Association of Independent Museums

Just a quick note to flag the Association of Independent Museums (AIM) Virtual Conference, Roads to Recovery, taking place next week on Thursday 18 and Friday 19 June in case you haven’t already been notified: https://www.aim-museums.co.uk/virtual-conference/

It’s free, open to all, and taking place on Zoom. The sessions are all split individually so you can pick and choose and dip in and out – you do need to register for your chosen sessions in advance though.  

The conference is based around recovery from Covid-10 – what the new normal might look like and how museums might need to adapt and change. It includes a session on independent museums and reopening, legal issues and also has a session on personal resilience. When you sign up there’s an option to submit questions in advance for the speakers to address.

Beth Wilkey will be attending some of the sessions and can be contacted at Beth.wilkey@colchester.gov.uk if you have any questions.

With apologies for cross posting.

AIM Conference 2018: Changing Gear

Caroline Hamson, Heritage Collections Officer for The Scouts, shares her experiences of this year’s Association of Independent Museums Conference.

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Diversity was the focus of the first day, or as Shaz Hussain suggested, representation not diversity. Hannah Fox the Derby Silk Mill Project Director discussed how imperative it is to design exhibitions/museums/sites alongside your communities. You must have human centred design which focuses on think, do and feel. The top down approach is out of touch and more importantly, is not impactful.

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Victoria Rogers from Cardiff Story Museum gave us a run-down of the top 10 tips for building and diversifying audiences, with the mantras, ‘Ask, Listen, Act’, ‘Live your commitment’ and ‘Review, Learn, Amend, Grow’.

A tour of the new collections store at Gaydon was an eye opener, what a magnificent facility! It even includes a full view of the workshop where staff and volunteers maintain and repair the vehicles. A facility which means 100% of their collection (bar the archive) is on display. What a dream.

 

It’s also where I found my next car…..

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On day two we learnt about the free stuff and resources that are available to us as AIM members. The free resources through the, ‘Open Up: Museums for everyone’ project which will help museums of all sizes increase the diversity of their visitors to make real and lasting change in the museum sector. And a new three-year partnership with the Charity Finance Group means AIM members can sign up to receive advice, trouble shooting, resources, all for free!

A fascinating talk by Sue Davies told about the positive impact understanding your type of museum can have. Club, temple, forum or attraction? Understanding this can lead to better management by adapting your leadership style; leader, facilitator, guardian or business manager.

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What did I learn? To be the best we can be and serve our communities we must listen, really listen, don’t impose our ideas on people, be open to criticism, have a great sense of purpose and vision which is shared by everyone, and be willing to try and test ideas without fear of failure.