Last Tuesday (a while ago now to my shame!) I travelled to the wonderful Scotland Street School Museum in Glasgow to present at a Museums Association workshop on advocacy. The MA was running the event as part of their …Love Museums project, aimed at offering practical advice and support to help museums make their case.
I arrived slightly early in Glasgow which gave me the opportunity to have a peek around the museum which was fantastic. Being a huge fan of Rennie Macintosh architecture it was a real treat for me to see his beautiful designs and architecture, as well as finding out about the history of this former school. There were even a couple of school groups being ‘drilled’ (girls and boys in separate stairwells of course!) by some of the museum staff.
After a nosey around (and a wonderful cappuccino in the cafe) I headed up to the workshop. The afternoon kicked off with Stacey Arnold and Maurice Davies from the MA giving an introduction to what advocacy means and how museums can get involved. We took part in a couple of exercises which really brought home how advocacy can help in gaining support – either to use in times of crisis, or simply to help when you are trying to achieve something.
Then it was my turn – I gave a presentation on the Scottish context of advocacy. Although it was a bit of a whistle-stop tour, I included issues that are having an impact on museums and galleries at the moment, what MGS is doing in these areas on a national basis and how important it is that we all work together to ensure that museums and galleries remain high on the political agenda. I then gave some pointers on where to find helpful information to support museums to make their case such as statistics, sector news, websites and Scottish Government and Parliament information.
I really enjoyed the workshop and hope that those of you that came along found my presentation useful. For those of you that weren’t there, feel free to download a copy of my presentation.
For more information on the …Love Museums initiative, visit the MA website.