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Rescue responds to Southport Group
#1
http://www.rescue-archaeology.org.uk/201...ft-report/

Worth a read.
A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.
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#2
Excellent read. I especially enjoyed and agreed with this.

The recommendations for visions 3.1.9 and 3.1.10 regarding partnership and public participation are very narrowly focussed towards the profession, giving the impression of a condescending “top down” approach. One of the weaknesses of the heritage profession in this area has been an inability
to both adequately listen to, and communicate with, the wider public and our partnership organisations. The recommendations within this section refer heavily to organisations such as the IfA, ALGAO, IHBC and English Heritage – bodies which by and large have a poor visibility with the
wider public (beyond obviously EH’s role as a manager of historic sites open to the public for tourism). An enforcement of complex professionalism on the wider public by these bodies is not likely to be successful – particularly when it is focussed on Government policy (recommendation 3), standards documents (recommendation 4), or formal training programmes (recommendation 5).

This sort of approach would be better suited to members of the profession and whilst it is recognised that these specific recommendations largely deal with the profession, such an approach can surely only alienate the wider public. At the very least within these recommendations, RESCUE would have hoped to see a commitment to the creation of a proper focus or discussion group, comprising a number of members of alternative professions that have had considerably more success in attracting and involving the wider public. The green lobby has for example, succeeded in galvanising public support and participation in a way that the heritage lobby cannot begin to match, as have the performing arts. Neither of these sectors appear to see the need to provide training for the public on Government policy documents. The heritage profession should be looking for parallels with these areas, and look to take serious note of the practices, principles and projects where they have succeeded – and where we have demonstrably failed.



:face-huh:
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#3
That section of the response caught my eye as well. It reflects the general mood of many. I suppose it's wait and see as to whether or not it's taken on board.
A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.
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#4
BAJR Wrote:Neither of these sectors appear to see the need to provide training for the public on Government policy documents. The heritage profession should be looking for parallels with these areas, and look to take serious note of the practices, principles and projects where they have succeeded – and where we have demonstrably failed.

Much as I admire RESCUE and all who sail in her, I think they have made an error in assuming that the Arts lobby is noit facing similar challenges to archaeology in engaging with the public and being seen to do so. To quote from the Arts Councils latest report and anticipating an update later this year:

'Goal 2: More people experience and are inspired by the arts The arts are at the centre of people’s lives – more people are involved in arts in their communities and are enriched and inspired by arts experiences.

Goal 3: The arts are sustainable, resilient and innovative Collaborative and networked, the arts are known for resilience, innovation and their contribution to the nation’s reputation and prosperity.

Goal 4: The arts leadership and workforce are diverse and highly skilled The diversity of the arts workforce reflects the diversity of society and artistic practice in England. Outstanding arts leaders play a wider role in their communities and nationally.

Goal 5: Every child and young person has the opportunity to experience the richness of the arts Children and young people have the best current and future artistic lives they can have. They are able to develop their artistic capabilities and engage with, and shape, the arts.

Within each goal, we set out why it is an important area of work, what we will do and what success looks like. We also indicate what we will focus on in the first four years. The next Arts Council Plan, to be published in autumn 2011, will describe our approach to these priorities in more detail'.
With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent...
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