Tagged: Museums Association

Museums Association Conference Call for Papers

From the Museums Association (MA):

Proposals for sessions at next year’s MA Conference & Exhibition in Brighton are now open for submission.

The theme for the event, which takes place on 3-5 October 2019, is Sustainable and Ethical Museums in a Globalised World. The deadline for submissions is 3 February 2019.

“After last week’s successful MA Conference in Belfast, which attracted more than 1,100 people, we are really excited about our plans for Brighton 2019,” said Simon Stephens, the head of publications and events at the MA. “The Sustainable and Ethical Museums in a Globalised World theme feels very timely and we think it will attract some really exciting session proposals.”

The theme is linked to current social and political upheaval, demographic changes, rising inequalities and climate change. Museums are a strong position to encourage and facilitate debate about these challenging issues.

The conference will look at how the sector can help to create a more sustainable world, how it can communicate challenges such as poverty and climate change to audiences, and how museums can support campaigns that are working for a fairer and more sustainable society.

The conference will explore what the environmentally, financially and socially sustainable museum of the future might look like. How can institutions adapt to a rapidly changing world and what of kind leadership is needed in the sector to make change possible?

In the age of globalisation, it is more important than ever for museums to have ethics at their core. The conference will also interrogate the ethical implications of the international partnerships we seek to develop, how we confront the legacies of empire, and the role of global tourism in a more sustainable world.

For more details and information on how to submit click here.


Collections 2030 Discussion Sessions

Tuesday 13th November, 3-5pm, Tullie House Museum (Carlisle)
Thursday 15th November, 3-5pm, Manchester Museum

Do you have strong opinions about how museums’ collections should be used? Do you want to have a say in the long-term future of our sector? Do you want an opportunity to network with peers, and discuss some of the key questions facing heritage today? Well, here’s your chance…

The Museums Association recently published Collections 2030, a discussion paper which seeks feedback on the current state of museum collections the UK, and how to make the most of them over the next decade. It’s really important that ALL museum stakeholders (staff, freelancers, volunteers etc. …) take part in this process in order provide a full understanding of the long-term purpose, use and management of this key resource.

In collaboration with MDNW, we have arranged two discussion sessions and are inviting anyone who wishes to attend, to come along and give us some feedback on this important document (which can be found here). The sessions will involve looking at the key research questions in the study and discussing them with colleagues and peers. We will then collate your feedback and submit this to the MA in response to the paper.

This is an excellent opportunity to record your views on the paper, and to make sure that your voice is heard!

Please contact Gabrielle Heffernan (North West MA Rep.) at gabrielle.heffernan@tulliehouse.org if you’d like to attend one of the sessions.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Museums Association Conference 2018

Belfast Waterfront
Thursday 8th – Saturday 10th November

Conference update from the MA:

Online booking open

Anyone can book online up to the end of Monday 5 November. After this date delegates can still attend by coming to the venue and paying on the day. 

Subsidised places still available

For smaller museums (turnover less than £322,000) that are members of the MA. For more details click here.

Free inclusive places available

For groups particularly under-represented in the sector. Deadline is 29 October. For full details click here.

Exhibition is free with so much content

Anyone can attend the exhibition and take in a fantastic programme of free seminars and networking opportunities. To book your place click here.

Museums Association Exhibition 2018

8-10 November, Belfast

The Museums Association Conference and Exhibition offers a range of content to suit all, and we are pleased to once again be offering free of charge content over the two days, covering many areas of work and making the event accessible to all.   

Registration for the exhibition is free and as well as the top rate companies who will be displaying their products and services over 8 and 9 November, visitors can expect a whole lot more…            

Exhibition seminars

A free programme of 24 seminars covering topics in the themes of: Careers; Audiences, learning and engagement; Operations; Technology and digital; and Collections, interpretation and exhibition design. These practical half hour sessions give you ideas and case studies to feed back into your work.

Festival of change

A series of creative interventions exploring the serious issues we’re all grappling with while indulging in some much-needed fun. Who says change has to be painful?        

MA Hub

Meet members of the MA team, your regional and national representative, and others who work with the MA – whatever your question, feedback or idea, there will be someone there to help.               

On-stand demonstrations

See products in action during hands-on demos on exhibitor stands.              

Special offers

Discounts and offers only available at the event.        

Networks Hub

A chance to meet some of the specialist museum organisations that support the sector.                

Please click here to view full details of the seminar programme        

Please click here to see details and register

*Booked Conference delegates do not need to register for the Exhibition.

How to Run a Collections 2030 Discussion Session

The Museums Association (MA) has published guidance notes for museum professionals who are interested in running a discussion session on its major new research project, Collections 2030.

The UK-wide project seeks to identify how to make the most of museum collections over the course of the next decade. The MA has produced a discussion paper and a series of research questions and is seeking responses from across the museum sector.

Groups of museum professionals are invited to hold discussion sessions to look at the research, debate the questions and develop a collective response that can be submitted to the project.

For those interested in running a session, tips include incorporating the discussion into an existing forum, meeting or group; inviting people with a wide range of experiences and job roles to participate; ensuring everyone is familiar with the research questions in advance; and nominating a note-taker to record key points. The full guidance notes are available to download below.

The MA’s policy officer Alistair Brown said: “The response to Collections 2030 so far has been fantastic. Museums across the country are engaging with the Collections 2030 debate and really thinking about how we can make our collections empowering, relevant and dynamic.”

“The new guidance that we’re publishing today will help people to have those discussions with colleagues and provide responses the consultation. Everyone in the sector – no matter what their official role is – has a view on issues from disposal to decolonisation, so we’re looking for input and ideas from teams, departments, AMA support groups, Subject Specialist Networks, Emerging Professional Groups and more. This is a consultation for the whole sector, so we want to hear from you.”

For more information visit the MA’s website.

Museums Association Conference 2018 Funded Place

We are pleased to announce that we will be offering one bursary to attend this year’s Museums Association Conference in Belfast on the 8th – 10th November.

Museum Development North West recognises that it is important for museum professionals to connect with colleagues through conferences and networking events, but also how stretched budgets can be when it comes to professional development.

To apply, please send an expression of interest to Alex Bird (alexander.bird@manchester.ac.uk) by September 28th, to be eligible, you will need to:

  • Confirm that you are a first time attendee
  • Commit to attending the whole conference
  • Cover your own travel costs and all expenses
  • Feedback to colleagues and the region via our blog
  • Send us any relevant information and feedback to put on the MDNW website

For the full programme please see here.

Please note that the bursary is only for the conference place and not travel and accommodation and is only available to people in the North West that work in non-NPO and non-national accredited museums or those in museums officially working towards accreditation. 

Job Opportunity: Museums Association

Partnerships with Purpose Project Officer
Salary: Subject to London weighting: London £18,218 PA (FTE £36,435); Outside London £16,336 (FTE £32,672)
Location: United Kingdom (available for flexible/remote working)
Hours: 18 hours per week (0.5 FTE)
Contract: Fixed term for 1 year
Closing date: Friday 27th July 2018 (11.59pm)

Interviews will be held on 6th August 2018

The Museums Association is undertaking a year-long pilot project, Partnerships with Purpose, to connect museum and third-sector/community-group partners so that they can work together to build social value with the communities they serve.

This key role will develop and run the pilot on a day-to-day basis and provide specialist knowledge, working as part of the policy and programmes team and managed by the programmes manager.

You’ll have a good overview of the charity sector landscape already, and be a great listener and communicator. You’ll be committed to socially engaged practice and excited by the potential of museums working with local partners to reach their communities, and by the chance to promote innovation and change at a cross-sector level.

The role will also require you to monitor and reflect on the success of the pilot project alongside an external evaluator, and to have a key role in forming next steps from the pilot phase.

The Museums Association is a dynamic and campaigning membership organisation with a mission to inspire museums to changes lives. We have a strong vision and values and an exciting new business plan. Joining us at this time would be an excellent opportunity to work for a vibrant and inclusive organisation and be part of a friendly and enthusiastic team.

Please send completed application form to charlotte.lindus@museumsassociation.org with subject heading ‘Partnerships with Purpose project officer’. More details are available on the Museums Association website – https://www.museumsassociation.org/find-a-job.

Person Specification

Museums Association Conference & Exhibition 2018

Thursday 8th – Saturday 10th November, Belfast

From the Museums Association:

The Museums Association Conference & Exhibition is the largest event of its kind in Europe for museums and heritage professionals.  Over 1,500 senior staff discuss the latest issues, discover new practice and meet the world’s leading suppliers and consultants.

The theme of Belfast 2018 is Dissent: Inspiring Hope, Embracing Change – having the courage to challenge traditional thinking to transform museums and society. And what better place to do this than Belfast. We highlight the role museums of all sizes and types can play as dissenting organisations, standing with their communities as they encourage activism and promote positive social change. 

This year’s event is packed with content and delegates will have the opportunity to debate and discuss big ideas with colleagues from around the UK and internationally.

Keynote speakers include Rita Ann Higgins, award-winning Irish poet and playwright and Laura Raicovich, US-based writer and artworker. Directors in Conversation session will feature Lynn Scarff, director, National Museum of Ireland; Hilary McGrady, director-general, National Trust; Kathryn Thomson, chief executive officer and director, National Museums Northern Ireland; and Kim Streets, chief executive, Museums Sheffield. Other sessions cover topics such as co-curation, activism, curating conflict, diversity, equality, protest, Brexit, soft power, and the future of collections.

There are a host of other sessions, practical workshops and training – all developed to facilitate fresh thinking. The social events give you the opportunity to see Belfast City Hall, Ulster Museum and HMS Caroline.

Look out for the Festival of Change which is a series of creative interventions exploring the serious issues we’re all dealing with while indulging in some much-needed fun. Who says change has to be painful?

The third day to conference this year is a chance to visit a range of museums and galleries across Northern Ireland and Dublin. There is a programme of special events, exhibition tours, expert talks and behind-the-scenes visits to museums, galleries and cultural venues in the area, all included in the price. The programme includes cultural and political tours in Belfast, Downpatrick, Dublin and Derry~Londonderry, the UK City of Culture 2013. 

Conference is a vital forum for debate, exchange and networking – join us for the biggest event of its kind in Europe and help shape the future of museums.

Early bird booking ends on 20 August 2018. For more information and to book your place go to www.museumsassociation.org/conference

The Museums Association is partnering with Flybe to offer discount flights to attendees at this year’s conference and exhibition in Belfast. Book directly on www.flybe.com before 20 August 2018 and receive a discount of 20% off the “Just Fly” fare using the promotional Code: fly2mac.

We hope to see you there.

Message from New Museums Association North West Rep

Gabrielle Heffernan

Gabrielle Heffernan


I’m your new Museums Association North West Member Representative – a bit of a mouthful, I know, but basically it means that I’m your local contact for anything MA-related. This includes (but is most definitely not limited to) queries about the organisation, questions about projects/initiatives, suggestions for how we could do better, or any other comments. You don’t even have to be a member of the MA to contact me – if you’d like to know more about the Association, or are thinking about joining, get in touch and I’ll be happy to talk it through with you!

I’m hoping to travel to some of the different areas in the region to meet up with members and have a chat (although this may take some time, the North West is rather large…), so if you’d like me to come along to an event or meeting, let me know and I’ll see what I can do. I’ll also be organising some MA-specific events later in the year so keep an eye out for these too…

Having begun life as a volunteer, before being lucky enough to be offered a place on a Skills for the Future traineeship (thankyou HLF!), I’ve worked in curatorial and learning departments in several museums around the country. This means that I’m pretty familiar with many of the challenges faced by museum professionals, in particular EMPs. Additionally, my current role (Curatorial Manager at Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery in Carlisle) has introduced me to the world of management – and I am discovering, more and more, that happy, confident and supported staff are the most important resource of any museum.

Therefore, I’d like to think that my role as MA Member Rep. can help to provide a little bit more support for museums people working the North West, be you newly in the sector or a seasoned professional. By providing a bridge between you and the MA, I can ensure that your priorities, concerns, successes and ideas are communicated to the Association. In short, my job is to give you a voice and ensure that the North West remains part of the conversation!

So, with that in mind, please do get in touch, either via email – gabrielle.heffernan@tulliehouse.org, or follow me on Twitter – @gabbyheffernan. Alternatively check out my snazzy page on the MA website, which has these details along with a link to the NW email group (do join if you haven’t already) – https://www.museumsassociation.org/your-area/north-west-representative.

Thanks, and I look forward to hearing from you!

Gabrielle Heffernan
Curatorial Manager, Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery Trust



Museums Association Transformers: Influence Programme open for applications

Transformers: Influence is for people who believe in the social power of museums and who want to learn more about developing active partnerships within their communities, with the ambition of affecting the museum sector more widely. 

Transformers: Influence, the Museums Association’s (MA) scheme for individuals looking to develop active partnerships between museums and their communities, is open to applicants from England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Applications are open to freelancers and volunteers as well as people employed in a museum setting.

The programme takes place over three days, with two learning days focusing on content drawn from the Transformers Toolkit of Leading Self and Impacting Others, and a final sharing day, where participants will gather and reflect on their learning.

Participants will come away with ideas and practical tools to develop their own practice and initiate steps towards change. 

Transformers: Influence has a fee of £150 per participant. This fee will include attendance at the learning days and MA membership for one year (existing members will have their current membership extended by 12 months, or their direct debit fees put on hold).

Applications close on Monday 23rd July.

For more information click here.

Transformers: Influence information pack (pdf)

Apply online for Transformers: Influence