Editorial - Museums Association


We must campaign, collaborate, connect
Profile image for Sharon Heal
Sharon Heal
Last month the Museums Association (MA) celebrated its 125th anniversary with a spectacular party at its annual conference in Cardiff.

Being the oldest museums association in the world is cause for applause and the MA has also topped 6,500 individual members for the first time in its history.

With institutional and corporate members on top that’s well over 7,300 members, giving the association real clout and a unique capacity to speak on behalf of members across the UK.

I think this success is down to three factors. The MA has taken a more campaigning approach to issues over the past few years, which has raised its profile and enabled it to talk about challenging issues such as the funding cuts, how to have more impact and resilience.

One impact of the cuts has been an increase in the number of museums considering selling from collections and Northampton has been barred from membership of the MA for doing just that.

Taking the lead on ethics and working with other organisations to review the code of ethics is an opportunity for us all to think about the way we work and our relationship with the public.

Stepping up policy work is good for the MA and its members but we work in a small sector and collaboration is crucial too. We are stronger together and we all need to look for common ground so we can work in partnership.

The third reason I think the MA has grown is that it has become a member-facing organisation, creating connections at regional and national level between members, both virtually and in reality.

I hope that the MA continues campaigning, collaborating and connecting with its members. And as its new director I look forward to meeting that challenge. It’s been a privilege to edit Museums Journal for the past nine years and it will be an even greater privilege to help guide the MA in the coming period.

Sharon Heal, editor, Museums Journal




Leave a comment

You must be signed in to post a comment.