Nervous time for museum staff

McMillan&Co Lawyers principal Sally McMillan is matching public donations to help get a fashion...
McMillan&Co Lawyers principal Sally McMillan is matching public donations to help get a fashion catalogue printed, which Otago Museum head of exhibitions and creative services Craig Scott spent seven months working on. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
Otago Museum staff are biting their nails as they try to raise thousands of dollars in a week so they can push print on a fashion catalogue that took up to 400 hours of work.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic hit and international tourists stopped entering the museum’s doors, costs have had to be cut.

It means they have had to reduce the "nice to haves", including the 220-page catalogue that was meant to support the upcoming Fashion Forward: Disruption through Design exhibition.

It features photography of all the garments from the iD Emerging Designer Awards with words from the designers, curators and textile and fashion experts.

In a final scramble to ensure nearly seven months of work is not wasted, the museum started fundraising through a Boosted Campaign.

As of yesterday, the museum had raised about $9500 of its nearly $22,000 goal.

Half of that is from McMillan&Co Lawyers, who will match any public donations, up to its $10,000 limit.

Marketing manager Kate Oktay said the museum was in a "very" different position after Covid-19 hit.

More than half of its operational costs were met through ticketed exhibitions, the museum shop, cafe and venues.

Due to the absence of international tourists, the museum had had to reduce the "nice to haves", she said.

"The catalogue is one of those things."

Head of exhibitions and creative services Craig Scott said it was "nail biting" not knowing if it would be able to be printed next Friday.

"We really wanted to acknowledge the incredible amount of work that happened before lockdown and try and make this a reality."

The catalogue is not the only hurdle the exhibition — which features local and international iD Emerging Designer finalists, Dunedin designers such as NOM*d and Carlson, and pieces from the museum’s own textile collection — has faced.

It was delayed for almost a year due to Covid-19 restrictions and the garments, which arrived from around the world, have been on site since late 2019.

Fashion Forward: Disruption through Design will open at the museum on March 27.

molly.houseman@odt.co.nz

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