Our latest responses to Covid-19

Changes to membership and the work we do

We have responded to the Covid-19 crisis by recalibrating our offers to members and the sector, and making a number of changes to our work.

These include:
Content and events

We have significantly improved and increased our digital output and are rolling out further changes.

  • We continue to publish Museums Journal as digital content, packed with news, analysis and practical advice for you
  • The print edition returns in September 2020, but in response to member feedback about frequency, content and environmental impact, we are moving to a bi-monthly publication going forward. This new format will include more practice and analysis each issue to inspire you
  • We will launch a new Members’ App in the coming months – designed to give you easy access to core membership benefits
  • We have postponed all physical events, and now run bi-weekly Coronavirus Conversations webinars that are free to all members
  • Conference 2020 will now be held as a digital event, also free to all members
  • Members meetings also continue online keeping you in contact with developments in your area.
Workforce Development

Joining as individual member gives you exclusive access to our workforce development offers. Alongside our core programmes – the AMA and FMA – we have also launched several new offers that are free to members:

  • Our hugely popular Museum Essentials online learning programme to build your confidence and competence in key areas of museum practice. The first two courses are Working Ethically and Working with Collections, with a new course of Working with Partners due to launched soon.
  • Museum Furlough Facebook group – a network for staff furloughed during the pandemic
  • Managing in Crisis Facebook group – a network to help managers during the pandemic.
Advocacy

We have been working with partners and sector bodies to continue to make a strong case for museums, including:

  • Signing a letter by Julie’s Bicycle calling for a just and green recovery following Covid-19
  • Our statement calling for action to tackle racial injustice following the Black Lives Matter protests
  • Our statement on reopening the museum sector
  • Our joint campaign to celebrate the work of Welsh museums
  • Working with the BBC to organise and promote #MuseumfromHome
  • Signing a joint statement of intent to take responsibility for ending racism in the heritage sector.
Funding

We have adapted two of our major funds to help members during the Covid-19 crisis:

  • Our Collections Fund reacted quickly to offer a significant new stream of funding to the sector; and with record numbers of applications, we have funded over £0.5m of sector projects
  • Our Benevolent Fund is here to support members in financial need and is now offering small assistance grants, as well as supporting members from protected characteristics
Protecting our people

The health and wellbeing of our staff, members, partners and contractors is paramount.

  • We have closed our offices, and will not reopen them until October 2020 at the earliest. This means that we are unable to pick up or send out any post. But otherwise we are all set up to work remotely and are contactable by phone or email.
  • We continue to process all memberships purchased via our website and provide digital confirmation of membership for those who need it, but we have not sent out membership cards.
  • As museums begin to reopen we will ensure members without cards receive them and we plan to move to a digital membership card in the near future.

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