First Three Days in Newcastle (Mao Lei, ITP 2018, China)

Written by Mao Lei, Exhibition Planner, Dunhuang Academy, China (ITP Fellow 2018)

First Three Days in Newcastle: 23 to 25 July 2018
UK Partner Placement at Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums (TWAM)
ITP fellows: myself, Ivan Radman-Livaja (China) and Ali Al Kathiri (Oman)
Accompanying us to Newcastle: Amandine Merat, Project Curator for Islamic Galleries, British Museum

Newcastle is a city that you will like as soon as you see it. After spending a day there, you will just love it. Pleasant climate (although our colleagues here say it is not usually the case), beautiful Georgian architecture, quaint streets, the beautiful River Tyne, countless bars and restaurants filled with joyous young people: all of these put us in an excellent mood. Besides that, local people are extremely helpful and kind.

But we have been working as well. We had several interesting meetings with colleagues from Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums (TWAM), starting with the Director Iain Watson, Head of Programmes Bill Griffiths, Marketing Officer Sheryl  McGregor, Outreach Officer Zoe Brown, as well as TWAM Enterprises Manager Jonathan Walker. They gave us a deep and instructive insight into the everyday management of such a complex institution, composed of nine different entities. We also learned a lot about museum marketing, communication with vulnerable social groups and ways to generate income for the museum.

Great town, great museums and great colleagues: what else to say?

Last but not least, we wish to thank Jackie Bland, Training and Governance Officer and ITP UK Partner Representative at TWAM, for her warm welcome and for taking care of us!