AMOT are delighted to be managing a programme of activity funded by Arts Council England (ACE). Running between October 2016 and March 2018, we secured funding from ACE’s Museums Resilience Fund (MRF) and Subject Specialist Network (SSN) fund to deliver Army Museums into the Future. Supporting the sector through a range of in-depth programme activity areas including governance change, economies of scale, regional network development, and advice and guidance, the programme aims to create a new era of resilient museums.
Below we outline the key areas being delivered through the project, which completes at the end of March 2018. You can find out more about the activity on the contents of this website (also generously funded through the ACE SSN programme) or by contacting Project Managers Justine Reilly firstname.lastname@example.org or Jo Boardman email@example.com.
BUILDING LOCALISED & THEMATIC NETWORKS
We will support increased activity to build sustainable networks either in geographical locations or on specific themes. As part of this work, we will fund six projects that allow army museums to work with external organisations’ specific projects. Proposal development will begin in July 2017, with activity delivered between August 2017 and February 2018. We will hold a network festival in October, delivering mini-workshops in support of the sector and conduct research on future needs. February 2018 will see a celebration event focusing on the achievements and lessons learned from these activities, and will share case studies demonstrating how regional and thematic work can support the army museums sector, which will be made available for free on this website.
SUPPORTING BEST PRACTICE IN GOVERNANCE
This work will support AMOT members to develop governance structures and board development, roles & responsibilities. AMOT will work closely with ten army museums to address these areas and strengthen their organisation’s strategic and operational priorities. Working with collaborative partners will bring in a wide range of skills, offering participants a wealth of support, advice and guidance.
ECONOMIES OF SCALE RESEARCH
This work will investigate how AMOT can support its members secure value for money in a range of areas, as well as considering the benefits of economies of scale programmes and opportunities.
BETTER UNDERSTANDING COLLECTIONS
The purpose of this strand of work is to get a clearer picture of what army heritage collections are in existence, where they are held, what they contain, how they can be accessed, and any issues of risk connected to them. It will also begin to identify key objects and archives in existence in order to make recommendations for ensuring protection of collections in the future.
DEVELOPING ARMY ARCHIVES
Two projects are underway to support Army museums in development, management and maintenance of their archives; we will provide resources, case studies, and top-tips to all museums about archive care and conservation.
Working collaboratively with other cultural and third sector organisations, we are developing a volunteering project to consider how to encourage and engage interns and volunteers within the sector. Participants will be offered opportunities for skills development, training support, and signposting to personal and professional development and career progression.
PROVIDING BEST PRACTICE ADVICE AND GUIDANCE
June 2017 saw the launch of a brand new sector-facing website, providing the army museum sector for the first time with a truly one-stop-shop for subject specific advice and guidance. Over the course of the year we will upload more content to the website around a number of themes supporting army museum development and delivery. These themes include (but are by no means limited to) fundraising, working with archives, governance, and making collections relevant.
In addition, we will deliver a packed programme of events, supported by bursary opportunities to enable those working in the sector to attend. The events will include the festival and celebration events outlined above, subject specialist training aimed at making collections more accessible, understanding audiences, and working with coins and medals. We will also deliver Resilience not Reliance events that enable the sector to network with businesses and receive free advice from industry-led hot desks.
ESTABLISHING BETTER METHODS OF COMMUNICATION
We are maximising our opportunity to develop our communications offer across a range of media, and are able to appoint a part time Communications Officer to support us. This will enable us to build the brand, increase reactive and proactive discussions with the sector across social media, and develop a fit-for-purpose website providing relevant and updated advice and guidance at all times.