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MGH Futures 2022 Autumn Event

Autumn 2022 Event – ‘Facing the Future’

Preparation

Planning for MGH Futures Autumn 2022 began in October, and the starting point was to simply consider what sort of event we, as people at the very beginning of our journey in the MGH sector, would be excited about. This was particularly relevant considering that our primary audience would be our fellow Museum, Gallery and Heritage Studies classmates, and we knew that our concerns would resonate with them too. We titled the event “Facing the Future”, due to wanting to allow our attendees to really understand the key issues that the sector is facing.

Most of our initial ideas revolved around entering the MGH sector, but with the knowledge that the MGH Futures Winter 2023 team are organising an event which will focus on just this, we instead looked at the issues affecting the sector that would be most relevant to emerging practitioners. This meant it was aimed at our peers who were also on our course, but we were lucky to have a high attendance from people from across the university, and even beyond.

Theme

Our initial idea stemmed from an article in The Guardian, describing how the cost of living crisis was really hitting home for many arts and cultural venues across the U.K. In a sector that we are looking to get into, this naturally would have a big impact on us, with reduced funding and less opportunities as it became less of a priority. 

Although climate change is a massive global issue that affects everyone and everything, and something which is far too broad to cover in one panel discussion, there are some very particular challenges that it poses to the MGH sector. Working towards being a “green” sector was also very important to multiple panel members. The challenge of renovating older buildings to protect them for the future is expensive. Crucially, climate change and sustainability are also things that, as important as they are today, will only become more and more pressing over the coming years, just as we as a cohort are looking to enter the MGH sector.

Additionally, we thought of sustainability as not only about environmental sustainability, but also economic sustainability. Dealing with underfunding is ever important, as venues try to deliver their best possible work on limited funds. As previously mentioned, this was also a particularly relevant and timely topic, given the cost of living crisis being at the forefront of everyone’s minds this winter. Our panel discussed how arts and cultural venues have often been considered “warm spaces”, and this will likely continue as the cost of living crisis grows.

Speakers

When deciding on who we wanted to invite to our event as guest speakers, there were a few criteria which we considered really important to us. Firstly, we were really keen to make sure that our speakers represented all three elements of Museums, Galleries and Heritage Studies. Furthermore, whilst it was important to us that we secured speakers with extensive experience dealing with issues relevant to our theme, we also wanted to make sure that we enlisted speakers who were young and newer to the sector.

Credit @mxrionettes Twitter

We were lucky enough to have a wonderful panel, consisting of Hannah Mather (Collections & Engagement Coordinator, Groundwork South and North Tyneside and Museums Association North Members Representative), Professor Iain Watson OBE (former Director of Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums, and current Visiting Professor of Newcastle University), and Adam Cooper (former Executive Director of Invisible Dust, Director of Threads in the Ground, and Creative Associate at New Writing North). Due to some speakers being unavailable last minute, if we were to create an event again, we would work on getting an even more diverse panel to allow for different voices and perspectives to be heard.

Final words…

Overall, we believe our event was a success. The stimulating discussion really brought home that there are so many issues that the sector is currently facing, but also reminded us that there are incredible people with fantastic ideas who are actively working on finding ways to lessen the impact of the issues. We learnt that us as young practitioners are the future of the sector, and we need to bring our different backgrounds to the table in order to benefit the sector.

Thanks again to the entire MGH Futures Autumn 2022 team for all their efforts in making ‘Facing the Future’ such a success, and as well to Dr Gayle Meikle for guiding us throughout the whole process.

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Workbook Launch: Practising Reflection

Earlier this year, a group of students and academic staff from Museum Gallery and Heritage studies ( Daria Bakhshalieva, Baoyi Cheng, Lindsey Calvert, Imogen Cloet, Areti Galani, Foteini Koilia, Hannah Marsden, Gayle Meikle, Olivia Yin, and Katelyn York) co-designed a workbook for students and early career practitioners to practice tools in reflection. We will launch the book alongside the final MGH Futures event on Thursday, 14 July.

The reflective process is used in many fields. However, in the Museum, Gallery and Heritage sector, it is becoming increasingly important to consider how your actions impact and frame your work, your audiences, and an organisation’s activity. The workbook introduces different ways to reflect to encourage and support students in their reflective learning and practice. The workbook contains tools and prompts the user can use to aid reflection in different situations.

The workbook was designed in three intensive co-design workshops by MGH students and staff at Newcastle University with contributions from sector specialists as part of the project:
Co-designed Reflective Practices in Museum, Gallery and Heritage Studies (2021-22) with the support of the Newcastle University Education Development Fund.

You can download a copy by clicking the link:

https://blogs.ncl.ac.uk/mghfutures/practising-reflection/

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2022-Spring Event-Make It Happen

2022 Spring Event – ‘Make It Happen’ Week

Hi everyone. It has been a great week because we have the
‘Make It Happen’ Week.

Make it happen logo
We are all hardworking bees looking for a bright future.
The team is here to help you make it happen
.

Preparation Stage (Mar-May 2022)

The preparation for this one-week programme started in late March. The team collected the qualitative data from fellow MA classmates through Google Form. We want to thank your contribution, because these data have formed the basis of our interviews.

We grouped the questions into 3 categories:

  1. Information on the MGH job market
  2. Preparing for application
  3. Further study

Having considered this year’s MA class is an international cohort, we included a fourth category addressing the worries of International students. We decided to conduct one interview in Chinese and provide English subtitles. This approach helps to show the cultural and market differences from the perspective of an international job seeker in the UK and enables students from different countries to be on the same page.

We hope you find the materials helpful, no matter you are international students looking for jobs in the UK or British students looking for jobs in other countries.

We started to invite guests from the MGH team, alumni and Careers Service to have Zoom recordings with us or join us at the in-person event. Meanwhile, we started to organise catering and printing services for the big day.

‘Make It Happen’ Week (9-13 May 2022)

This week, the spring event team has published a series of online content on the 2021-22 MGH community discussion board at Canvas and had an informative alumni sharing event on 11 May 2022.

Set up of the alumni sharing event
We hope you enjoyed the sharing and food.

The online content will stay in the 2021-22 MGH community discussion board at Canvas after the week. So you may revisit them during summer when you’re frustrated in applying for jobs. We hope the tips and experiences from the speakers can alleviate your anxiety a bit.

Remember that you are not alone.

‘It is okay to ask for advice.’

The MGH team and Careers Service always welcome you.

Here is a quick recap on the general tips:

On the Canvas discussion board, you can find the in-depth tips given by our guests in short video format. The edited content and clear titles shall save you time in looking for tips while in stress, for example:

  • When and where to look for MGH jobs
  • What jobs are available
  • Job interviews: Types and tips
  • Working in a different culture
  • Why do a PhD
  • How do I start looking for a PhD programme
  • How do I look for funding for a PhD
  • Making use of NU Careers Service & Linkedin

Final words…

This was our journey to make the ‘Make It Happen’ Week happen.

The project wouldn’t be successful without the participation of fellow classmates. Thank you all!

The team has learned a lot from this project, from analysing data, thinking of ways including different voices, making relationships with internal and external parties, producing attractive visual and textual materials, and promoting the programme.

Many thanks to my teammates. We made it!

Once again, we would like to say many thanks to our speakers
(in alphabetical order):

  • Dr Gonul Bozoglu
  • Ms Amber Brown
  • Dr Briony Carlin
  • Dr Areti Galani
  • Ms Han-Lin Hsieh
  • Dr Dawei Lu
  • Dr Gayle Meikle
  • Mr David Silk

Gook luck, everyone!

Look forward to the MGH Futures Summer Event in July.

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Announcing MGH Futures