MA2007 Virginia Tandy – Presidential Address

Virginia has won the lottery – no, she’s not giving up her job at the Manchester City Galleries, it was only a tenner but nevertheless she is a big fan. She remembers the cash strapped era of the nineties when the kind of capital projects the lottery has facilitated, were unimaginable.

But what about beyond the lottery, what should our priorities be for the future? Her answers were simple but powerful.
– Partnership
– Learning outside the classroom
– Strategic leadership
– Digital solutions

I agree with her points, in particular the need for more collaboration with arts, libraries, archives and heritage sectors. “How else” she asks “can we do anything on a scale that will make a difference?”

At the 24 Hour Museum, we have actively sought partnership not only with the Arts Council, Visit Britain but also internationally with others who work in the same online publishing field as us (see culturemondo.org). Invaluable, necessary and what audiences would expect to see – culture outside the government department categories and available for audiences to jump between, mix up and explore.

She mentions the great work that is already going on encouraging learning outside the classroom (the new DCMS / University of Leicester report is a good document – ) – not in a box but free of a curriculum that sometimes doesn’t help promote creativity (see Ken Robinson for more on this).

She mentions the new CEO, Roy Clare at MLA and finally welcomes in “a new chapter at MLA to create the powerful strategic body that the sector has wanted and needed for many years.” Hear, hear to that. I am looking forward to getting his scrutinising eye onto the 24HM and give us a change to work more strategically with him and building our services to promote the sector to audiences in effective way online.

It gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling to hear her talk about the digital world …
– Let’s have a plan for digital future
– Let’s not lose the next generation of audience
– We must not miss opportunities for effective, intelligent solutions.
– We must have a sustainable approach to our work in all its definitions.

Good stuff and well said. I hope that her role as MA’s president and the fact she gets the digital agenda might lead to them engaging and debating this area more fully in the future.

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