Over 60 delegates attended the SW Fed AGM on 24th June and helped celebrate the organisation's 80th birthday in style with a fabulous cake made by Helena Jaeschke, SW Conservation Development Officer. 80 cupcakes each featured a highlight for each of the years of the Fed's existence. Can you identify which year is which?
Other highlights of the day were assessments of the current opportunities for museums by key members of the sector and a tour of MShed, Bristol's brand new history museum.
The panel of experts consisted of Sam Hunt, Executive Director of AIM, Maurice Davies, head of Policy and communication at the Museums Association, Trevor Gough Regional Manager (South West) at the MLA and Simon Timms, Chair of the HLF's SW Regional Committee. Their message to delegates was to grasp the opportunities presented by the current emphasis on localism, partnerships and the arts. All recognised the difficulties presented by the current economic climate and the uncertainties surrounding the transfer of MLA functions to Arts Council England, but advised that the museums that would weather this period best were ones who reflected on their core purpose and were creative, vocal and proactive in achieving their goals.
The morning session included the AGM and a report from Sarah Lewis on the 2011/2012 SW MUseum Skills Programme that will be published on this website by mid July. In her address Alison Bevan highlighted achievements of the past year and thanked Renaissance SW for its continued support of the Federation and the Board members for their dedication to the cause. She was re-elected chair for another year. The full Board for 2011-2012 can be found here.
In the afternoon staff of Bristol City Museum explained the development of the displays at MShed and delegates toured the building. Drawing on Bristol's fabulous collections, the stories of 1000 Bristolians and considerable new research and collecting, the displays are divided into three themes: Bristol Life, Bristol People and Bristol Places. Go to the museum's website to find out more.
For more pictures from the day, go to the SW Fed's Facebook page