Announcement: BAFM National Conference & AGM 2018

The BAfM AGM/Conference will be held on Saturday, October 13, 2018, at the Laing Art Gallery, New Bridge Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne & Wear, NE1 8AG. The theme will be “The Value of Friends’ Organisations in a Changing Social and Economic Climate”. We shall focus on the invaluable contribution of Friends and volunteers to museums, art galleries, heritage sites and other organisations in what are difficult times for the arts. The purpose will be not only to raise important issues of funding and the role of Friends and volunteers, but also to share good practice. The keynote speakers in the morning will be Lizzie Glithero-West, Chief Executive of the Heritage Alliance, Richard Evans, Chair of the Association of Independent Museums and Director of Beamish Museum, Julie Milne, Chief Curator, Tyne & Wear Archives and Museums and Pat Devenport, Chairman of the Friends of the Laing Art Gallery.  Over lunchtime, delegates and partners will have the opportunity to tour the Laing itself and to visit the existing exhibitions.  The AGM in the afternoon will be followed by case study sessions on the conference theme by representatives of local arts and heritage Friends’ organisations: Ian Bean, Director of Friends of Beamish Open Air Museum, and Editor of the Newsletter, Sandra Moorhouse, Chairman of the Friends of Bowes Museum, and Dr Hugh Turner, Chair of the Friends of HMS Trincomalee. In addition, Jasmine Farram, BAfM Youth Ambassador, will talk about young people working in Museums and joining Friends’ Groups. This will be followed by a panel discussion. In the evening, a reception and conference dinner will be held in the Chandelier Suite of Newcastle’s elegant Georgian Assembly Rooms. This will be a unique opportunity for delegates and their partners to meet with Friends of the Laing and representatives of other local Friends’ organisations. At the reception, we shall be entertained by the Bearpark and Esh Colliery Band, and our after-dinner speaker will be former Lord Mayor of Newcastle, Cllr Jackie Slesenger. On the Sunday morning, there will be guided tours of the Great North Museum, the Discovery Museum and the Tyneside Cinema, as well as a Public Art Walking Tour of Newcastle.  Further details of the programme will be published in the Spring 2018 issue of the BAfM Journal and E-Newsletter, along with a booking form.  The conference programme and booking form (in .pdf or Word), as well as the 2018 invitation flyer and the booking form for the conference dinner and Sunday tours can all be downloaded below. Group reservations have been made at discounted prices at conveniently located hotels in the city (see the programme/booking form) and it is hoped that as many delegates and partners will take advantage of these and stay over and enjoy the exciting programme that is on offer. Meanwhile if there are questions or enquiries, please contact either the organisers, Drs William & Andrena Telford, aeandwr.telford@btinternet.com + 01661 825437, or Kate Kuhn, BAFM Conference Co-ordinator, kkkuhn@hotmail.co.uk + 07980 578882.