it’s like a library, with the occasional odd noise from Krowji residents. Visitors pop-in most days and it’s never the same people in on any two days which considering nine people work here is amazing.
People also ask how it is being in an office full of women, to which I always say I’d work the same way if it was full of men, it makes no difference and on first thought you’d think there wouldn’t be much we have in common/to speak about, but you’d be mistaken. I think the introduction of my World Cup sweepstake sums this up, in that one thing that may seem out of place at first glance, isn’t.
To the outside person reading this CMP must sound like a chaotic place, and it is, but it works. Everyone in the office is always busy but there is always time for a tea and coffee break, and for someone who doesn’t drink tea or coffee, and has never had an office-type job, it never ceases to amaze me how much usage the kettle gets.
In conclusion, I look forward to the next six months of working with CMP and I hope I put as much value into the charity as I have gained from it.
P.S. I’m looking forward to the Christmas party!
“Just a few simple adaptations can give a family a visit to remember”
Relaxed openings have become increasingly common over the past few years. From cinemas to theatres to supermarkets, from the cultural sector to big business increasingly organisations have been thinking about how they can adjust their offer to become more inclusive to people with neuro-diversity.
Inspired by Tom Weir and Mark Barrett’s talk at our recent Brilliant Things conference, we thought that a relaxed opening at Cornwall’s Regimental Museum could be a great way to adapt our usual museum visitor experience.
We settled on a time and date, created a poster, Eventbrite page and advertised our early bird relaxed opening widely. We received lots of encouragement from autism and learning disability support organisations who shared the information through their networks and on social media. We also made a pre-visit guide so that our visitors could gain a better understanding of the space and a guide for parents/carers so they knew what adaptations would be in place. Ticket reservations, though slow at first, picked up steadily in the lead up to the event.
We thought carefully about the adaptions we would make to the museum. We turned off the hand-dryers in the toilets and replaced them with hand towels, we muffled the large bell and cleared the front desk of all but the essential information, we adjusted the lighting (where possible) and turned off the TV screens and music.
Although we made a number of practical adaptions to the visit, we didn’t want to remove the fun from the museum experience. For example, we decided we would leave the bugles and drum for visitors to try and so we warned visitors about this at the start and offered ear defenders to anyone who wanted them. This turned out to be the right decision on the day as all of the family groupings attending had a lot of fun having a go at playing them. We also offered a number of activities that families could take part in as part of their visit. These included two quizzes at easy and more challenging levels, object handling of our collection of First World War Trench Art, craft activities including make your own trench art and medal design as well as a pop-up sensory space.
A warm welcome can really make a visit, and insights from support organisations suggested that this was particularly key for these visitors. We assembled our museum team carefully. We have a number of volunteers who have experience in education or care settings in working with people with special educational needs or disabilities. These volunteers proved invaluable on the day, from being the friendly face on the front desk to leading craft activities to chatting to families and collecting evaluation.
The feedback from visitors was unanimously positive – they loved the quizzes, object handling, dressing up and craft activities not only did the families enjoy these activities, crucially they all helped to slow the children down who may otherwise have ‘raced’ through the visit. Our pop-up sensory space was a big hit, this provided a relaxing space for everyone and helped increase the dwell time in the museum as families could retreat to the space as necessary. We also had lots of lovely comments about how friendly and welcoming the museum team were.
We focused a lot on making a great visit for people with sensory processing disorders, but we had great feedback from accompanying parents, grandparents and siblings too. The relaxed opening meant that everyone could enjoy the visit at a pace that worked best for them.
We’ve already begun planning for the next one and are now integrating this quarterly into our regular programming. And we’re not alone – Royal Cornwall Museum are holding their relaxed opening this week and other museums involved in our NPO programme are also developing new activities for these audiences too.
One of our visitors shared on leaving “Thank you. We simply wouldn’t have been able to come here if you hadn’t had done this” – when just a few simple adaptations can give a family a visit to remember the question really is why not?
Chloe Hughes, Engagement Lead – firstname.lastname@example.org and Verity Anthony, Visitor Experience and Collections Manager at Cornwall Regimental Museum
The Trench was a collaboration between Cornwall’s Regimental Museum, Bodmin & Wenford Steam Railway, Collective Arts and Bodmin College. Funded by a major grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, and grants from Arts Council England and Feast, the project had the community at its heart. With a script based on real battles fought by the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry, it has, in this 100th anniversary year of the end of WWI, been a unique opportunity to bring to life some of the experiences of those who fought. Supported by a small group of professional actors, community performers of all ages and audience members took on the roles of soldiers fighting in the trenches in WWI.
Each character in the play was based on a real soldier who had been researched by a team of 30 researchers from the local community, led by a volunteer from Cornwall’s Regimental Museum. Many of these soldiers are those of the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry, and the archives of Cornwall’s Regimental Museum have provided a rich source of information. This has been further supplemented with diligent research using a range of online resources and other archives by the fantastic team of volunteers, including students from Exeter University who undertook research as part of their course assessments. The community has further rallied round by taking on a range of roles as nurses with Wenches in Trenches or working in the Box Office.
Audience members ‘enlisted’ at the Museum, where they were issued with kit, and the identity of one of the 80 soldiers who has been researched. The audience were then mustered, handed a rifle and marched down to Bodmin & Wenford Steam Railway. Here they boarded the steam train and travelled to ‘The Trench’. Built on land with kind permission of The Lanhydrock Estate Company, it will give an insight in to the experience of life in a trench complete with noise, explosions….and weather. After returning by steam train to the Museum, you would hear the fate of your soldier, and be able to learn more about them in a specially designed exhibition featuring profiles of the 80 soldiers, and a range of artefacts relating to them not currently displayed in the museum.
As well as the main Trench experience, there were also four short plays, which were performed in the historic attic space of Cornwall’s Regimental Museum. They are about DH Lawrence, Harleigh School (the precursor to Bodmin College), Lanhydrock, and women’s experience of WWI.
The project has been a fantastic opportunity for the Museum and its partners to work to bring the community together to honour those who served in WWI. All the hard work has helped to commemorate those who served, including the many who lost their lives. The stories of these men will go on to be told long-term through the archives and collections of the Museum which have been greatly enhanced by the information gathered as part of the project.
You can learn more here:
Verity Anthony, Visitor Experience and Collections Manager, Cornwall’s Regimental Museum
This project was funded by Cornwall Museums Partnership and South West Museum Development.
I’m an artist who is heavily inspired by the narrative that historic objects hold. You could almost say I’m obsessed with the way in which objects can tell stories. I became involved in the ‘Memory & Now’ project with Perranzabuloe Museum because the museum team are really wonderful, they achieve a huge amount for a small volunteer run museum, and they have been really supportive of my ideas when we worked together on a ‘Big Draw’ event. I was also impressed with the way they connect with contemporary collecting by creating exhibitions about objects found on the beach, providing a good opportunity to discuss how long it takes for plastics to break down.
Our project is about connecting with contemporary and historic Perranporth using creative practices working closely Perranzabuloe Museum. The other main partner for the project is Perranporth Art and Wellbeing community group, (an established creative group who meet weekly), led by the fantastic Karen Tregay. So far, I have run five of the seven workshops which are all focussing upon using different parts of the collection to create new art work for a scrapbook which has been commissioned by PZ conservation in Penzance.
The workshops have been really wide-ranging (I’ve tried to tailor them to individuals interests in the group) including using reportage illustration techniques to document historic elements from the town using photographs around the museum, as well as contemporary scenes from around Perranporth. We have used the museum’s handling collections to create our own ‘museum still life’s’ to draw. We did a print making workshop and used lino prints to depict Perranporth’s history alongside the museum talking to us about an historic printmaker (Mrs Bisley), whose work is in their collection. We then got to handle Mrs Bisley’s actual print blocks which everyone absolutely loved!
We have visited the museum twice, and I’ve suggested exercises which might allow a creative person to access and interrogate the museum space in different ways. For the last workshop we did some poetry for example.
This project has been an absolute joy to be part of. The community group have been unbelievably welcoming and after getting to know me, have been really up for trying new ways of working. The museum have been incredibly supportive, offering to speak to the group or offering objects to support my ideas for workshops.
Felicity Tattersall, Illustrator
Cornwall Museums Partnership and South West Development are pleased to announce the launch of their Resilience programme.
With funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Cornwall Museums Partnership and South West Museum Development will develop and deliver a unique collaborative programme of leadership and skills development.
Combining their extensive experience of working in collaboration with smaller rural museums, CMP and SWMD have developed a wraparound programme of skills development. Peer groups will come together for the two-year programme to share successes and ideas, as well as challenges, whilst being supported by hands-on business mentoring.
Clare Pennington, Resilience Programme Manager, says, ‘The Resilience Programme aims to tackle five key areas of museum development to enable museums to embrace the opportunities presented by a challenging political and economic environment.’
‘The five areas are; strategic fundraising, finance, marketing and business planning. These have been identified by the sector itself as the main areas that are fundamental to a museum’s ability to continue to thrive and grow. The programme will also look at the challenges posed to museums around developing effective, proactive and outward-looking leadership.’
These topics will form the basis for e-learning pilots that will be available nationally for museum staff and volunteers, as well as intensive workshops and a mentoring scheme that will work with selected museums in the South West.
The Resilience Programme will be investing nearly £400,000 over the next two years into developing and supporting a vital cultural shift in the way in which museums are able to respond to and take advantage of a fast-changing environment to ensure they are able to continue the amazing work that they do at the heart of our communities.
Cornwall Museums Partnership and FEAST are challenging museums and artists to work together to generate original ideas for bringing more and different people into the museums of Cornwall to enjoy Cornwall’s unique heritage. For the third year, we are offering a joint small grants fund to enable the best ideas to be tested and delivered.
We are looking for genuine innovation and collaboration between the artist(s) and museum, and for ideas which would appeal to a broad range of the community. We are inviting proposals for creative projects which spark interest in what museums have to offer: we want more people interested in their heritage and more people doing or experiencing something creative.
This year we are introducing a Digital Strand, which will look for the innovative use of digital technology either in the creation or the dissemination of the project. Here, ‘digital’ has been interpreted broadly and can cover anything from the creation of digital art to the use of technology within the gallery. For advice on the Digital Strand, please contact email@example.com
We are offering a number of small grants of up to £2,500. The project must involve some form of tangible activity or event with which the community can get involved.
Applications must be made jointly by the artist(s) and museum. Ideas must be generated collaboratively and plans for delivery shared by both. We imagine that some of the strongest ideas may come from an artist working with their local museum, but are not making this an absolute condition. You choose whether it is the artist(s) or museum who is the grant recipient on behalf of the project.
- Quality and the ability to excite
We are looking only for work of a high professional standard that is fresh and inspiring
- An innovative approach to involving as wide a range of people of all ages and backgrounds as possible
Show us how you plan to include people who normally assume arts and heritage activities are not for them
- Imaginative ways of rewarding and enhancing the experience of museum volunteers
We want projects which ignite the enthusiasm of the volunteers and give them new ways to get involved
- Value for money
We will take into account other match funding raised, but this can be in kind and will vary according to the scale of the project and amount requested.
We will also be looking at the difference the project could make to the museum’s offer – the value added
- Evidence of genuine collaboration between museum and artist
We want jointly developed proposals that draw on the strengths of both (Artists should not be used simply to deliver workshops devised by the museum and museums should not be used simply as a venue by the artist)
We are looking for projects with a longer-term impact and which build skills, confidence and innovation within the museum and its volunteers. With the Digital Strand, we are looking for projects that take into account the use of the equipment past the end of the project.
- In selecting projects we will be looking at the geographical spread of activity. This is obviously outside of your control, but please understand that this is a factor for us.
- We will also be looking for projects of different scales. Don’t be afraid to apply for a few hundred pounds to make something small but perfectly formed happen in the museum!
For grants over £1,000, we will pay in 3 stages: 50% upfront, 40% on receipt of an interim report and the final 10% on receipt of a project evaluation (templates provided by us).
For grants under £1,000, we will pay 90% up front and 10% on receipt of evaluation.
Equipment costs can be covered under the Digital Strand. This equipment will remain the property of the museum beyond the project.
Selection of successful projects will be made by a panel of FEAST and Cornwall Museum Partnership directors and a member of each organisation’ s board or advisory group. The deadline for applications is 16th September and decisions will be announced shortly afterwards.
Chloe Hughes, Engagement Lead – firstname.lastname@example.org
I dislike a buzzword as much as the next person, and I keep hearing ‘resilience’ everywhere in the heritage and charitable sectors, applied to everything from finance to leadership, so what does it mean in simple practical terms?
Resilience actually makes sense. Why? Well, look at the World Cup, teams that are packed with star names have crumbled – Germany and Spain crashed out early on, and yet England, a team of young inexperienced players with no star names is in the semifinals.
This hasn’t happened by accident, Gareth Southgate has led the team to develop a mindset that is able to withstand tough challenges, can bend and flex and spring back when knocked down – a resilient team. So, whether it’s coming home or not in 2018, this team will continue to grow and build and achieve.
Creating a resilient team is a crucial goal for any leader faced with uncertain times when the ground seems to be constantly shifting beneath your feet. Now more than ever heritage organisations need to grasp the idea of resilience as being central to their culture – and survival.
How you lead this change within your organisation will depend on your unique circumstances, but one thing is clear as the England team have shown, that the whole team needs to buy into the idea; from the Trustees to Directors, staff and volunteers.
Resilience is about not relying on one star player, you can apply this to museums – how many organisations rely entirely on one key income stream or funder, one person to get things done or one type of audience? In the end, that organisation will struggle to deliver its charitable objectives, letting down the most important people – its community and stakeholders.
So, how do you start? Having come from a business leadership role my feeling is that the first thing you do is to take a step out of your organisation’s day to day challenges and start to think about how your museum fits into the bigger picture. Think wisely and strategically with a focus on long-term, look beyond your own world for inspiration; be open minded – be flexible and open to opportunities, new ideas and doing what you do better; include people with different backgrounds, experiences and opinions to make sure that you draw on the best ideas; and think about the kind of leadership your organisation needs.
If organisations can start to think like this then the opportunities offered by, for example, Rural Proofing Resilience are there ready to help and support museums to develop into thriving and yes, resilient museums at the heart of strong communities.
Clare Pennington, Rural Proofing Resilience Programme Manager –email@example.com