Joint statement from AND and Museum of London

8 March 2013

How bridge and regional museum development intersect in our work to support the museums sector to work with children & young people, schools and families

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Joint Statement:

In order to make clear how we will work together, as well as to outline the distinctions between our remits, A New Direction and the Museum of London have released the following joint statement:

Support to museums in London on working with Children and Young People

The roles of the Museum Development Officer (MDO) team at the Museum of London and A New Direction, the Arts Council funded 'Bridge' organisation.

Discussions have taken place between the ACE-funded Museum Development Service managed by the Museum of London and, A New Direction, the main ACE-funded 'Bridge' organisation for London that connects children, young people and education with arts and culture. The two organisations have agreed the following ways of working together and the following roles in terms of providing advice and support to museums on working with children and young people.

In direct response to museum sector feedback, the roles of the Museum Development Officer (MDO) team based at the Museum of London have been re-focused to provide more subject-specialist advice. The MDO team's new designated specialist on audiences of all types (including children and young people) is Isabel Benavides.

Isabel possesses extensive experience as a creative practitioner, teacher-facilitator and heritage sector programmer; and in recent years has delivered the Museum of London's regional learning support programmes. She will:

  • Act as the first point of contact for museums on all practical and operational aspects of running learning and engagement programmes for schools, children and young people.
  • Where museums require it, provide advice on how to tap into A New Direction and its specific areas of expertise.

Contact: Isabel Benavides, MDO Audiences
email Isabel
t 020 7001 9876
m 07540 122 540

A New Direction is the lead London partner in a national network of bridge organisations, funded by Arts Council England via the lottery to connect children and young people, schools and communities with art and culture.

A New Direction's regional role includes:

  • acting as a first point of contact for schools and other institutions wanting to develop their cultural activities.
  • campaigning for the value of arts and culture to the lives of young Londoners, including working intensively with the Mayor's Office to support the development of a London Curriculum.
  • working with the cultural sector to ensure the highest quality of work with children and young people, including bespoke CPD opportunities for museum staff and leaders to learn alongside colleagues from the arts, libraries and other areas.
  • sharing information and commissioning research across the culture sector; eg production of evaluation tools, geographical data about local patterns in cultural engagement by schools across London, and a wide range of other resources.
  • Targeted stimulating partnership investment, especially in good practice and collaborative activity, for example through our forthcoming programme of Area-Based Funding Partnerships with London Local Authorities.
  • encouraging the roll-out of Arts Award and Artsmark across London - including helping museums to use Arts Award in their education programmes, and encouraging them to become Arts Award Supporters, to assist school or youth-sector partners in their own use of the qualification.

John McMahon has recently joined A New Direction full time as Museums, Libraries and Heritage Advisor to take forward their partnerships with the sector. Many of you may know John through is previous roles at the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) and the Tate.

Contact: John McMahon, Museums, Libraries & Heritage Advisor
email John
t 020 8536 5380
m 07734 967 798
Tw: @a_new_direction