Help to diversify museum visitors

Patrick Steel, 24.04.2017
Feedback wanted from sector to create tools for long-term change
Diversifying Museum Visitors, a UK-wide project designed to help museums increase the diversity of their visitors, is seeking individuals working in different types and size of museum across the sector to help create tools and guidance to help museums make long-term change.

The project is looking to address and break down barriers to diversifying visitors by looking at the underlying factors, exploring practical steps that museums can take, and examining what needs to be done to change and influence museums both internally and externally.

Julie Aldridge, a consultant working on the project alongside Mel Larsen and Pam Jarvis, wrote in a blog: “The literature and practice review (underway at the moment) is highlighting that there is a complex interplay of factors which affect diversity and inclusion within museums.

“The project team will therefore consider all of the protected characteristics, but will place a particular emphasis on socio-economics as a key, cross-cutting influence on engagement.”

The project steering group is being led by the Association of Independent Museums and the Museums Association (MA), along with funders from the four nations: Arts Council England, the Museums Archives and Libraries Division of the Welsh Government, Museums Galleries Scotland and National Museums Northern Ireland.

Sharon Heal, the MA’s director, says: “We live in a complex and divided world and it is more crucial than ever that a wide range of people can have access to the cultural riches that our museum collections hold.

“I hope this project will give museums the tools to understand how they can build diverse audiences that reflect the range of communities which they serve.”

If you work in a UK museum then you are encouraged to register your interest to share your experience, explore the ideas further with other museums, or simply find out more about the project.

The deadline for expressions of interest is 5pm on 5 May.

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Diversifying museum visitors

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