Museum Update – January 2020

Dear All,

As you may be aware, Essex County Council will no longer be hosting the Museum Development Officer post.

My last day with ECC will be Friday 31st January, after which I will be starting a new role managing a heritage project in London.

SHARE Museums East and Museums Essex are working with the Arts Council and other partners to ensure that there is continuing support for you after my post ends. I will pass on more details when I have them, but would recommend signing up to both organisations’ mailing lists:

SHARE Museums East

Museums Essex

Additionally, our Esmee Fairbairn funded project “Snapping the Stiletto” is also coming to an end this month, so the Project Manager Pippa Smith and I are having a joint leaving do. If you would like to join us for a goodbye drink, we will be in the Slug and Lettuce in Chelmsford (over the road from Chelmsford Station) on Friday 31st January from 12:00pm.

Thinkspace 2020

Even though I am leaving, the Thinkspace event for schools is still going ahead on Thursday 26th March. We are inviting museums to pitch sessions for the event on 26th March at the East Anglian Railway Museum. It will explore with teachers how they can use museums to deliver Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths.  Our definition of STEAM is deliberately broad and there will definitely be something in your collection that fits.

The day will be a mix of keynote presentations, breakout museum-led sessions, a forum for teachers to think and plan, and a marketplace of museum stalls.  We aim to reach 100 teachers from across Essex.

Breakout sessions will run in ½ hour slots in the morning and afternoon with teachers signing up for the sessions of their choice.  Numbers in each session will be limited.

The event is aimed at museums of all sizes, both volunteer run and staffed.

We are inviting you to contribute content for one or more 25min breakout session.  This could be

  1. A taster of activities from one of your school sessions
  2. Hands on with your other learning resources such as loan boxes, teachers’ packs
  3. Hearing about other STEAM projects in your museum

The marketplace and lunch will be held between 12 – 2pm and the timings of the morning and afternoon sessions will be staggered to manage the numbers there at one time.  Museums can create a tabletop or other pop-up display and liaise directly with teachers.  It may also be an opportunity to take bookings.

If you would like to be involved, please complete this form and return it to and by midnight on Friday 10th January.

If you are interested in running a session or being at the marketplace and want to know more/need more time to write your proposal, please contact me ASAP.

Additionally, we need some images of children engaging with museums to use in publicity, so please  get in touch if you have anything we an use!

Autism Access Grants

Jo Gillam delivered a great autism access training day for the county before Christmas and I am offering grants of up to £500 for museums to improve their access. It is open to Accredited/WTA museums (excluding NPOs) who have undergone autism access training in the last 18 months. Please could you send a brief expression of interest outlining plans for what you would use a grant of £500 for and how you hope that this would increase access for your visitors on the autism spectrum, including details of the training you/your colleagues attended if it was not the one I organised at Braintree. Please email these to Amy and copy in Kathy Moore from Share by 23:59 on 15th January.

NB If your organisation has multiple sites, you can apply for a grant for each site.

British Art Network Events:

The Foundation of Art and Science, 16 January 2020, 10:30 – 16:00, Ipswich Museum

Drawing on Life: Natural History Illustration 24 January 2020, 10:30 – 16:00, Ipswich Art Gallery

The Art of Taxidermy 24 February 2020, 10:30 – 16:00, Firstsite, Colchester

Ecology of Art 24 March 2020, 10:30 – 15:30, Flatford Mill

The events are free and include lunch and refreshments. Spaces are limited, with advance registration essential. To register for one or more of the four sessions, please visit the Eventbrite page here:


Cambridgeshire Museums Partnership Officer, Cambridgeshire County Council, Full time, £26,999 – £28,785, Closing date: 13 January 2020

Collections Development Officer, Norfolk Museums, temporary post (9 months in the first instance with the possibility of extension to 1 year), Deadline: 12th January

Details and how to apply are available here: