WHAT IS VIRTUAL FOCoS?

As we focus on staying safe and healthy and moving towards a reopened world, North Carolina Museums Council is adjusting how our Free On-Site Consultation Services (FOCoS) will proceed for the remainder of 2020 and into 2021. Our new ‘Virtual FOCoS’ will now move to a two- to three-day virtual service.

FOCoS provides advice and guidance to small or emerging museums using the resources and expertise found in established museums around the state. As a result of FOCoS, not only do museums receive valuable feedback on their programs and operations, but the museum community and Council are strengthened through the collaborative effort of professionals reaching out to share their knowledge of the field.

A two-person team of NCMC consultants is assigned to a selected qualifying site. Over a two- or three-day period, these consultants will virtually meet (video platform has yet to be determined) with museum staff and/or board members regarding the requested topic for a few hours each day.

Depending on availability of the museum and consultants a basic schedule would be:

    • Day 1: Consultants meet with museum and staff for overall introduction, tour, and discussion of concerns.
    • Day 2: Breakout meetings with the subject specific consultant.
    • Day 3: Wrap-up meeting with museum and consultants for initial feedback, last minute questions, and review of next steps of a written report for the museum.

Exact schedule and length of meetings would be determined between consultants and museum. Following the visit, the museum will be provided with a written report from the consultants of their recommendations.

Our next application cycles will be:

    • September 1 – September 30, 2020
    • November 1 – November 30, 2020
    • February 1 -February 28, 2021

When it is safe and healthy to do so, we will return to our in-person FOCoS consultation and look forward to those visits. Until then, we hope you will apply during one or all of these three application cycle.

What areas of consulting are offered?

Sites can obtain free consultations in two of the following topic areas:

    • Collections management
    • Administration of facility
    • Educational programming
    • Enlisting and recruiting volunteers
    • Marketing and public relations.

[Due to the virtual format, we are not offering consultation on Exhibit Design and Construction. We will resume this topic when in-person consultations]

Who can apply?

Any institution may apply for consideration, however, partiality in selections will be given to those facilities with fewer financial resources-generally with an operating budget under $100,000.

Do I have to be an NCMC member to apply?

Individual or institutional membership in NCMC is not a requirement for applicants. While enlisting new members is an ongoing objective of NCMC's work, the overriding mission of FOCoS is to help small institutions, regardless of whether or not they are affiliated with NCMC.

Who do I contact?

FOCoS will be administered through NCMC's vice president, working in cooperation with the chairs of Membership Development and Professional Development. If you are interested in serving as a consultant, or would like to receive a visit from FOCoS consultants, please contact NCMC’s Vice President.

How do I apply?

The next cycle for FOCoS applications closed will open September 1, 2020 and close September 31, 2020. Our next application cycle is planned for the month of November, 2020.

Please note that applications can be created by staff or volunteers at a museum or site, but must be finalized, reviewed and signed by the director or site representative of the applicant organization. The director or site representative is then the direct contact for all interactions involving the FOCoS program.

2020 Application for Virtual FOCoS (PDF)

The North Carolina Museums Council is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
PO Box 2603, Raleigh, NC 27602-2603
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