Conference 2021 content
Watch all the sessions from Brave New World, our 2021 hybrid conference held both in Liverpool and online.
Welcome with conference hosts
Hear from our hosts about what to expect over the next few days and how to make the most of your time at conference.
Introduction with Sharon Heal, Director of the MA
Sharon Heal, Director of the MA, introduces Conference 2021: Brave New World.
African cultural restitution – who is being left behind?
An expert panel discusses restitution as an essential part of museum practice and investigate where progress has been made and where work still needs to be done.
Museums Change Lives Awards 2021
The Museums Change Lives awards celebrate museums and people who have made a big impact in their communities. Watch to find out more about the 2021 winners.
Kehinde Andrews, professor of Black Studies at Birmingham City University, gives a keynote addressing decolonisation and anti-racism in museums.
Kevin Young, the Andrew W. Mellon Director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, shares his vision for the future of this landmark museum.
Malik Al Nasir
Malik Al Nasir, an author, performance poet and filmmaker from Liverpool, discusses his youth, past work and current PhD research into his ancestral links to the slave plantations of Demerara, Guyana.
From words to action: Museums and anti-racism
Culture& and the Museums Association bring together a panel of experts to explore what museums need to do next to address anti-racism, anti-Blackness and diversity in their workforce, collections and public programmes.
Reimagining museums for climate action
Museums have been grappling with their climate and environmental responsibilities for years. But with Cop26 taking place in the UK this year and the problem growing ever more urgent, what is the role for the museums sector?
Launching Supporting Decolonisation in Museums
Join members of the Museums Association’s Decolonisation Guidance Working Group to explore the thinking, advice and practical steps that shape their new guidance document.
Digital skills for digital futures
Four early career professionals discuss ways for progressing digital skills in museums. Drawing on their own new approaches and original research, they share fresh ways of using and thinking about digital.
Through a new lens: Are Sites of Conscience everywhere in the UK?
This conversation discusses museums’ role in developing positive memory practices relating to situations of historical violence, inequalities, oppression and suffering, in pursuit of equal justice in the present.
What next for learning and engagement?
One year on from the launch of the Learning and Engagement Manifesto, what has changed in museum learning and engagement?
Why you need to know about NFTs
What implications do NFTs have for the sector? This session looks at what NFTs are, how they’ve been used and the opportunities and challenges they hold for museums.
Collections with feelings
Museum collections are missing feelings, dreams, hope, love, hate and heartbreaks. This session explores how curating more humane narratives can help improve health and wellbeing and provide inspiration and hope for the future.
Waiting for the Great Leap Forward – what could the post-Covid museum look like?
If the new normal ever comes, will museums retreat to pre-pandemic ways of working or can they embrace hybrid inclusivity and embed radical new practice?
The classless museum
Museum as Muck brings together leading academic voices and game-changers on socioeconomic diversity in the cultural and creative industries to discuss the provocation: “What would a classless museum look like?”
The ethics of contemporary collecting
This workshop gives delegates the chance to get to grips with some of the major ethical issues of contemporary collecting, including collecting trauma; collecting safely from social justice movements and more.
International exchange: Reimagining the museum of the future
A panel of international museum leaders share their experience and knowledge to suggest examples of new opportunities and advances over long-standing unresolved problems in museums today.
Museums Save Lives
A panel drawn from medical museums who have risen to the challenge of the Covid crisis delves into how we can transform from Museums that Change Lives to Museums that Save Lives.
Where does it hurt? Exploring workforce wellbeing
The role museums play within today's changing world is huge and this session hears from different experiences and perspectives that have workforce wellbeing at their heart.
In + Visible
This session brings together a panel of experts to explore what needs to be done to create genuine and lasting equity for disabled museum staff and audiences.
Community‐led recovery in Australian museums
Find out more about the ground breaking, community‐led exhibition Songlines: Tracking the Seven Sisters which, after breaking records in Australia, goes global in 2021.
Contemporary artists and decolonising European narratives
Three international artists talk about their work, how they present ideas of decolonisation and why museums should remain at arm's length.
We are all complicit in systemic oppression: What can a museum worker do?
Teresa Cisneros and Selene Burn from the Wellcome Collection share their experiences of working to achieve the organisation’s commitment to embed access, diversity and inclusion across the museum.
Covid-19 as a catalyst for change
This session brings together a mix of public and independent funders to explore their responses to funding museums and cultural institutions during the Covid‐19 pandemic.
Brave New World? When cars are burning on your street, what use are museums?
This session was proposed at a time of rioting in Northern Ireland, and brings together the perspectives of three local councillors representing different political parties to consider the purpose, value and contribution of museums.
Disposal is not a dirty word
This session explores some of the psychological and practical barriers to disposal and provides solutions for dealing with the D word.
Swiping right: Finding and maintaining lasting partnerships
What do you look for in your partners and why are they interested in you? Inspired by the world of online dating, this session guides delegates through the stages of finding organisational partners, first dates and keeping things fresh.
The shifting landscape of curation and engagement
In this session panellists discuss the landscape of curation, and how engagement and activism are now at the forefront of what it means to be a curator in society today.
Building community engagement through outdoor spaces
This session explores how museums can use their public outdoor spaces to actively engage in and help build community.
Museum ethics in a changing world
In this session, members of the MA Ethics Committee consider if and how our sector’s approach to ethics needs to change in light of major current ethical issues such as restitution, disposal, and independent decision making.
Back to the Future of workforce
What was the impact and legacy of Covid-19 on the workforce and how can we apply this learning for the future benefit of the sector?
In Practice sessions
Queering the museum: Celebrating LGBTQ+ at RAMM
This session examines what it means to queer museum collections, how to ensure this work is embedded and visible, and how to engage with different audiences to improve understanding of gender and sexual diversity.
This session shares practical ways you can get back to museums and resume your career, whatever the reason for your career interruption.
How to write a carbon management plan – and tap into environmental grants
Dundee Museum of Transport is creating Europe's first fully carbon neutral transport museum in Dundee by retrofitting its Grade B-listed Maryfield Tram Depot.
Paying for it: Sustainable and fair participatory practice
Museums are increasingly working with their communities to inform and sometimes lead practice – but how can we make these relationships fair?
Hannah Crowdy explains how National Museums NI has approached curating conflict through an ethical lens and offers advice on how your museum can approach similar issues.
Museum Ethics 101
Find out how to navigate the rights and wrongs of museum practice and learn how you can use the Code of Ethics for Museums and the Ethics Committee to support ethical decision-making in your museum.
How to create blended museum learning programmes
This session, organised by the Group for Education in Museums (GEM) and Engage, explores the potential of blended learning as an approach for museum, gallery and heritage educators in the future.
Thinking about your future during times of uncertainty can be hard. This session explores your wants, needs and next steps by showcasing 10 self-directed exercises to help you refine your thinking.
Game On: Creating playful and participatory online activities
In this session, the Newark Museum of Art and Birmingham Museums Trust share how they have developed online games aimed at a younger and more diverse audience.
Building inclusive educational resources through contemporary collecting
The Jewish Museum London showcases how it has worked collaboratively with community partners to create inclusive and representative resources for teachers and students about Judaism and the Jewish community.
Your new audience engagement plan
This session examines what being vision‐led and audience‐focused truly means – and supports you to create your own strategy.
Meaningful ways to measure digital impact
In this session we explore some ways museums can show more than just the log-on figures of their online engagement and discuss why it’s important that we do this.
Climate Beacons: Developing lasting public engagement with climate change
This session presents highlights of the Climate Beacons scheme, which pairs organisations in the arts, culture, heritage and beyond to develop lasting public engagement with climate change.
We share the steps we can take as practitioners and organisations in decolonising museum practice, and how we can make use of the Supporting Decolonisation in Museums guidance.
Connecting with audiences via digital tours
In March 2020, the National trust for Scotland and YourTour collaborated to create a 360 video ‘VirtualVisit’ of Culloden battlefield – with surprising results and applications.
Wellbeing can be both individual and collective. This session explores key triggers that may affect wellbeing and shares some of the ways to take control or minimise the impacts.
Discovering the Associateship of the Museums Association
The Associateship of the Museums Association (AMA) programme develops well-rounded museum professionals through mentoring, peer support and opportunities for critical reflection and thinking.
Creating and sustaining equitable partnerships
How can museums and galleries develop lasting, equitable partnerships, creating real change with communities, impacting on people’s lives for the better?
Participation post-Covid: What do audiences really want?
This session shares insights from two pieces of research from the Audience Agency into how audiences engaged during the Covid pandemic – and their intentions for visiting museums in the future.
Embedding anti-racism in cultural arts organisations
In this session, Laurent John and Natalya Best-Forbes (Co-Chairs of the Anti-Racism Task Force) share their experience leading change as part of the Somerset House Anti-Racism Task Force.
No barriers: The art of creating an inclusive museum visitor experience
This is a session by ERCO Lighting. Unpacking the toolkit for inclusive experiences within museums, we look at one of the fastest growing museum visitor groups, namely older people and people with visual impairment.
Desktop AR: Connecting museums with schools
Perception Codes Ltd and partners discuss Desktop-AR, a technology that enables museums and galleries to roll out their exhibits and stories to audiences worldwide.
The Liminal Space – Mindsets + Missions
Interested in taking part in conversations that will direct the future of the museum sector? Join The Liminal Space as they outline the Mindsets + Missions programme, and find out how you can input and take part.
The importance of artefact and heritage preservation
This presentation is by DeepStore: a partner for providing secure, regulated and specialist heritage/artefact storage.
Automating collections management workflows
Axiell’s new workflow engine handles administrative tasks to give museum, archive and library staff more time to focus on their areas of expertise.
Using photogrammetry and 3D models to enhance your museum’s digital experience
Purpose 3D specialises in the creation of digital 3D models of historical clothing. Adam talks you through how Purpose works with museums to digitise your archive.
Art That Made Us Festival
In February 2022 the BBC, along with museums, galleries, archives and libraries, is holding a 10-day festival to celebrate the amazing creativity housed in our cultural organisations throughout the country.
How Art Fund can help you engage new audiences
Find out how Art Fund can help your museum engage with new audiences, get to know your existing audiences better and plan for the future.
Upcoming eventsview all events
Meet the conference panel
Find out who's reviewing all proposed sessions for this year's conference
Members Together: Scotland
06 March 2024, 1400-1800
V&A Dundee & online
V&A Dundee & online
Members Together: England
29 November 2023, 1400-1800
Manchester Museum & online
Manchester Museum & online