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Bristol Museums & Galleries - Tim Corum
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Bristol Museums & Galleries - Tim Corum

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  • Low funding and low aspiration Before 2002 there was over 2 decades of low funding levels Inflexible spaces Spaces could not be changed and were of ter designed as permanent and therefore cheap spaces to open to the public Concentration on existing audiences rather than developing new Staff see the Museum as a neutral space objects and knowledge – this led to displays and exhibitions which were presentation of knowledge by experts and left few opportunities for visitors to share ideas Concentration on existing collections rather than developing new collections Lack of trainig for all staff in visitor services Charging for general entry
  • It was a phrase used by one of our community associates to describe what they wanted the museum to offer. We are currently running a long-term engagement programme funded by Paul Hamlyn, an organisation which supports radical thinking in the cultural and learning sector. The programme has enabled us to establish a group of community associates staff and stakeholders who will work together over the next three years to develop One of the suggestions the group loved was that the programme should change museums into spaces where people felt safe and enabled to share and discuss important and challenging ideas.   We liked the idea. Our vision of museums is that they are spaces for exchanging ideas. All our museums are expected to support core endeavours, All musuems are different, this vision reflects who we are and where we are locaetd, our history and the needs of the people of Bristol. PHF have helped us see how we can do this Volunteering, Participatory decision making, Working in neighbourhoods, Enquiry
  • Almost 200k new visitors were brought by the show Changed the way people saw the museum Changed the way we saw the museum
  • Low funding and low aspiration Before 2002 there was over 2 decades of low funding levels Inflexible spaces Spaces could not be changed and were of ter designed as permanent and therefore cheap spaces to open to the public Concentration on existing audiences rather than developing new Staff see the Museum as a neutral space objects and knowledge – this led to displays and exhibitions which were presentation of knowledge by experts and left few opportunities for visitors to share ideas Concentration on existing collections rather than developing new collections Lack of trainig for all staff in visitor services Charging for general entry
  • Transcript

    • 1. Tim CorumDeputy Head, Bristol Museums Galleries and Archivestim.corum@bristol.gov.ukBristol Museums Galleries and Archives
    • 2. How Bristol Museums created spaces for people tomeet and share ideas• Are we always successful in making spaces for sharing ideas?• What were the main events and lessons that led us to improve our museums?• What are the most important characteristics of the museum to foster shared ideas and decision making ?• How can we continue fostering shared ideas and decision-making ?
    • 3. Are we always successful in making spaces for sharing ideas?• Low funding and low aspiration• Inflexible spaces inhibit display change and events• Concentration on existing audiences rather than developing new• Doing things ourselves and not working in partnership• Staff see the Museum as a neutral space for objects and knowledge• Concentration on existing collections not developing new collections• Lack of training for all staff in visitor services• Not linking public programme and collections development
    • 4. What were the main events and lessons that led us to improve our museums?Celebrating the museum as a space for ideas and discussionA new learning programme focussed on enquiry and the cityProgramming challenges and transforms spaces & expectationsM Shed celebrating the city its people and their storiesDeveloping staff and visitors
    • 5. Celebrating the museum as a space for ideas and discussion• share understanding of the Bristol experience• promote understanding of the built and natural environment• promote internationalism, diversity and global connectivity• support industry, science and society• develop knowledge, democracy, creativity and participation
    • 6. Structures Structures AA Board of Trustees has been appointed that is Board of Trustees has been appointed that is diverse across all Equalities strands diverse across all Equalities strands Recruitment practice involves young people inin the Recruitment practice involves young people the interviewing process interviewing process AA decision-making structure is employed that decision-making structure is employed that empowers apprentices, trainees, volunteers toto empowers apprentices, trainees, volunteersStrategy Strategy integrate and contribute atat the highest levels of the integrate and contribute the highest levels of the Systems SystemsAA truly participatory public programme which truly participatory public programme which organisation organisation AA new set of indicators is in use that is owned new set of indicators is in use that is ownedintegrates audience development and collections integrates audience development and collections by all staff, and which measures the quality of by all staff, and which measures the quality ofdevelopment development community participation and decision- community participation and decision- making, making,Community organisations embed the use of Community organisations embed the use ofmuseum collections inin their everyday work museum collections their everyday work Staff peer reviews have been conducted with Staff peer reviews have been conducted with community partners community partnersAll staff are working with communities inin All staff are working with communities Shared Values Shared Valuesdifferent ways different ways AA 3 year consultation programme enables 3 year consultation programme enables AA new strategic vision co-developed with new strategic vision co-developed with communities communities communities toto inform the programme, communities inform the programme, Community partners share museum business Community partners share museum business and social space and social space Skills Skills Bristol people love their museum and their Bristol people love their museum and their All staff have taken part inin reverse All staff have taken part reverse Style (Culture) Style (Culture) collections collections mentoring with community partners mentoring with community partners Accreditation achieved for the Investors inin Accreditation achieved for the Investors Volunteers award and the Hear by Right Volunteers award and the Hear by Right All staff have taken part inin a tour Bristol’s All staff have taken part a tour Bristol’s neighbourhoods and inin a “work-swap” neighbourhoods and a “work-swap” Community volunteering for community Community volunteering for community with a a community partner with community partner partners has been regularly carried out by staff partners has been regularly carried out by staff Staff AA re-designed staffroom which is an effective re-designed staffroom which is an effective Staff Ambition Ambassadors, the diagonal cross- creative conversational space isis being used by creative conversational space being used by Ambition Ambassadors, the diagonal cross- section of staff, visibly and strongly guiding all staff and community partners together all staff and community partners together section of staff, visibly and strongly guiding change inin partnership with communities change partnership with communities AA collaborative PhD unites museum, collaborative PhD unites museum, communities + + universities in a community of communities universities in a community of researchful practice on collections for researchful practice on collections for community activism community activism
    • 7. What are the most important activities for encouraging people to share ideas?• Volunteering• Participatory decision making• Working in neighbourhoods• Sharing in a spirit of enquiry
    • 8. What were the main events and lessons that led us to improve our museums?Celebrating the museum as a space for ideas and discussionA new learning programme focussed on enquiry and the cityChallenging and transformational programmingM Shed celebrating the city its people and their storiesDeveloping staff
    • 9. What are the most important characteristics which foster sharedideas and decision making ?• a focus on visitors and non-visitors needs• Visitors feel they own the building and collections• secure and good funding / sustainable business model• good facilities• flexible spaces• linking inside to the outside• principle of sharing decision making in all areas• branding linked to national and city strategy (creativity & city identity)• public events and exhibitions project your identity in the city• developing commerce and enterprise• build strong partnerships (harbour side and uni)• reflecting this approach in collections and research projects