MuseumNext 2018: Community in culture as global initiative seeks to spread inclusion message
Leisure Opportunities
Job search
Job Search
see all jobs
Latest job opportunities
star job
Celtic Manor Resort
Competitive
Newport, United Kingdom
University of London
£24,812 pro rata
London
star job
Future Fit Training
Competitive Salary & Benefits
Fareham, UK
Legacy Leisure
£27,000
Exeter
star job
Hurlingham Club
£20,286 plus benefits
Fulham, London, UK

MuseumNext 2018: Community in culture as global initiative seeks to spread inclusion message

Job opportunities
Zoological Society of London
£31,464 per annum
location: London, UK
Paultons Park
Excellent salary and benefit package on offer
location: Romsey, UK
The Silverstone Experience
£50,000- 55,000 pro-rata per annum + benefits
location: Northamptonshire, UK
more jobs
Answering two questions took us from the brink of failure to stunning success

A new initiative aimed at creating community inclusion in museums across the world is seeking members, as it aims to spread its message of being "of, by and for the community" (OFBYFOR ALL).

Achieving her dream role of working as an engineer for NASA after leaving university, Nina Simon left the role after just a few months for reasons which would lead her into the museum realm, with a new dream – to design and create institutions where anyone could feel like they belonged.

Delivering the keynote speech at last week's MuseumNext, Simon, now executive director for the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History (MAH), explained OFBYFOR ALL, which she used to turn around the failing institution when she joined in 2011.

"I've been at MAH for seven years now and today the MAH is a thriving community hub in Santa Cruz County. But when I first joined that wasn't really the case," said Simon.

"At the time there were two really big problems, the first being money. The day I came in as director we had US$16,000 (€13,700, £12,000) in the bank, US$36,000 (€31,000, £27,000) in unpaid bills, and there was no magic cheque on the horizon.

"At the same time, we had a problem of relevance. There were more people that knew our building used to be the county jail than knew that it was now a museum. It had been a museum at this point for 20 years.

"It was during this dual crisis that the board was spurred to act but they didn't know what to do. How could they get new people into museum? It was the same question I had heard in engineering from men wanting to get more women in. I realised it was the wrong question to ask. This kind of question leads to a lazy, judgemental answer."

At MAH, Simon chose to ask two new questions – what was the museum willing to change about the institution to draw new visitors in and what was the museum willing to do to help new visitors feel like they can belong?

"Answering these two questions took us from the brink of failure to stunning success," she said.

Using the mantra of operating "by and for the community", the museum underwent a remarkable turnaround.

In 2011, MAH had an annual budget of US$700,000 (€599,000, £528,000), with seven total staff members and annual visitation of 17,000 people. That figure now stands at US$3m (€2.6m, £2.3m) a year, with 32 staff members and 140,000 visitors a year.

"We are able to engage with our community because we are of, by and for our community," said Simon.

"Our staff, board and content are representative of the diversity of our community. Our programmes are co-created by our community so that we can be welcoming for the whole community."

One example of this theory placed into practice at MAH is its See Be Seen exhibition, which instead of curating a few select artists, acts as an open call for anyone in the community. Contributions selected are either a self-portrait or a portrait of a local person. A variety of artists – from 90-year-olds to emerging young artists – have contributed, with the result being an exhibition following the creed of "of, by and for" the people.

"This framework works both in the context of projects, and also from an institutional perspective," said Simon.

"When we figured out our secret, in May we launched OFBYFOR ALL, with a goal to spark a global movement of not only museums but also libraries, parks, theatres and cultural centres that want to include people in their communities."

Acting as a playbook for community transformation, OFBYFOR ALL launched in May and has raised more than US$900,000 (€770,000, £678,000) for the cause, which is now seeking new members. The organisation's goal is to engage 200 organisations serving 10 million community members by the end of 2020. In doing this, the organisation also wants to involve one million new people in culture in the next two years.

"We're going big with this," said Simon. "I believe the impact we're having locally in Santa Cruz County should not be limited within our county lines. I believe that this work is local, but that there are opportunities for all of us to do it locally, in our own contexts.

"All of our communities are different, but I believe that this framework can work in different environments. If you want to take it on, it can work for you. We came here to invite you to join this movement and to help build a more inclusive world.

"We have an opportunity to do this and we have an opportunity to do it together."

For more on OFBYFOR ALL and to take a confidential organisational self-assessment, click here.

Sign up for FREE ezines & magazines
A new initiative aimed at creating community inclusion in museums across the world, is seeking new members as it aims to spread its message of "OFBYFOR ALL".
VAT,HAM,AAC,PHR
Under the directorship of Nina Simon, MAH has been transformed over 7 years / MAH

More News

1 - 15 of 37,738
18 Jul 2018
Low-cost operator énergie Fitness is looking to more than double the number of franchised clubs it has in Scotland this year. There are currently six ... More
17 Jul 2018
Community-based sport and physical activity projects in Scotland are in line for a cash investment thanks to a new programme aimed at changing lives and ... More
17 Jul 2018
The Rugby Football League (RFL) has appointed Ralph Rimmer as its new CEO. Rimmer, who has been interim CEO of the national governing body since ... More
17 Jul 2018
The Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) has introduced a new points system to record Continuing Professional Development (CPD), as part of efforts to make the ... More
16 Jul 2018
The Scottish Highlands are set to become the hub for British space travel, a sector which could be worth an estimated £3.8bn (US$5bn, €4.3bn) to ... More
16 Jul 2018
The value of the UK fitness club market has been valued at £5.1bn – a figure which is expected to grow by more than 8 ... More
MoveGB
MoveGB
16 Jul 2018
Noella Gabriel, co-founder of Elemis, has been named president of the UK-based skincare company. The move was announced by Elemis CEO Séan Harrington, who said ... More
16 Jul 2018
Sports charity Sported has teamed up with TSB Bank to launch a community sports programme looking to nurture the "next generation of community leaders". The ... More
16 Jul 2018
The UK travel industry has offered a "cautious welcome" to the government’s Brexit white paper, after the document acknowledged some of the sector's key concerns ... More
13 Jul 2018
Swim England, the national governing body for swimming in England, has announced plans to open five performance centres nationwide to nurture young talent. The body ... More
13 Jul 2018
Alternative fitness operator 1 Rebel has opened the world’s first spin studio amphitheatre in Victoria, London. The 7,000sq ft (650sq m) arena at Victoria’s Nova ... More
13 Jul 2018
The total turnover of all British hospitality businesses is set to reach £100bn during 2018 – an increase of £2bn on the 2017 figure of ... More
Taylor Made Designs
Taylor Made Designs
13 Jul 2018
The current heatwave in Britain has resulted in an economic upturn for the country’s tourism sector. The Belfast Telegraph recently reported that hoteliers in Northern ... More
13 Jul 2018
A collection of nearly 50 scientists has urged the London Science Museum to end three oil company partnerships, with the collective arguing the sponsorships are ... More
13 Jul 2018
Getting university students physically active can have a dramatic effect on improving their mental wellbeing, social inclusion, and perceived academic attainment and employability. According to ... More
Precor
Precor
1 - 15 of 37,738
employer of choice
Would you like to work for a gym operator that allows you to develop and use your skills to the full whilst being well rewarded? The Gym is totally committed to allowing 'the manager to manage' and rewarding our key personnel for delivery... More
Alliance Leisure
Alliance Leisure