Let's explore: Conference tours - Museums Association

Let’s explore: Conference tours

We’ve put together a stimulating tours programme for Wednesday 10 November for delegates at our annual conference at the ACC in Liverpool.

There will be a tour of each of the following organisations at two time slots (one in the morning, one in the afternoon), and they will likely have a cap of 20 delegates on each.

Delegates will be able to book on a first come first served basis – how to book will be announced closer to the time.

Bluecoat contemporary arts centre
Bryan Biggs in the Bluecoat, where he will lead a tour Photo credit to Phil Sayer

Housed in a 300-year-old building, Bluecoat became the UK’s first arts centre, constituted in 1927. Its director of cultural legacies, Bryan Biggs, leads these tours of the venue, revealing a rich history that takes in an eclectic mix of artists including Pablo Picasso, Yoko Ono, the composer Igor Stravinsky and the musician and artist Captain Beefheart.

There will be a visit to the current exhibition by Rosa-Johan Uddoh and Deborah Roberts, and an introduction to Bluecoat’s arts/heritage participation project Echoes and Origins, which interrogates the former charity school building’s narratives of colonial legacies and looked-after children. There will be a Q&A after each tour.

International Slavery Museum
The displays tell the history of slavery, as well as the city of Liverpool’s part in it

A curator-led tour of National Museum Liverpool’s groundbreaking International Slavery Museum, which covers the historical transatlantic slave trade as well as highlighting various forms of modern slavery.

Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral
Lutyens’ extraordinary cathedral design, built mid-20th century, still looks modern today

The Reverend Paul Mannings invites you to share some time with him at Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral. What is the cathedral’s history in terms of the story of a community that strove to erect an act of living witness to its faith? How can the design be interpreted through signs, symbols and images? What place does it have within a vibrant city-centre community made up of many faiths, religions and world views?

Join us on our tour as we explore these questions and more. Furthermore we invite you to spend some personal space to listen, reflect and to raise any questions of your own. A warm welcome awaits at this striking structure, designed by English architect Edwin Lutyens.

FACT arts space believes in enriching lives and shaping the future through film, art and creative technology

Open since 2003, FACT multimedia arts space has two art galleries, three cinemas, a media and events space, a lab for learning and experimentation, a café and a bar.

The award-winning building is currently hosting Radical Ancestry, a year-long exploration into the sense of belonging. In the aftermath of a global pandemic, we are more aware of how technology has changed how we think about ourselves, the people around us, and the places we call home. History, geography, biology and culture all form part of our ancestral story but how does technology help us to explore new ways of thinking and experiment with who we are?

This tour will take in the programme of exhibitions, projects, residencies and events, bringing together artists, activists, young people and local communities to change previous narratives and move towards a more inclusive understanding of what it means to belong.

Liverpool Cathedral
Gilbert-Scott’s awesome gothic revival interior of Liverpool Cathedral

At the end of the 19th century, Liverpool was humming and the city decided to pay tribute to this success by building this, England’s largest cathedral, which it remains today. It was built by the people, for the people, and designed by British architect Giles Gilbert-Scott (of iconic red telephone box fame).

Building began in 1904 and was only completed in 1978, remaining faithful to Scott’s design (he died before it was completed). The cathedral has become one of Liverpool’s most treasured architectural gems and is Grade I listed. When you visit, join one of the cathedral’s guides telling the story of this awesome and intimate place.

Bluecoat Display Centre
Lots of beautiful craft and design objects to see at the Bluecoat Display Centre

Join the Bluecoat Display Centre for a tour of its autumn exhibition, Halima Cassell and Emma Rodgers. Bringing together two of the most accomplished women sculptors from the north west in a joint exhibition for the first time, it is part of a series of curated displays highlighting the diverse, emerging and established makers working in studios across the region during 2021, the Crafts Council’s 50th anniversary year.

Wondrous Place Gallery, Museum of Liverpool
Jodie Comer as Villanelle (right), Harriet Walter as Dasha in season three of Killing Eve Photo credit to Laura Radford/BBCAmerica/Sid Gentle

This is your chance to hear about the development of the Wondrous Place gallery at the Museum of Liverpool, which reopens to the public in late November after a big revamp.

The gallery will explore the city’s staggering roll call of entertainers, writers, poets, performers, musicians, visual artists, comedians and sportspeople. One name on the star-studded list is actor Jodie Comer (pictured) who played the lead role of Villanelle, a female assassin, in the BBC’s blockbuster drama series Killing Eve.

I, Too Am A Survivor, World Cultures Gallery, World Museum
The immersive Chinese ceramics display at the World Museum, Liverpool

National Museum Liverpool’s World Cultures gallery, which showcases World Museum’s huge collections from Africa, the Americas, Asia and Oceania, is changing, and the museum has launched the #WMWhereNext campaign to get the public’s views on how the displays might evolve. Visit the museum to experience its immersive Chinese ceramics display, I, Too Am A Survivor, the first in a series of interventions at the gallery.

Don’t want to miss out on these tours? Book your place at conference now.