In Practice session highlights - Museums Association

Conference 2021: Brave New World

The In Practice strand of Conference 2021 features 20 sessions that focus on sharing practical advice and tips across a broad range of interest areas, from digital tours to careers advice to decolonising practice.

These 30-minute sessions take place in two rooms on 8-9 November at the ACC Liverpool and are also streamed online. The programme incorporates topics that are MA priorities, including workforce, policy and campaigns, and collections.

Audiences and communities

Queering the museum: Celebrating LGBTQ+ at RAMM

The Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery in Exeter shares how it has worked with the University of Exeter and LGBTQ+ community to address a lack of representation of LGBTQ+ voices, histories and heritage in its collections.

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.


Ellie Coleman
Engagement Officer, Ramm
Jana Funke
Associate Professor of English and Sexuality Studies, University of Exeter
Natalie McGrath
Writer and socially-engaged artist


Career crossroads

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 and provide you with clarity for your next chapter.


Tamsin Russell
Workforce Development Officer, Museums Association

Climate crisis

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. This practical session shares the benefits of creating a carbon management plan, the framework and support needed to get started, and some of the environmental grants available to help fund this work.


Alexander Goodger
Museum Manager, Dundee Museum of Transport

Learning and engagement

How to create blended museum learning programmes

Following the development of online learning delivery throughout the pandemic, 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.

This session enables participants to learn from practical examples, build ideas and approaches for new models of interactive delivery. With examples of practice from National Museums Scotland and the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, the session addresses what types of digital learning we want to continue, what the challenges are and how can we move towards a blended delivery model in the future.


Sarah Cowie
Engagement Manager, National Museums Scotland
Vicky Sturrs
Head of Learning and Civic Engagement, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art
Rachel Tranter
Director, GEM


Game On: Creating playful and participatory online activities

The Covid pandemic has forced museums to shift to a more active and engaging online presence. 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. They address the challenges and lessons, and discuss how digital technology can be used to create meaningful experiences beyond the pandemic.


Silvia Filippini Fantoni
Deputy Director Learning & Engagement, Newark Museum of Art
Linda Spurdle
Digital Development Manager, Birmingham Museums Trust

Anti-racism and decolonisation

Embedding anti-racism in cultural arts organisations

2020 saw an urgent focus on anti-racism across society. Many museums responded to this call for change, but it remains vital that organisations take sustained action for anti-racism. In this session, Laurent John and Natalya Best-Forbes share their experience leading change as part of the Somerset House Anti-Racism Task Force.  


Laurent John
Studios Coordinator, Somerset House
Natalya Best-Forbes
Inclusive Talent Programmes Manager, Somerset House


Curating conflict

Museums are often tasked with collecting and interpreting conflicts and controversies from history and the present day. In this session, 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.


Hannah Crowdy
Head of Curatorial, National Museums NI