Programme highlights: workshop sessions - Museums Association

Conference 2023: The Power of Museums

In-person delegates in Newcastle-Gateshead for this year’s conference can take part in a range of workshop sessions tackling issues such as collections, climate crisis, youth engagement, wellbeing, advocacy and lots more.

Uncovering overlooked histories

Delegates can meet the Overlooked exhibition team from Leeds City Museum, which includes volunteers aged 14-24 and community partners, as they take people through the process of uncovering and telling overlooked histories.

Getting active on advocacy

An interactive workshop on advocacy will help you make a strong case for your museum. Regardless of role or seniority, advocacy is something we all should be doing – this practical session will tell you how.

Working equitably and inclusively with those with migration backgrounds

Another workshop sees delegates get the chance to hear about Multaka, an international network of museums active in the design of programmes and participation of those with migration backgrounds. Representatives from MultakaOxford and Multaka North East England will discuss how museums can work equitably and inclusively with people, organisations and communities.

Tackling the climate crisis

The climate crisis will be addressed in workshop called The Power to Act – Why Status Quo Should Only be a Rock Band. Speakers in this session come from Museums Galleries Scotland, Stromness Museum, Museums of the University of St Andrews, and the Scottish Crannog Centre.

Three people protest against climate change with a sign saying 'Climate justice, cancel the debt'
Reimagining the accessible museum

The Sensational Museum workshop explores what happens if, instead of assuming that the minority of visitors have access needs, we assume that most visitors have access needs, and that we use what we know about disability to reimagine the museum experience.

Aimed at interpretation specialists, inclusion and access professionals and education teams, this workshop uses recent examples of disability-centred museum practice to discuss their benefits and drawbacks for all museum visitors.

Exploring GRT collections and representation

There will also be a workshop looking at Gypsy, Roma, Traveller (GRT) collections. The panel features an open-air museum with designated GRT collections into discussion with artists and writers of GRT ethnicity to ask: whose heritage is this? What is a GRT collection? Why should everyone care about GRT representation?

Discussing the future of civic museums

And a workshop called A New Deal for Museums – Have Your Say will give delegates the chance to discuss the future of civic museums. The speakers are David Hopes, head of service, Leeds Museums & Galleries; Zak Mensah, joint CEO, Birmingham Museums; Paul Sapwell, chief executive, Hampshire Cultural Trust; and Kim Streets, chief executive, Museums Sheffield.

Enhancing quality of life and wellbeing

Finally, a wellbeing workshop will see Victoria Ryves from Heritage Doncaster and Michelle Kindleysides from Beamish look at how museums can enhance quality of life and contribute to improving mental and physical health.