Programme highlights: In Practice sessions - Museums Association

Conference 2023: The Power of Museums

As well as workshops, panel discussions and in conversation talks, this year’s MA conference (7-9 November 2023, in Newcastle-Gateshead and online) offers a fantastic range of practical sessions.

Getting to know our disposal toolkit

Our In Practice programme includes a session that will help delegates understand and use the MA’s recently launched disposals toolkit. You will be able to hear more about the process, work through some theoretical examples and make a pledge to undertake disposals from your own collections. The session is led by Sarah Briggs, our collections development lead.

This talk will be complemented by a session looking at what we can learn from international approaches to disposal.

Two people in a museum store
Volunteering: all hands on deck

We are also focusing on volunteering in museums with an In Practice session looking at the Helping Hands initiative in Cumbria. The aim of the two-year project, which is part of Arts Council England’s Volunteering Futures Fund, is to transform cultural volunteering.

This session shares learning from Helping Hands and the national volunteering programme. Delegates will gain inspiration and practical tips from a project model that centres on the individual volunteering experience, while sharing resources to address a common issue. The session is led by Kate Parry, the head of partnership at the Cumbria Museum Consortium.

Engaging underrepresented groups with Mindsets + Missions

We’ll be sharing the learning from Mindsets + Missions at conference. The programme, funded by UK Research and Innovation, supports museums and science centres to engage underrepresented groups with knowledge, research and innovation. Come and discover what practical action museums and science centres can take today as a step towards creating the museums and science centres of the future.

A person and their shadow
Shopping smart with sustainable procurement

One In Practice session will take a look at sustainable procurement. This talk explores why sustainable procurement matters and how museums can make a difference through what we buy.

Becoming an anti-racist organisation

Our policy and campaigns officer will deliver a practical session exploring that ways in which museums can become fully-fledged anti-racist organisations.

Foregrounding race and empire in 19th-century collections

We also have an In Practice session focusing on Race, Empire and the Pre-Raphaelites, a research group of the British Art Network that has been exploring Victorian art and design collections through the lenses of anti-racism and decoloniality. Chaired by Victoria Osborne, the curator (fine art) and curatorial team leader at Birmingham Museums Trust, the session will see the launch of a new set of resources aimed at museum professionals wishing to foreground race and empire in 19th-century art and design collections and displays.

Storytelling and understanding identity with objects

Finally, we have a session exploring how objects can be used to help people understand their identities and tell their own stories. Coach and positive psychology practitioner Denise McGahan is joined by curator Karen Logan from National Museums NI for this talk.

All In Practice sessions are available to in-person and online delegates.