Museums 2020: we need more collaboration

Patrick Steel, 12.06.2012
Museum professionals call for more partnership working inside and outside of the sector
As museum professionals respond to Museums 2020, the Museums Association’s initiative to plot a vision for the future of museums, an emphasis on collaboration, both inside and outside the sector, is emerging.

Tom Boden, the head of education and audience development at Bath Preservation Trust, writes: “We need to work with our communities to shape what we collect and what we interpret and to reach new audiences.

“We also need to work more with each other, forming partnerships between museums and other institutions, to share collections, expertise and resources. Collectively we can achieve far more than we can as individual museums.”

Megan Southwood at The Museum Resource Network writes simply: “Museums will be more inclusive through online community-building.”

And an anonymous contributor writes: “I think there is a lot of room for artists in museums.

“The use of people from other professions as curators or exhibition designers means we are given a fresh spin on an otherwise tired collection, exhibitions will attract different types of visitors, and artists can also use their position to help to create new learning strategies and can involve the public in the development of the exhibition though workshops and events.”

Rowan Brown, director of the National Mining Museum Scotland, urges museums to “use resources strategically and collaborate rather than compete”, while Piotr Bienkowski, project director at the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, thinks that “museums must become more rooted in their local communities and understand what their needs and priorities are”.

What do you think? Let us know Your 2020 Vision…