Museums and Resilient Leadership 2018-2019

Described by participants as “life changing”, MRL is a year-long programme to develop future leaders for the cultural sector. Applications are now open for 2018-2019.

Led by Black Country Living Museum, as an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation, MRL is designed to help those working in the cultural sector to become resilient and entrepreneurial leaders.

The programme provides a 360° view of leadership in the cultural, political and commercial spheres. It includes two 3 day residential retreats, eight 1 day masterclasses, an overseas study trip and personal mentoring support.

During the programme Sally McDonald, Director of MOSI, Michael Day, former CEO of Historic Royal Palaces, and Elaine Heumann Gurian, international museum consultant, will be giving workshops on governance, leading change and the social purpose of museums. There are a number of practical sessions on finance, money making and entrepreneurship at the Black Country Living Museum and a local social enterprise.

The Overseas Study Visits are a highlight of the MRL year. Previous visits have included trips to the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, Heureka Science Centre in Finland, Royal Ontario Museum in Canada, Oakland Museum of California, and the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.

Recent graduates include senior staff from the National Trust, British Museum, Tate Modern, Historic England, the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Bletchley Park Trust and Culture Coventry. Laura Pye, now Head of Culture – Bristol Culture Team, said:

“MRL helped me to become more resilient in many ways, it helped to build my personal confidence, extend my networks, fully understand my business including the budget, visitor stats and space analysis and focus on my values. There is a lot of talk about resilience and income generation at the moment but MRL made me realise that the most important thing isn’t what we do but why we do it.”

Directors Stephen Feber and Nick Winterbotham launched the programme with Black Country Living Museum; as one of the few largely self-financing museums in the UK, BCLM puts financial sustainability and organisational resilience at the core of its thinking. It offers an unrivalled commercially-focused base for the programme.

MRL is designed for passionate, curious entrepreneurial people who have acquired a taste for leadership and want to develop their understanding and practice further.

Applications for the 2018- 2019 programme, which begins in May 2018, are now open and will close at 5pm on Wednesday 31st January, 2018.

For more information on the programme and for more details on the application process visit


Museum-iD Magazine #21

Museum-iD Magazine #21

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