People Power: Embedding Community Participation, Glasgow, 12 September

Glasgow Women’s Library and YouthLink Scotland collaboration to be discussed at People Power

Alex Stevens, 29.08.18
Event will focus on challenges and opportunities for museums working with community organisations
Delegates at the Museums Association’s (MA) event People Power: Embedding Community Participation will hear Rachel Thain-Gray, the project coordinator at Glasgow Women’s Library, and Amy Calder, the senior development officer at YouthLink Scotland, discuss the challenges and opportunities posed by their collaboration for the exhibition Scotswummin.

“It can be difficult to ask community organisations to make this sort of work a priority,” says Thain-Gray. “And it is unusual for organisations dealing with big issues around structural inequality to come to us with a cultural project.

“In my discussion with Amy, I will be asking her why a heritage project became a priority for YouthLink Scotland, how participants were handed authorship to produce the content of the final exhibition, and what was the impact on them?

“And we will also discuss how concrete outcomes for funders can be a barrier to flexibility, and how we can negotiate that.”

The full line-up of speakers for the event has now been announced. Thain-Gray and Calder will be joined by chair Victoria Hollows, the senior museum manager of Glasgow Life/Glasgow Museums, Piotr Bienkowski, the project director of Paul Hamlyn Foundation’s Our Museum programme, and Museums Association (MA) director Sharon Heal, who be introducing a new framework from the MA for evaluating and supporting participatory practice.

Practical approaches to co-curation, volunteering, funding and other types of community work will be discussed by Esther Amis-Hughes, the youth engagement officer at Leeds City Museum, Adam Corsini, the archaeology collections manager at the Museum of London, and Nia Williams, the head of learning and engagement at Amgueddfa Cymru (National Museum Wales).

Paddy Gilmore, the head of programmes of National Museums Northern Ireland, Kayte McSweeney, community partnerships manager at the British Museum, and Aileen Strachan, content delivery manager at Paisley Museum, will discuss how they approach community participation and consider the challenges faced by delegates.

An informal lunchtime workshop run by Sam Jenkins and Anne Sharman of @Museum_Wellness will offer a space for museum professionals to share problems and suggest solutions for professional mental health support.

People Power will take place at Glasgow Concert Halls on 12 September.

Tickets for MA individual, corporate and institutional members are £125; for prospective AMA members £95; for MA student, retired or unwaged members £55; and for non-members £195.