Resource launched to help museums diversify their audiences

Geraldine Kendall Adams, 08.06.2018
Open Up guide aims to support museums to achieve real and lasting change
A new resource has been launched to support museums to increase the diversity of their visitors. Open Up: museums for everyone aims to help organisations to move beyond talk to action in order to achieve “real and lasting change”. 

The project is produced and funded by the Museums Association (MA), the Association of Independent Museums, Arts Council England, the Museum Libraries and Archives Division of the Welsh Government, Museums Galleries Scotland, National Museums Northern Ireland, and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The initiative has produced a guide featuring advice and case studies from 20 museums from across the UK, capturing stories of change and examining the success factors that have led to museums significantly diversifying their visitors. 

Case studies include the Museum of Liverpool, Beamish: the Living Museum of the North, and National Museums Northern Ireland, all of which have seen success in recent years in attracting more visitor from diverse and disadvantaged backgrounds. 

The guide is intended to be a starting point for the programme; further information and support for museums will be made available in due course.

The MA’s director Sharon Heal said: ““Museums across the UK are striving to make sure their audiences reflect the full diversity of their local communities and this guide will help them on that journey. The guide explores what museums need to do differently and outlines the steps for success in diversifying audiences. 

"The range of brilliant case studies covering museums from across the UK is particularly helpful in demonstrating how different museums have gone about broadening their audiences and asking challenging questions about the use and purpose of museums in contemporary society.”

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