Voxpop: What is your new year museum resolution?

Issue 120/01, 03.01.2019
Museums Journal asks four museum professionals what changes they plan for their institutions and themselves in 2020
Carrie CanhamCarrie Canham, Curator, Ceredigion Museum

“As the election did not deliver good news for social equality, the environment or the cultural sector, our first resolution is to ensure Ceredigion Museum continues to act as a hub for community dialogue and bridge building. We will put our efforts into an ambitious project to map community values and reflect these in our collections development and community engagement work, using the Happy Museum principles as our foundation. Our second New Year’s resolution is to count our blessings as a team regularly, protect our wellbeing and keep on swimming.”

Elaine HillElaine Hill, Heritage Development Officer, Mid-Antrim Museum

“My resolution is not a totally new one but is a renewed commitment towards making our services as accessible and beneficial as possible for our audiences. We have recently registered as working to become dementia Friendly through the Alzheimer’s Society so I am looking forward to the programmes we will deliver next year in our local community. I am just about keeping up with new technology, so I also want to keep on learning and improving my knowledge of the digital opportunities available to museums.”

Duncan DornanDuncan Dornan, Head, Glasgow Museums

“Our new year resolution for 2020 is to deliver a step change in our research and representation of slavery and empire. Early in the year we will appoint our first curator dedicated to working on the legacies of empire and slavery. Building on previous research they will work with our collection, partner organisations and Glasgow communities on delivering an exhibition in Glasgow City Chambers, the heart of city government, and supporting the development of new displays across all of our museums addressing these issues.”

Susan OmanSusan Oman, Research Fellow, University of Sheffield

The trope of new year’s resolutions is that they fail because they are over-ambitious and do not account for how long change takes, how resolve will work in practice, and how hard and relentless that is. Museums resolve to be more welcoming places, and to eradicate inequality, yet this work is demanding and falls out of mind in day-to-day practice. I want the cultural sector to be more reflexive, honest and realistic. If we pledge to tackle inequality, it has to be a focus and responsibility for all, all the time, not just those with diversity in their job title.

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