The annual AGM is one of those times when one is grateful that anyone has turned up, it’s not the easiest event to attract an audience to attend. Bearing this in mind, we do work hard to make it interesting and informative, we look back at the last year’s activities, elect committee members and a look forward to the coming year.
This year we had a great crowd at the AGM, thank you so much to those who came along.
We started the evening listening to Councillor Dale Heenan, cabinet member for the town centre, explaining future plans for Swindon Museum and Art Gallery. When the bid to build a new museum and art gallery on the car park beside the Wyvern Theatre failed, £400000 was set aside to upgrade the current building and improve accessibility. That money hasn’t been spent yet because of the difficulty in deciding how it should be spent. Apparently a lift so that the gallery could be accessed by people with mobility issues would cost £300000, three quarters of the budget. In an attempt to enable more people to see the collection, some paintings have been shown in STEAM museum and there are currently 18 located through the sliding glass doors at the Civic Offices. Clicking on the links reveals Sophie Cummings in these locations hanging paintings.Two part time posts have also been created to work in the community and with schools. We were keen to have an update on the announcement in March that there would be a Cultural Quarter created on the site of the Wyvern Theatre complex, going as far as the library and back to the law courts, possibly funded by the sale of the Civic Offices. The Cultural Quarter is in the top 3 projects being undertaken by the council, the other two are the SnowDome and Kimmerfields.
We were very pleased that Dale came along to reassure us that plans are still in place to build a museum and art gallery fit for the collections. I think it was important as well that Friends were able to ask him questions.
Moving on from Dale, Curator Sophie Cummings gave an excellent account of her year, and reminded us how the Friends had helped with conservation and reframing of paintings and outlined a wish list of things needed in the coming year including new ceramics cabinets. The present ones have been in use since the gallery was built in the sixties, they are hard to access, have poor lighting and security and aren’t up to the job of displaying our increasingly fine collection of ceramics.
I’ll make a separate list of the rest of the fundraising we’re hoping to be able to do.
After Sophie’s talk, we continued with voting in the committee, looking at the accounts and then using Mike Bradley’s wonderful Power Point presentation went through the Friends’ activities like talks, trips and Private Views.
I will send a copy of the presentation via email to the Friends, and put the AGM papers on the pages of the blog.
I took a couple of photos of the audience just to give an idea of the numbers.
Once again thank you to all who came along.