Breaking Barriers: Radical Curatorial Practice - Museums Association

Breaking Barriers: Radical Curatorial Practice

27 September 2023, 1100-1600
Online, Zoom

Image: The Reading Room (c) Tim Soar

With the growth in participatory practice and the drive to tell wider and more inclusive stories with our collections, this event explores how the role of the curator is evolving.  

Using a mix of provocations, panel discussions and breakout forums, speakers explores what skills are needed to create dynamic, engaging and exciting exhibitions and displays. How is the sector bringing in new curatorial voices and expertise, and how can curators tackle urgent contemporary concerns that reflect the changing nature of our communities and their sense of place, identity and wellbeing?  


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Welcome from the Chair

Jon Sleigh, Arts Educator & Learning Curator  

Radical Engagement

Hear from three speakers on their approaches to community-led collections work.

  • Julie Brown, Collections Curator, The New Art Gallery Walsall, shares how a community panel have explored collections from a contemporary perspective for HERE&QUEER
  • Shereen Lafhaj, Lead Curator of Indo + Caribbean: The creation of a culture, the Museum of London Docklands, on building relationships with community curators
  • Jilly Burns, Head of National & International Partnerships, National Museums Scotland, discusses the community-led collections research Exchange project
Panel Discussion

Jon Sleigh will lead an interactive discussion with an opportunity for delegates to share their own work and ask questions.


A 50 minute lunch break

Welcome back 

Jon Sleigh, Arts Educator & Learning Curator  

Radical Collections 

Hear from three speakers on their socially-engaged collections work:

  • Donata Miller, Assistant Curator, Africa & Diaspora, V&A, on how her work within Rapid Response Collecting is addressing voices missing from the gallery
  • Njabulo Chipangura, Curator of Living Cultures, Manchester Museum, on democratising curatorship through transparency and accountability
  • Tamsin Greaves, Community Project Assistant, Mansfield District Council, on a project to empower Women at Risk through a programme of engagement with the painting, jewellery and ceramics collections
Panel Discussion

Jon Sleigh will lead an interactive discussion with an opportunity for delegates to share their own work and ask questions.

Radical Spaces

Hear from three speakers who are rethinking the spaces they work in.

  • Ken Paranada, Curator of Art and Climate Change, Sainsburys Centre, discusses how his interdisciplinary curatorial practice focuses on experimental futures and hybrid forms
  • Amy Frost, Senior Curator, Bath Preservation Trust, on how it is addressing the complicated and uncomfortable history of Beckford’s Tower
  • Samantha Allen, Arts and Heritage Consultant, shares the Representing Bloomsbury statues project
Panel Discussion

Jon Sleigh will lead an interactive discussion with an opportunity for delegates to share their own work and ask questions.

Chair summary and close

Jon Sleigh, Arts Educator & Learning Curator

Please note that this event will be recorded and available exclusively to delegates for three months. After that time, it will be made available for members on the Museums Association website.  

Follow this event on Twitter #RadicalCurators

We aim to present a diverse range of speakers from across the UK and internationally at our one-day conferences. If you are interested in speaking at one of our events, or have a project you’d like to see explored, please tell us more by emailing the Events Team. 

Event fees

Concessionary Member – £30
Member (Essential, Full, Institutional and Commercial members) – £40
Non-member – £60

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Important booking information

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Competency Framework

How attending this event helps your professional development.

Our competency framework supports your professional development. It clearly shows different areas of competency and 4 levels within those areas, which you should be aiming to achieve throughout your work.

Our events relate to certain areas of the framework, and we recommend you look at the competency area to help you target your learning and create focus in the event. You may find that attending an event helps you attain the competencies for a higher level, which may contribute to your AMA or other professional development.

This event – Breaking Barriers: Radical Curatorial Practice primarily relates to the Empowering Collections competency area. 

Event details

Date 27 September 2023
Time 1100-1600
Location Online



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