Kim Streets (top left), Lynn Scarff (top right), Hilary McGrady (bottom left) and Kathryn Thomson (bottom right) will be taking part in the session

Line-up revealed for Belfast 2018 Directors in Conversation session

Simon Stephens, 18.06.2018
Four speakers to discuss future of museum sector
The Museums Association has announced four fantastic speakers for the Directors in Conversation session at this year’s annual conference in Belfast on 8-10 November.

They are Lynn Scarff, the recently appointed director of the National Museum of Ireland; Hilary McGrady, who became the director-general of the National Trust this year; Kathryn Thomson, the chief executive officer and director of National Museums Northern Ireland (NMNI); and Kim Streets, the chief executive of Museums Sheffield.

Scarff joined the National Museum of Ireland in May from Science Gallery Dublin, where she spent 11 years developing a programme of cultural experiences that explored the boundaries of art and science and connected with a target audience of 15-25 year olds.

McGrady has worked for the National Trust for 12 years, the last four as chief operating officer. She replaced Helen Ghosh as the director-general in March. Previous roles include regional director for the trust in Northern Ireland and leading Belfast’s bid to become European Capital of Culture.

Thomson joined NMNI from Tourism NI, where she was the chief operating officer. She has been leading a restructure at NMNI to help the organisation implement its priorities over the next five years, which include developing its collections, growing and diversifying its audiences, and seeking investment in redevelopment across its estate.

Streets has more than 20 years of experience in collections research and development, exhibitions production, audience engagement and project management acquired through a combination of curatorial and senior management roles in Sheffield. She became the chief executive of Museums Sheffield in 2012.

The Directors in Conversation session will be chaired by Belfast-born Jenny Stewart, a publicist and communications consultant with more than a decade of experience in the cultural sector. She worked at the Design Museum and Royal Museums Greenwich before setting up an independent consultancy. Her clients include Peckham Platform, the Glasgow International Comedy Festival and We Are Here Venice.

The theme of this year’s conference is Dissent: Inspiring Hope, Embracing Change and the four directors will be addressing ideas and topics related to this, as well as many other subjects.

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