Belfast waterfront

MA and Irish Museums Association forge ties ahead of Belfast 2018

Patrick Steel, 06.02.2018
Memorandum of understanding will see associations work more closely
The Museums Association (MA) and the Irish Museums Association (IMA) have agreed to work more closely together, sharing resources and best practice, in the runup to the MA’s Annual Conference and Exhibition 2018 in Belfast.

In a memorandum of understanding, the two associations have signed an agreement to enable “the exchange of ideas and practice between the members of the IMA and the MA”.

The IMA will partner the MA for Belfast 2018, with involvement in the conference panel, session selection, engagement, tours and events.

“Working more closely with the MA over the past two years and in the lead-up to the MA Conference, Belfast 2018, has been hugely beneficial and allowed us to share knowledge and enhance our services,” said Gina O’Kelly, the director of operations at the Irish Museums Association.

“I am delighted that we will be additionally committing to promote each other’s work and programmes as our collaborative partnership grows stronger.”

“The MA has a deep commitment to working across the four nations of the UK and it makes sense for us to work with the IMA as our nearest neighbour. We would hope to share our resources and best practice and to learn from the IMA in a collaborative way,” says Sharon Heal, the MA’s director.

“We would like to hold the MA conference in Belfast in 2018, which would be the first time in over two decades that the annual conference has been held in Northern Ireland. This is a great opportunity to forge links between the two associations and develop a closer working relationship.”

Gina O'Kelly, the director of operations at the Irish Museums Association, says: “With shared histories and facing similar challenges, our commitment to partnering more closely with the MA is timely and reflects our common goal of working collaboratively and learning from each other.

“As an all-island organisation, the Irish Museums Association welcomes the opportunity that the 2018 MA conference in Belfast will extend to museums in Ireland, north and south of the border, to share knowledge and develop ties with museums across the UK.”

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Belfast 2018


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Jonathan Gammond
Access , Wrexham County Borough Museum
13.02.2018, 19:06
Is it possible to charter a ferry and organize some more joint MA conferences with the French, Belgian, Dutch, Danish and Norwegian museum associations? The continentals often have more in common with us than the USA and other English speaking nations (Am I allowed to say that any more?) I would say the Spanish too, but the Bay of Biscay can get a bit rough. There would be some decent food for a start. No disrespect to the caterers at previous conferences.