Five-year project to tackle wellbeing and environmental sustainability

Gary Noakes, 04.05.2015
The Happy Museum embarks on its final programme to improve wellbeing in the museum sector
The Happy Museum, a project that promotes wellbeing and sustainability in the cultural sector, will disband in 2020 after delivering a five-year plan to embed its thinking into museums' day-to-day practice.

Hilary Jennings, the project director at the Happy Museum, which was set up in 2011, said that after four years a lot of its principles were now "part and parcel" of museum sector.

"We’d like to think that in five years time we will not need an organisation to refresh these ideas", Jennings said. "We don’t intend to be a permanent fixture in the museum landscape apart from the thinking."

An in-depth study with a minimum of five museums to explore the impact of measures to improve wellbeing and a training programme for mid-career professionals on wellbeing, sustainability and ethics are among some the projects proposed for the next five years. 

The Happy Museum project is funded by Arts Council England.

The Happy Museum's five-year plan aims to achieve the following objectives:

  • Make wellbeing and sustainability as familiar and relevant to museum thinking as learning and participation.

  • Support organisational resilience in the museum sector through a focus on wellbeing and sustainability.

  • In turn, museums will have supported the development of resilience in their staff and communities and in wider society as a whole.

  • Ensure the valuable role that culture plays in developing a sustainable global future is better recognised.


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MA Member
12.06.2015, 10:17
I'm lost for words... The 'happy museum'? 'Staff wellbeing'? With the number of staff cuts we're having? Sorry - in which museum is this happiness and wellbeing happening?