Empower your Collections: Creating Dynamic and Relevant Museums

3 February 2020, Nottingham Contemporary
Museums Association One-Day Conference

Following the publication of the Museums Association’s Empowering Collections report, this one-day conference offers you the chance to take part in in-depth discussions about how to take forward its recommendations and use your collections in exciting, engaging and socially impactful ways.

The day shares examples of empowering, relevant and dynamic collections practice – from contemporary collecting, digital engagement and disposal to co-production and decolonisation.

You will get the chance to hear from people who are working to change the collections culture in their museums, take part in table and group discussions, and reflect on your own collections practice.


Catherine Ross, Founder Director, Museumand, The National Caribbean Heritage Museum
Catherine Ross Head Shot 1
“I am is the founder and director of Museumand, The National Caribbean Heritage Museum – the first museum in the UK to celebrate Caribbean heritage, culture and social history. I use the items to tell stories, help people share memories and broadcast nationally and world-wide that Caribbeans have a heritage and history to be proud of.”

Lynda Burrell, Creative Director, Museumand, The National Caribbean Heritage Museum
Lynda Burrell head shot IMG_5745
“I studied fashion at London College of Fashion and then Middlesex University and went on to have an exciting career in New York as a fashion designer and fashion editor. For me, history and heritage are about traditions and values, and the objects and things held dear that are used and treasured in everyday life. They are not just found in books and museums.”

Kathleen Lawther, Curatorial Consultant
Kathleen Lawther
“I am a curator and collections manager currently working on a self-directed research project on collections documentation, supported by a Developing Your Creative Practice grant.”

Rebecca Machin, Curator Natural Sciences, Leeds Museums and Galleries
Rebecca Machin
“I curated Beavers to Weavers, the winner of the environmental sustainability category of the Museums Association’s Museums Change Lives awards.”

Simon Brown, Curator of Collections, Newstead Abbey, Project Curator, National Justice Museum, MA Board Member
Simon Brown
"I divide my time between two posts as Curator at Newstead Abbey, and Project Curator at the National Justice Museum. I am a Museums Association Board Member and is on the steering group of Culture Now.”

Sarah Briggs, Collections Development Officer, Museums Association
Sarah Briggs
“At the Museums Association, I work on the Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund, supporting a range of projects that bring collections closer to people. I have previously worked as a Museum and Heritage Consultant and Exhibitions Officer for Barnsley Museums.”

Sharon Heal, Director, Museums Association
Sharon Heal
“I am director of the Museums Association and campaign to promote the value of museums to society. I regularly comment on museums and cultural policy, speak at conferences and have published extensively. I am the chair of the Museum of Homelessness.”

Ellie Miles, Documentary Curator, London Transport Museum
Ellie Miles pic
“I am one of two documentary curators responsible for bringing new objects, stories and experiences into London Transport Museum’s collection.”

Nasir Adam, Black History Curator, History and Archaeology, Amgueddfa Cymru (National Museum Wales)
"I am the black history curator at St Fagans National Museum and I'm currently doing a PhD at Cardiff University researching the themes of identity, diaspora, and disadvantages among young Somalis in Wales, especially with regards to their experience of hardships of spatial concentration." 

Kevin Gosling, Chief Executive, Collections Trust
Kevin Gosling BW
"Like Collections Trust, I'm all about helping museums capture and share the information that gives their objects meaning."

Gemma Ashby, Project Co-ordinator, Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums
“I was the Project Co-ordinator for the Women of Tyneside project, leading on collections and engagement.”

Kelly Foster, Wikipedian-in-Residence, Making African Connections
“I am a public historian, Wikimedian and knowledge equity advocate.”

Anna Rhodes, Project Officer, Buxton Museum and Art Gallery
"I am working on a project to re-home the collections from the Derbyshire Schools Library Service."

Click here for a full timetable of the day.

The day runs approximately 1030 - 1700, with registration from 0930.


Museums Association members
Individual member: full or essential - £125
Individual member: student, retired, volunteer or unwaged - £55
Individual member: prospective AMA member - £95
Corporate or Institutional member - £125    

Non-members - £195

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