Participants in the second year of Transformers (c) Alex Nicholson-Evans

MA announces new Transformers programme at AGM

Nicola Sullivan, 09.11.2016
Mid-career development initiative now has three strands
The Museums Association (MA) unveiled its new Transformers programme during its AGM, which took place at the Museums Association Annual Conference and Exhibition in Glasgow this week.
It was announced that between March 2017 and March 2018 the MA will support at least 170 museum professionals to develop innovative ways of working, hone their influencing skills, and create change.

The programme will support projects under three strands: innovate (for those that want to road test risky ideas), diversify (creating change to make museums more inclusive) and influence (supporting the social power of museums).

It is funded by Arts Council England, the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, the Federation of Museums and Art Galleries of Wales, Museums Galleries Scotland, National Museums Northern Ireland and the Welsh Government.

“Transformers has been one of our great success stories over the last two years. It is our mid-career scheme and it is linked to our values as an organisation. It is about personal and organisational change,” said Sharon Heal, the director of the MA.

“I am delighted to be able to announce, with the help of our supporters, the third year of our Transformers scheme. It is going to be bigger and better than ever.”

Heal also said that professional development is a “core activity” for the MA over the next year and it would continue to refresh its current schemes while also working with funders to develop new schemes, including the pilot of a new mentoring programme.

The AGM also reported that the MA is in good health financially. Unrestricted funds, generated by areas such as membership fees and events increased to more than £1.9m in 2015-16, compared to just over £1.8m in 2014-15. This increase was largely due to growth in membership, reaching a record 8,300 members during 2015-16. 

Over the same period unrestricted income from external funders increased from £205,735 for 2014-15 to £321,396. This is largely due to ACE grants for Transformers and the Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund.