John Orna-Ornstein

Webchat: John Orna-Ornstein

Monday 25 November, 1200 - 1300
The Museums Association hosted a live webchat with John Orna-Ornstein, director of museums at Arts Council England (ACE), to discuss his role at the organisation, the Strategic Support fund and the next Major Partner museum investment process.

The live webchat took place on Monday 25 November from 1200-1300. 

Orna-Ornstein said: “I’m looking forward to speaking to you all and am really eager to hear from across the sector about the issues on your mind, and how ACE can best support English museums.”

Museums will be able to submit applications for Major Partner funding from January 2014.


Comments

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12.10.2016, 20:14
My name is Astrid, the third-year International Journalism student of the University of Central Lancashire. Recently we have to do a big personal journalistic project, and I really want to produce my magazine about museum because I am a museum lover. I really want to understand more about some new developments and trends about the British museums. If you are willing to help me and receive my interview I would be very grateful.
Rebecca Atkinson
MA Member
Online Publications Editor, Museums Association
25.11.2013, 13:00
We'll have to leave the webchat there I'm afraid, but hopefully it's provided some food for thought.

Thanks to everyone for their questions, and to John for taking part.
Anonymous
MA Member
25.11.2013, 12:54
Hi; I was surprised that ACE gave an export license for the Riesco items being sold in Hong Kong by Croydon Council from their museum collection. Surely this is just the kind of thing that export licensing should be able to stop. Isn't it a bit of a waste of time, otherwise?
John Orna-Ornstein
MA Member
Director, Museums, Arts Council England
25.11.2013, 13:04
Thanks for questions and comments. Look forward to hearing more from you all in the future and am keen to hear more about your ideas and thoughts on my question below.

J
John Orna-Ornstein
MA Member
Director, Museums, Arts Council England
25.11.2013, 13:02
Hello, Just to be clear - the Arts Council doesn’t issue export licenses, that’s the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

In terms of the Arts Council’s role at the moment- it’s around the Accreditation scheme that we manage which concerns itself with the appropriate procedures which museums should apply with regards to their acquisitions and disposals. The Arts Council believes that museums, galleries and other institutions have an important long-term responsibility for their collections and we want to work closely with local authorities, including Croydon, in managing these responsibilities.
Sharon Heal
MA Member
Head of Publications & Events, Museums Association
25.11.2013, 12:39
Hi John, I get the impression that the workforce is getting less not more diverse - what do you think? And if so what can Ace do about it?
Sharon
John Orna-Ornstein
MA Member
Director, Museums, Arts Council England
25.11.2013, 12:47
That’s a really good question Sharon thanks. I agree. Certainly there is not much evidence that the cultural workforce is getting more diverse and the pressure on entry-level jobs isn’t helping. Additionally a number of diversity schemes such a Diversify have closed in the last couple of years. Our museums need a diverse workforce so this is a real concern. One of the Arts Council’s main goals for the arts, museums and libraries is around ensuring that the sector is as diverse as possible and has all the skills it needs.

For 2015-18 we are looking at investing an increased proportion of Renaissance funds in to our goals around creating a more resilient and diverse workforce. There’s also the Creative Employment Programme which I spoke about earlier. But we would certainly value talking more to MA and others about this as we move forward.
Anonymous
25.11.2013, 12:20
Hi John,
Given the recent reports on the unequal distribution of resources between London and the regions, do you think ACE is in a critical position to cause a revolution in culture by supporting institutions that are operating in different socio-economic contexts?

Also do you think it is important that ACE looks closely at supporting the work of existing bodies and networks in the regions in a more sustainable and efficient way? Do you think ACE has a particular role to play in overcoming barriers among different practitioners and institutions and encouraging new models of partnerships?

many thanks
John Orna-Ornstein
MA Member
Director, Museums, Arts Council England
25.11.2013, 12:28
Wow lots to think about there! Arts Council England has a vital role to play in ensuring access to culture across England. The vast majority of our funding goes to museums outside of London and we’re keen to be part of a conversation with MA and others about making the sector work as effectively as it can.

Part of that does include supporting the work of existing bodies and networks. Examples include the Association of Independent Museums, subject specialist networks and of course the MA.

Question 3- yes. A coherent joined up sector is absolutely vital and we’re keen to support more effective collaboration including Major Partner Museums, national museums and cross-sector bodies.
John Orna-Ornstein
MA Member
Director, Museums, Arts Council England
25.11.2013, 12:18
I have a question for you all - moving forward what do you all think the Arts Council should be doing better or differently to support museums? Would be interesting to hear your thoughts.
Anonymous
MA Member
25.11.2013, 12:18
There is a general sense among many of my colleagues that the Arts Council favours arts organizations. As a new recruit what is your impression of how well the Arts Council has adapted to its new role for museums? And what future plans do you have to address some of the concerns out there in the sector?
John Orna-Ornstein
MA Member
Director, Museums, Arts Council England
25.11.2013, 12:23
Hello, good question!

My early impressions are genuinely positive. Museums are still fairly new to the Arts Council and the organisation still has some learning to do but there’s a real willingness to engage and an excitement about the opportunities that bringing museums together with the wider arts world brings. We’ve just launched our refreshed strategy for the arts, museums and libraries – it’s called Great art and culture for everyone – and that’s a great example of how all this work is being tied together in a more coherent way.

Museums being part of the Arts Council means new funding opportunities for them through access to things like Grants for the arts and we’re looking now at how a wider range of Arts Council funding streams can be accessible to museums.
John Orna-Ornstein
MA Member
Director, Museums, Arts Council England
25.11.2013, 12:02
Hello, happy to be here and speak to you all. Some good questions through so far. I will do my best to answer as many as possible! J
Rebecca Atkinson
MA Member
Online Publications Editor, Museums Association
25.11.2013, 11:59
Hi and welcome to the MA's webchat with John Orna-Ornstein - he'll be replying to your questions for the next hour, so do remember to keep refreshing the page for the full discussion.

Rebecca Atkinson
MA Member
Online Publications Editor, Museums Association
25.11.2013, 11:55
Hi John. Several people at the MA's conference earlier this month were speculating whether ACE would prefer to fund the same Major Partner museums in the next funding round as the last, or if it would give new partners the opportunity for investment.

I appreciate there probably isn't a definite answer on this yet, but your thoughts on the next round of investment would be interesting.
John Orna-Ornstein
MA Member
Director, Museums, Arts Council England
25.11.2013, 12:14
Hi Rebecca,

The next investment round for Major Partner Museums (MPMs) will be open and competitive – it’s not down to our preferences. We would expect to see some new applicants and some change in the funded group of MPMs. This will depend on the strength of applications as well as other balancing criteria such as geography.
Anonymous
21.11.2013, 16:05
Are you aware that in one of the most deprived areas of SW there is a hefty museum entry charge. Free entry would transform them overnight. Instead of putting them through hoops with ACE strategic funding why not just give a grant conditional on free entry?
John Orna-Ornstein
MA Member
Director, Museums, Arts Council England
25.11.2013, 12:16
Hi,

We need to invest our funding for museums strategically, free entry is one way of allowing wide access to museum collections but this isn’t something that we are able to do across the board. The mixed economy model of arts and culture funding in this country means that generating income through ticket sales is one element of this system for museums, and arts organisations. There are lots of museums that do charge for entry that have a large and diverse visitor base.

In terms of jumping through hoops- going forward we are trying to make access to our open grants funds as straightforward as possible.
Anonymous
20.11.2013, 17:37
Some say the future of museums is uncertain - what do you think about this?
John Orna-Ornstein
MA Member
Director, Museums, Arts Council England
25.11.2013, 12:13
Hello,

The future is always uncertain and the economic context makes things difficult for museums, and for everyone, at the moment. But in lots of ways museums are in a great place. Lots of evidence shows that people are increasingly valuing the real thing – it’s experiencing and engaging with live art and culture and museums are full of the real thing. As long as we use the assets that we have effectively and continue to innovate then museums can be confident about their future.
Anonymous
20.11.2013, 17:37
When looking for opportunities for internships or more museum experience for students, I find that there are not enough opportunities for young people - what do you propose to do to change this?
John Orna-Ornstein
MA Member
Director, Museums, Arts Council England
25.11.2013, 12:12
Sorry all for the delay some computer issues. Bear with me!
John Orna-Ornstein
MA Member
Director, Museums, Arts Council England
25.11.2013, 12:11
Hi, thanks for your question.

I think that there’s a long history and important place for volunteers in museums and the wider arts sector….. but there’s clearly a difference between getting involved through volunteering (be it as a trustee/board member or volunteering at a museum ticket desk) and taking unpaid employment as the required entry into the cultural workforce.

Our sector can only benefit from a wide range of ideas and voices in all sorts of museum roles. If we don’t create fairer entry routes into the arts and culture workforce we risk closing the door on a new generation of talented leaders from a range of backgrounds, and museums and the arts will suffer.

That’s why the Arts Council published Internships in the Arts in 2011, which we hope will help arts organisations and museums offer high quality, paid internship opportunities that don’t put them at risk of legal action. These guidelines reflect the law, rather than create new rules or regulations, and while the Arts Council has no legal authority to find an employer in breach of the law we would encourage all arts organisations to take note of their responsibilities.

We’re working hard to ensure that employment opportunities in the arts are open to all and to build a diverse, highly skilled arts workforce which is why we’ve also established the Creative Employment Programme. The programme has managed to create over 1,000 apprenticeships and paid internships so far.