Lemn Sissay (c) Hamish Brown

First keynotes announced for MA conference

Simon Stephens, 26.04.2017
Super-early bird ticket offer ends on 30 April
Poet Lemn Sissay and comedian Francesca Martinez will be keynote speakers at the Museums Association Conference & Exhibition in Manchester (16-18 November), it was announced this week.

Writer and broadcaster Lemn Sissay, who was born in north-west England, is an associate artist at London’s Southbank Centre and the chancellor of the University of Manchester.

His work includes poetry, plays, music, public art and radio and television appearances. Sissay has worked with a number of museums and galleries, including London’s Foundling Museum, where he recently became a trustee. He was the first poet commissioned to write for the 2012 London Olympics.

Comedian and writer Francesca Martinez was one of four artists who took part in Exceptional & Extraordinary, a project led by the Research Centre for Museums and Galleries at the University of Leicester that used museum collections to explore attitudes towards difference.

Francesca Martinez

She regularly appears on radio and television and has performed all over the world, including Australia, France, South Africa, Canada and the US. Martinez has mild cerebral palsy, but she prefers the word “wobbly”.

The full conference programme, including further keynotes, will be available soon. It will include a wide range speakers from the UK and overseas.

The themes for this year’s conference are audiences; collections and workforce. The conference fee also includes a programme of tours and events on Saturday 18 November.

Venues taking part include Manchester Art Gallery; Manchester Museum; Whitworth art gallery and the National Football Museum.