Museums Association: our latest measures in response to Covid-19

01.07.2020
We are making changes to our membership offer and the work we do
We have responded to the Covid-19 crisis by recalibrating our offers to members and the sector, and making a number of changes to our work.

These include:

Membership

  • We are currently offering anyone who works in an institutional member organisation a 50% discount to join the MA at the Essential Member level – just £24.50 for the year – using the discount code Essential50. Offer ends 17.07.2020
  • We are also supporting Freelancers in the sector by offering 50% discount to join the MA at the Essential Member level – just £24.50 for the year - using the discount code Freelance50. Offer ends 17.07.2020
  • We have opened up all our Museums Journal content online for anyone working in institutional member organisations.

Workforce Development

Joining as individual member gives you exclusive access to our workforce development offers. Alongside our core programmes – the AMA and FMA – we have also launched several new offers that are free to members:

  • Our hugely popular Museum Essentials online learning programme to build your confidence and competence in key areas of museum practice. The first two courses are Working Ethically and Working with Collections, with a new course of Working with Partners due to launched soon.
  • Essential Mentoring programme – mentoring for members at any stage of their career
  • Leadership Mentoring programme – one-to-one sessions for senior museum professionals
  • Museum Furlough Facebook group – a network for staff furloughed during the pandemic
  • Managing in Crisis Facebook group – a network to help managers during the pandemic.

Advocacy

We have been working with partners and sector bodies to continue to make a strong case for museums, including:

  • Signing a letter by Julie's Bicycle calling for a just and green recovery following Covid-19
  • Our statement calling for action to tackle racial injustice following the Black Lives Matter protests
  • Our statement on reopening the museum sector
  • Our joint campaign to celebrate the work of Welsh museums
  • Working with the BBC to organise and promote #MuseumfromHome
  • Signing a joint statement of intent to take responsibility for ending racism in the heritage sector.

Content and events

We have significantly improved and increased our digital output and are rolling out further changes.

  • We continue to publish Museums Journal as digital content, packed with news, analysis and practical advice for you
  • The print edition will return in September 2020, but in response to member feedback about frequency, content and environmental impact, we are moving to a bi-monthly publication going forward. This new format will include more practice and analysis each issue to inspire you
  • We are launching a new website in August 2020, with much better functionality and more accessible design
  • Following this, we will launch a new Members' App – designed to give you easy access to core membership benefits
  • We have postponed all physical events, and now run bi-weekly Coronavirus Conversations webinars that are free to all members
  • Conference 2020 will now be held as a digital event, also free to all members
  • Members meetings also continue online keeping you in contact with developments in your area.

Funding

We have adapted two of our major funds to help members during the Covid-19 crisis:

  • Our Collections Fund reacted quickly to offer a significant new stream of funding to the sector; and with record numbers of applications, this is something we hope to roll out further in the near future
  • Our Benevolent Fund is here to support members in financial need and is now offering small assistance grants, as well as supporting members from protected characteristics

Protecting our people

The health and wellbeing of our staff, members, partners and contractors is paramount.

  • We have closed our offices, and will not reopen them until September 2020 at the earliest. This means that we are unable to pick up or send out any post. But otherwise we are all set up to work remotely and are contactable by phone or email.
  • We continue to process all memberships purchased via our website and provide digital confirmation of membership for those who need it, but we have not sent out membership cards.
  • As museums begin to reopen we will ensure members without cards receive them and we plan to move to a digital membership card in the near future.