Peter Bazalgette (left) and David Fleming

Bazalgette and Fleming to debate crisis at conference

Rebecca Atkinson, 14.08.2013
ACE chair and head of NML will address funding cuts in plenary debate
Peter Bazalgette and David Fleming will discuss whether the sector is in the midst of a crisis in a plenary debate at this year’s Museums Association (MA) Conference and Exhibition.

The Crisis? What Crisis? session will take place on Tuesday 12 November at 9am.

Bazalgette, chairman of Arts Council England (ACE), and Fleming, the director of National Museums Liverpool, will address the issue of funding cuts and the future of the sector during the hour-long session.

Sharon Heal, head of publications and events at the MA, said: “The culture secretary Maria Miller recently said the idea of the crisis was laughable but for people on the frontline the impact of cuts is becoming ever more evident. This session will explore the true state of the sector and challenge delegates to respond to cuts.”

Ahead of the conference, Bazalgette said: "Resilience is a priority for the arts council as it invests in regional museums. I look forward to discussing this at the conference.

"If our museums can continue to adapt to a rapidly changing society then audiences will flock to them and they'll remain one of our cultural jewels."

And Fleming said: “We are experiencing massive reductions in our funding, and no one can possibly think that museums are going to be better or stronger as a result.

"Yet I keep hearing that we have no crisis, and that all the job losses we are suffering will have no impact on our effectiveness.

“If the arts council’s chairman is of this persuasion, then I hope he will listen to those of us who are not, because we need realism from ACE, not political rhetoric.”

Click here to book your place at conference


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15.08.2013, 20:11
In the local authority museum service I work for, staffing reductions have meant those with multiple skills both theoretical and practical survive; those with just theoretical skills begin to go under. if you can't drive a van, clean out a humidifier, organise loans and curate exhibitions, oh and be a great carpenter, there soon won't be anyone else except you to do it.