Manager has vision for museum

A new direction is envisioned for Central Stories Museum and Art Gallery.

Newly appointed general manager Maurice Watson (59), of Bannockburn, said his proposed vision for the museum and art gallery was ''lively'' and would benefit the community. Ideas included boosting science displays in the museum, increasing revenue from the shop with high-quality crafts, improving museum signage outside, and incorporating modern exhibition techniques, such as touch screens and social media.

Mr Watson wanted to see the museum become a base for community groups, science and film festivals, lecture series, and more.

''I will be engaging and consulting a regional network of heritage, arts and museum organisations across the region and seeing how Central Stories can be relevant to their communities and their needs,'' he said. The ideas were about getting people to come to the museum regularly, and finding ways of boosting established aspects of the museum, such as science.

The museum was significantly under-resourced, but by focusing on attracting more visitors, sponsorship, and boosting sales, profits made could be put back into the museum.

Mr Watson began his role earlier this month and replaces former general manager Rachael Welfare. He has most recently worked as an independent art dealer, and worked at Milford Galleries Queenstown and Nelson Provincial Museum. He was officially introduced to board members and the public at the museum's annual board meeting on Wednesday night.


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