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EXARC Vision 2013-2017

EXARC’s goal is “the investigation, contextualisation, presentation and interpretation of archaeological and experimental archaeological heritage.”

The EXARC community is vibrant, dynamic and growing. The past five years have seen it develop in many ways – our membership has increased by 300%, we have generated four new European projects for our members, and we have improved our methods for reaching our members, both digitally and in print.

Over the next five years we want to consolidate these gains, and to continue to develop the services we offer to our members. This document presents our commitment to these ends.

Members

The more our membership grows the more benefits we will all enjoy. A larger membership makes EXARC a stronger voice in the heritage sector and provides more opportunities for each of us to benefit from the experience of others. But growth brings its own challenges and in the coming years we will have to monitor the balance of attention that we give to the varied interests of our membership, while still providing an organisation which is valued by all. Five years ago (in 2008) EXARC was an organization of AOAMs, at this point we have almost as many Individuals as organizations. In five years we expect to have four times more Individual members then Institutional.

Over the next five years we will:

Attempt to sustain our current rate of growth; at this rate we anticipate a five-fold increase in our membership by 2017.
Review our membership fees so as to provide a more equitable pricing structure for all, including light Membership.
Reassess the services and resources we offer to our membership categories (individual and institutional).
Develop a plan for Quality Development Process of AOAMs.
Explore the potential of developing new internal networks for our Members, on subjects such as Archaeological Open-Air Museums, Experimental Archaeology, Ancient Technology and Interpretation.

Communication

EXARC maintains a suite of websites, issues newsletters and publishes both hard copy and online journals. The websites receive over 55,000 unique visits a year, the journal is published three times a year, and the newsletter is sent out every month. Through these outlets we aim to keep our members up to date with developments in our subject. But valuable as these resources are we recognise the need for face-to-face contact between our members, and we believe that this is an area in which EXARC can do more.

Over the next five years we will:

Increase the number of opportunities for EXARC members to meet in person.
Evaluate the impact of the changes we made in 2011 to our hard copy and digital resources (early 2013).
Increase the range of resources on our website and print material in line with the results of the evaluation (among others from 2014 two Digests, four online Issues).
Increase EXARCs visibility in national magazines of interest.

External Networks

EXARC has an important advocacy role, providing our members with a voice at international forums. In recent years we have developed this role through our commitment to EU partnership projects (both large EU Culture projects and smaller Grundtvig projects), and in the development of relations with ICOM (the International Council of Museums). We have also worked together with other networks like IMTAL.

Over the next five years we will:

Seek to convert our probationary status as an ICOM affiliated organisation, to full affiliation.
Develop new partnership projects which encourage more of our members into fruitful international collaborations.
Continue to make links with other organisations which have interests that overlap with our own and evaluate what we can do for them.

Organisation

EXARC is supported by a dedicated but voluntary Secretariat; their commitment is evident in the quality of our resources. But as EXARC grows in line with this Vision, so the infrastructure of our organisation must also grow. More members mean more administration and financial commitment, while the development of subject-specific networks will require us to invest more time in coordinating operations. With that in mind, we also believe it is time for the Board to take a more advisory, rather than a governance role. The Secretariat with the Director have the full support of the Board.

It is our belief that a more professionalised management structure will help us deliver more to our members.

Over the next five years we will:

Explore ways of raising funds to support our Secretariat, ensuring that this goal does not create a conflict with our non-profit status, not act to the detriment of our members.
Broaden our Secretariat to spread the work-load between a greater number of individuals, thereby increasing the long-term sustainability of our organisation.

By pursuing this Vision we believe that the EXARC of 2017 will provide our membership with an unrivalled resource, improving the status of our work within the wider heritage sector, raising the standards to which we all aspire, and providing lasting benefits to the visitors to our museums and to the audiences for our experimental work.

Drafted by Dr Steve Burrow, EXARC Chair 2012, accepted by the Annual General Meeting, 25 April 2013

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