Making the Future, Consortium of Heritage Organisations

Museums Change Lives - Northern Ireland

Yosola Olorunshola,
New case studies on socially engaged work in museums
We’re excited to launch a new series of Museums Change Lives (MCL) case studies to highlight the dynamic and impactful work taking place in museums across Northern Ireland. 

The Museums Association (MA) collaborated with the NI Museums Council to produce the case studies, which demonstrate museums working closely with their communities to make better places, enhance health and wellbeing, and inspire engagement, debate and reflection. 

The document is part of the MA’s ongoing campaign to promote socially engaged museum practice.  It covers a wide range of examples, including groundbreaking projects on community-building and peacebuilding that can inspire museums across the UK at a time of increasing social divides. 

Sharon Heal, director of the MA, said: “When our MA reps in Northern Ireland asked us to do a version of Museums Change Lives, we knew it was a great opportunity to put together a convincing case for the difference that museums can make to people’s lives.

“We were overwhelmed by the breadth and depth of case studies that came in. Every type of museum from small local museums to the national museum is doing work that demonstrates how museums can enhance health and wellbeing, create better places for us to live and work, and make space for debate and reflection. This document is proof that museums in Northern Ireland are having a transformational impact working with their communities.”

Heal presented the new MCL document to MA reps and stakeholders in Belfast on Monday 2 March ahead of the launch.  

“We’re proud that our 42 Accredited museums are working closely with their communities to make Northern Ireland a better place to live, work and visit,” said Sinéad McCartan, director of NI Museums Council. 

The publication will be presented at the next NI Members’ Meeting, which takes place on 10 June at Ulster Museum

“It is great to showcase the diverse range of work happening across museums in Northern Ireland, especially so many projects which impact directly on our local people and communities,” said Elaine Hill, MA rep for Northern Ireland and heritage development officer at Mid and East Antrim Borough Council.  

“Museums in Northern Ireland, regardless of their size, are doing amazing work, making their spaces and collections more engaging, accessible and socially and culturally relevant,” said Jenny Haslettt, MA rep and museum manager at Northern Ireland War Memorial.  

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