Jane and I were at the inaugural and skills sharing event of the Scottish Museums, Galleries and Art Outreach Network which took place on Monday 5 July at the beautiful Perth Museum & Art Gallery. The aim of the event was to launch the newly established Network for outreach practitioners across the heritage and culture sector, the only one of its kind in Scotland.
The day began with Christine McLean of NMS, a member of the steering group, welcoming participants to the event. She also thanked MGS for their support in terms of funding and advice. Jane Robinson, Head of Museum Development at Museums Galleries Scotland gave a keynote address to members and spoke on Outreach policy and practice. She told participants about the important contribution Outreach work in heritage and culture makes to the national outcomes and emphasised MGS’ commitment to work with and support the Network in their objectives.
The afternoon was devoted to knowledge and skills sharing in the areas of outreach work and best practice. After a coffee break, the next session was the Marketplace of ideas. Here participants had the opportunity to look at a display of projects and ask questions of the presenters. Projects on display included Red Road flats from Glasgow Life and Wild Drovers from the National Galleries of Scotland. Others included the WordPress blog from the Outreach Network and Stanley Mills, Perthshire from Historic Scotland.
The Outreach blog site is very pretty. Crawford McGugan who gave the demonstration urged everyone to get involved in the blog site stating that the process is very simple.
The afternoon workshop was a group discussion on ongoing projects that members are involved in. It was good to hear one of our members, Clan McPherson Museum Trust, talking about their museum in one of the workshops. They talked about how they have been finding it difficult to attract representatives from the community despite all their efforts to integrate it with the community.
We discussed issues surrounding various projects and how to address them and lessons for the future. There were plenty of suggestions and ideas to help members with their projects, which they found very useful.
The Network is still looking for members interested in joining the the Committee. If you know of anyone who you may be interested, contact me via comment and I will let the steering group know.
It was an exciting and eventful day with a lot of useful information sharing and networking. We even had a six month old baby (Elaine Addington’s) there on the day and lunch was very good!