Christmas Message from Caroline Worthington, LMG Chair

Caroline Worthington is the Chair of the London Museums Group and CEO of Bexley Heritage Trust. Here she reflects on the LMG in 2016, and our plans for 2017….

The London Museums Group (LMG) committee has spent time thinking about how we can best engage with our members and support them in the year ahead.

In October, nine of us met for an away day to refocus on what the London Museums Group can and should be doing.

A killer question on the flip chart was: “Who would miss the group, if it disappeared tomorrow?” After some lively discussion, we drafted this redefinition of our mission:

The LMG is a forum for individuals who work in and with museums across London.

The LMG helps members:

– learn and share new ideas

– build contacts and make connections

  • be part of a bigger community
  • debate critical questions that face us in our work at a regional and local level

We plan to reflect this new focus in our events programme with an emphasis on helping you as members future-proof yourselves. Our ideas for events in 2017 include coaching skills, advocacy, confidence building and managing yourself through change.

Our events will come in all shapes and sizes, at different times of the day, free or with a modest charge. But we want to make sure that we offer you new perspectives, as well as a chance to socialise with each other.

Of course, we are a membership organisation and so we want to know what you think and feel would be useful. So in early 2017 we’ll be sending out a short survey to ask you just that. As a taster, our next event in March will be called “Influencing Ideas”. It will focus on how to communicate with and convince key stakeholders.

You don’t have to be Mystic Meg to predict that 2017 will be as financially challenging as 2016. In the summer DCMS is due to publish its Museums Review. We hope that the review team will celebrate the skills and expertise of museum professionals and suggest ways to alleviate low pay and the consequences of this in high-cost areas such as London and the South East. We would also like them to consider how to improve the procurement of freelance workers of consultants.

The LMG will be ten years old in 2017. For the past five years LMG has been chaired brilliantly by Judy Lindsay. Judy was the driving force in establishing LMG as a charity in 2011. More recently, she devised Share Academy – a partnership project between LMG, University of the Arts London and University College London. Designed to explore the potential for mutually beneficial collaboration between higher education and museums, the Share Academy team brokered enabled cross-sector collaborations in the London region. For example the Garden Museum joined forces with the London College of Fashion for a project during London Fashion Week.

A priority when I succeeded Judy as the chair of LMG June was to redefine the group’s role within the sector and how best to complement and not duplicate the great work done by London’s Museum Development team. So when you see our members’ survey in your no doubt overfull inbox, the committee hope that you take a few minutes to answer what I can promise will only be half a dozen questions.

Happy Christmas and New Year, and see you in 2017!

Caroline Worthington

Chair, December 2016

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