(c) John Finn

Glasgow 2016 live blog: Tuesday 8 November

Conference news
Tuesday 9 November

The session now ends to enthusiastic applause. See you at the Hunterian for a drinks reception to end the conference, and in Manchester for next year's MA conference.

The final question is about how the ethos of conviviality relates to supporting other museums. Fernandes says "we do have a very strong connection with neighbouring museums". The museum will soon start on a project training students through lectures from museum directors.

Fernandes says the strong relationship with the local community began because the museum was "honoured" to be in a historic part of the city. He says the community has provided "many amazing solutions for our programming".

The speakers are now taking questions from the audience. Oliveira says the institution has been criticised by the museum community for not being a museum - he says "it was extremely important for us not to do what we were told".

Fernandes says most of the people who criticised it had not been - but after visiting, many were converted.

The museum has worked with refugees on a range of activities:

The museum has had a high proportion of visitors who have never been to a museum before:

Alexandre Fernandes is now speaking about conviviality, one of the founding principles of the museum. We want to break down the barriers that exist between humans and come together to tackle the earth's urgent problems, he says.

Oliveira finishes with a quote from Jorge Luis Borges:

A diagram showing the layout of the museum:

The museum is founded on values of sustainability and conviviality:

Oliveira says that"the museum is blossoming from its roots in the past towards the future".

Luiz Alberto Oliveira is now speaking - he says "tomorrow is a construction", not a day in the calendar. "Tomorrow is today," he adds.

Lesley Riddoch is now introducing the keynotes

The Museum of Homelessness has been pleased with the reaction to the project from conference delegates:

The hall is now filling up for the final keynotes from Alexandre Fernandes and Luiz Alberto Oliveira from the Museum of Tomorrow in Rio de Janeiro.

We can now add expanding brain capacity to the list of health benefits provided by museums:

More great images of Glasgow are being added to the #museums2016 feed. Here's one example, a juxtaposition of old and new Glasgow:

Loving #Glasgow - both new and old. #riversidemuseum #kelvingrovemuseum #museums2016

A photo posted by @museumhunter on

Rebecca Atkinson has sent in more on the final question in the Brexit debate:
Ending the Year that Changed Everything session, Nat Edwards, assistant director South at the National Trust for Scotland, asked the panel what one object would they include in an exhibition exploring the "inexplicable world that we are in".  
Rowan Brown, the director at the Alfred Gillet Trust, said she would include a mirror so "everybody sees themselves and think about how they have acted". 

Heledd Fychan, corporate affairs and advocacy manager at National Museum Wales, would include a stuffed Boris Johnson. Iain Watson, the director of Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, wanted to display the intangible moment that  Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel prize.

And Paddy Gilmore, director of learning and partnership at National Museums Northern Ireland, decided on two objects: a NSPCC t shirt, a cause that the murdered MP Jo Cox supported, and (in reference to the pro-gay marriage discrimination case involving a bakery) an Ernie and Bert cake.

The public health discussion draws to an end - stay tuned for a live stream of the final keynote and more updates on the live blog.

In the public health discussion, a question aboutwhat museums can do, if smaller projects do not have enough impact. Mark O'Neill says that it may be better, for example, to improve access by negotiating with transport providers, rather than devote time to a high quality project that reaches 20 people.Duncan Dornan says that"we have to be open-minded" about how we work to increase access- an exhibition may not be the answer.

Ros Croker from National Maritime Museum Greenwich says that museums that want to understand different perspectives on Brexit could start close to home:

More detail on how museums can act as "social catalysts":

Rebecca Atkinson reports from 'The Year That Changed Everything', the session exploring the aftermath of Brexit:

'A panel discussed whether museums are still in touch with their public in a post-Brexit world. 

Heledd Fychan, corporate affairs and advocacy manager at the national museum Wales, says: "post brexit, our role as museums is to market ourselves to government. We need them to realise what we do and what we can do rather than letting them define us. Some politicians in Wales have started calling visitors 'customers', and in a sense they are but do we really fulfil our role as museums if all we have is customers? We must be proactive and get out to our communities to make sense of brexit and not allow governments to weaken us."'

Seaman says that museums can be as relevant a public health intervention as sewers were to the Victorians and vaccines to the 20th century.

Here's the slide illustrating the three key ways Seaman says museums can contribute to public health:

Seaman says that museums can contribute to public health through cultural attendance, targeted participation focusing on marginalised groups, and as a social catalysts - social spaces where people reach new understandings that include other people.

Pete Seamanof Glasgow Centre for Population Health says we need new public health approaches that rebalance mindsets from "anti" to "pro" and recognise that "health happens in connection with other people".

The Transforming Young Lives through Visual Art session is discussing innovative approaches to engaging young people:

“Putting young people's art and voices at the heart of Generation Art has given the exhibition partnership energy and new perspectives. Boundaries came down, opinions shared and challenged on what felt like level playing field for both young people and arts professionals alike. It was envisaged as a pilot project, but we’re now analysing if we can carry future similar projects,”  says Jo Plimmer of Generation Art: Young Artists on tour.

Dornan says the museum service can supply significant experience of building trust with communities.

Dornan says that the service has developed "creative cafes" to engage with communities - people are encouraged to share their thoughts freely.

Duncan Dornan, the head of Glasgow Museums, says thatthe museum service developed an exhibition about Red Road Flats in Glasgow as a therapeutic intervention to mark the buildings' demolition.

The afternoon sessions are now underway, including a discussion on museums and health chaired by Jill Miller, the director of Cultural Services at Glasgow Life.

There were a number of networking events over lunch, including the China Networking Lunch, which featured a range of speeches:

The SSN session has now drawn to a close. Rejoin us after lunch for more updates on the afternon conference sessions.

The final question in the SSN session makes the point that moving from a membership to a network model brings in more people but chips away at revenue from membership subscriptions.Viscardi says thatgrassroots organisations are more sustainable because the costs are determined by the number of members.Says that NatSCA tries to keep costs low and uses sponsorshipfor income.

The MA's Nicola Sullivan has highlighted thispledge from the SECC toreforest a grove of land in response to the MA conference - fitting for an event that has often focused on making positive change: trees-470

The session on radical change is confronting the question of whether museums need objects:

Gail Boyle highlighted some alarming collection-related statistics from a forthcoming report - less than half of museums with archaeological collections emply a curator with specialist expertise in the subject, : SSN slide

Some useful tips are emerging from theEffective Advocacy session:

Caroline Pegum from the National Portrait Gallery is now explaining how the Understanding British Portraits SSN arranges eventswith other SSNs to share knowledge.

Viscardi says it's important to recognise curators are not the "be all and end all" of SSNs - everyone can contribute knowledge and effective ways of working

Viscardi:we need to reach people who don't know much about collections as well as scientists.

Paolo Viscardi from NatSCA says the key question is "what can we do to meet the needs of people".The loss of expertise means losing ability to use collections, making museums "kind of pointless".

In the subject specialist network (SSN) discussion, Gail Boyle from the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery says thata forthcoming report from Historic England will highlight the crisis facing archaeological collections. Key problems are a lack of space and diminishing expertise in institutions.

Rebecca Atkinson from the MA attended the discussion on agile working and responding rapidly, and has written up this report of what sounds like a fascinating session:

'Responsive and agile working are museum buzzwords at the moment, and the Rapid Response session looked at how they relate to developing digital content.

'The museum sector has traditionally been hindered by lengthly timelines, which can be a challenge to those wanting to produce content that is current and responsive. But the speakers all showed that rapid working is possible especially by "doing less, better" and employing journalistic working practices. Slow relationship building can also allow for the actual production of content to be potentially quick and responsive.'

The next sessions begin at 12:25, including the discussion on subject specialist networks, which will be live streamed.

The final question in the Scottish identity discussion is about celebrating and sharing the Scots and Gaelic languages. Forsyth says "we have to reflect that richness".  John Morrison says it opens the question of whether the museum's job is to reflect or drive society - asks whether museum should use an Indian language, on the grounds there are probably more people speaking this than Gaelic.

The session on responding rapidly to events has covered the importance of adopting a more open approach within an organisation:

A reminder from the discussion on feminism that visitor numbers are not the only way of measuring impact:

The museums and psychotherapy session is raising some interesting points on how museum objects can help people address mental health issues:

The session on museums and psychotherapy is exploring the crossover between the two:

Forsyth: identity is not the only way to interpret a collection, even a national collection.There is a constant danger of over-emphasising Scottish exceptionalism.

A startling statistic from the discussion on feminism:

David Forsyth of the National Museum of Scotland says that the institution tries to capture "elusive" sense of Scottish national identity

Joy says that she is interested in the question of to what extent Burrell's approach to collecting was influenced by geopolitical events of the time.

Annika Joy, content manager of the Burrell Collection, saysshe noticed Scottish identity, such as use of the Saltire, becoming more prominent in marketing following the referendum on independence. Was unclear how to reflect local interest using an individual collection.

The discussion on Scotland's cultural identity is now underway.

Another aspect of diversity is including different personality types, as a discussion on the MA Transformers project has highlighted:

The live stream will start again at 11:15 for the discussion on cultural identity on a global stage, which runs alongside a number of others. Following these, there will be a further set of concurrent sessions on topics including subject specialist networks and partnering with organisations outside the museum sector.

Some more Instagram shots from the conference party at the Riverside Museum last night:

Motorbikes. #museums2016

A photo posted by ATS Heritage (@ats_heritage) on

The workshop on engaging LGBTQIA audiences looks to have been very well attended:

Tony Butler, the director of Derby Museums, has drawn a stark comparison between Scottish and English political cultures regarding museums:

The keynote has now ended - stay tuned for the next current sessions, which begin at 11:15. There will be discussions on cultural identity, museums and psychotherapy, feminism, and working in a more agile way.

Aitken stresses that we need to hear volunteer voices talking more about the impact on their own wellbeing - there is real evidence of tangible health improvements.

Delegate who teaches at a university says that students need extensive volunteer experience to get a job- says we need a culture to support this next generation of professionals.

The SECC looks particularly striking when illuminated at night, as illustrated by some colourful posts on the #museums2016 Instagram feed:

I do love an illuminated building! #glasgow #nofilter #museums2016 #conferencelife

A photo posted by Emma Routley (@emsroutley) on

Aitken finishes with quotes from her organisation's volunteering survey - volunteering has helped people gain skills, confidence and self-worth.

"Supporting volunteers is probably the most important part of creating and maintaining a diverse base of volunteers," says Aitken.

There are 21m regular volunteers in the UK, says Aitken:

"Social justice is at the heart of what we all do," says Aitken

Aitken says that the organisation is currently focusing on making sure volunteer voices are heard:

The transport displays in the Riverside inspired a number of Instagram posts from the party last night:

Riverside Museum evening reception #museums2016 hope your all having a great conference so far 🙌🏻 #Glasgow

A photo posted by Museums Association (@museumsassociation) on

Jackie Kay's speech last night went down very well with delegates:

Aitken is now speaking. She says volunteering is an "expression of active citizenship" that contributes to the fabric of democratic society.

Lesley Riddoch is now speaking in the hall ahead of the keynote speech from Oonagh Aitken, the chief executive of Volunteering Matters. She describes Jackie Kay's speech last night as "barnstorming", and felt there was a "mellow afterglow" at the conference party in the Riverside Museum last night.

Welcome to day two of the Museums Association Conference and Exhibition in Glasgow. We'll be live streaming key sessions on this site and keeping you up to date with other developments here. Remember to tag tweets and Instagram posts with #museums2016 to join the conversation.

Links and downloads

Monday 7 November