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  • A matter of time (Weekly blog, 23 July 2017)

    Posted on July 23, 2017
    A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General

    Opening the Czech National Trust Exhibition

    Time for a change

    It’s been six weeks since my last confession, sorry blog, as I have been rather snowed under caring for my aging mother.  Time has become a very precious commodity.  And blogging had gone the way of exercise and housework: relegated to extraneous activity.   Things are beginning to develop into a routine now however and I find myself ready to write again.

    There has been a lot of water under the bridge since my last blog over a month ago.   We’ve had two EC/Board meetings, mostly to discuss the new INTO governance documents which were approved on Thursday.  Next week, I’ll write to the whole INTO Membership with details of the new proposals.   I’m very pleased with how it all looks and deeply grateful to the working group for their time, energy and effort.  (You can read our latest Secretariat Report here.)

    INTO Handbook for Heritage Trusts

    I’ve been working closely with June Taboroff on the INTO Handbook for Heritage Trusts.   June has completed the first draft has been and consequently we’re now into the design stage.   The process for collecting and researching content has been a collaborative one with INTO members contributing case studies and references, and selecting topics to be covered.   It is envisaged that the Handbook will be a significant contribution to strengthening the whole INTO community – old and new, big and small – as we strive to support the global heritage movement.

    3rd Birthday of the Czech National Trust

    On 22 June, I was the guest of honour at the 3rd anniversary of the Czech National Trust, celebrated with a lecture by architectural historian, Zdeněk Lukeš and an exhibition of Czech Cubist architecture.   St John’s in Notting Hill, until hours beforehand a refuge for victims of the Grenfell Tower fire, provided the perfect venue.  We marvelled at the progress made by the Czech National Trust.  I love the new Prague projects: the restoration of street icons like a much loved Skoda sign by Czech sculptor Otto Gutfreund and the 1930s neon sculptures by Zdeněk Pešánek. Then Professor Lukeš transported us all back in time to early 20th Century Prague with its amazing Cubist buildings and monuments.

    Balinese Textile Show

    Balinese Textile Show

    Last Friday, I had the pleasure of attending the Glory of Balinese Art and Culture at the Art Workers’ Guild in London.    The evening was a taster for the International Conference of National Trusts taking place in Indonesia in September.   A ‘taster’ in every sense of the word – delicious food and wonderful music alongside the dance and textiles Bali is so famous for.   And what a treat it was.  We enjoyed the work of four designers, all very different but all using the most fabulous handwoven fabrics.  Fashion interspersed with mesmerising Balinese dances.    We were delighted to work with BPPI, the Indonesian Heritage Trust and the Gianyar Regency on this event.  It certainly wet everyone’s appetite for the ICNT in two months’ time!

    Small Grants Programme

    I’ve also been thinking about the INTO Small Grants Programme.   This year, we have increased the size of grant and are hoping to have a good number of applications.  Reminder: the deadline is 31 July!   We awarded our first grant in 2013 and it feels about time to review the programme.   We have therefore been planning a short member survey prior to an in-person discussion in Bali.

    Thanks for reading!


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