Well, the launch took place this morning and there was a fantastic turn out. The response was encouraging (not just because we served bacon sandwiches and coffee!), and our recession messages certainly seemed to resonate. Media interest was great, with live radio broadcasting as well as filming for the news this evening. In my speech, I posed the question - 'can we afford culture during a recession?' Certainly, it's difficult in economic terms to measure the impact culture has on a nation. Yes, we can list some key facts and figures, but the truth is, culture has a tremendous role to play in underpinning everything a small nation such as Wales does. In conclusion, therefore, I argued that we can't afford not to have culture as it's a vital part of our identity.
The Minister for Heritage, Alun Ffred Jones, also said a few words and congratulated us on an interesting paper that gives a flavour of the excitement we bring through our work across Wales. He stated that our economic message was timely, and agreed that we cannot measure the value of culture in solely economic terms. We were lucky to have his presence and support, and the interviews he gave certainly reflected his respect for our work.
Over the coming weeks, we will be developing many of the themes raised in the paper and pursuing opportunities to develop our volunteering and apprenticeship schemes. We need to keep the momentum going, and remind everyone in Wales how integral culture is to the nation. And how important it is to continue to fund it! I'll update you on our progress on this blog.
Helping Wales during the recession
This morning, along with the Minister for Heritage Alun Ffred Jones, I will be launching Amgueddfa Cymru’s latest discussion paper – A positive contribution to life in Wales during the recession. The paper is a culmination of over a year’s research, and sets out how Amgueddfa Cymru has a key role to play in supporting the Welsh economy and reaching to the core of a society that values the preservation of its unique identity.
The message we want to make clear to the people of Wales is that we’re far more than just a collection of buildings and objects. Our work takes place in every corner of Wales, through our outreach collection, research and partnership work. We also offer the people of Wales an opportunity to get involved in our work. There are a number of volunteering opportunities available throughout the organisation, from work experience and work placements to volunteering and apprenticeships creating valuable openings when other doors are closing.
"We also want to remind people that entry is free to all of the national museums"
We also want to remind people that entry is free to all of the national museums. At a time when entry charges could discriminate against those who have been most badly affected by reduced income, we offer affordable and uplifiting things to do and places to go, that people can do on their own or with their families and friends.
To read the discussion paper for yourself, click here. If you have any feedback, comments, queries or ideas then we’d love to hear from you so feel free to leave a comment on this blog. Pop back here later to hear how the launch went, and for a summary of initial reactions to the paper.