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Applying Class to Museum Collections — 26 April 2022

© Jon Sleigh

Professor Dave O’Brien of the University of Sheffield – co-author of Culture is Bad for You: Inequality in the Cultural and Creative Industries – and the team from the award-winning Black Country Living Museum will be joining arts educator and curator Jon Sleigh to lead sessions at the Applying Class to Museum Collections study day.

Both socially and through our museum collections, we have inherited rich conversations on class studies. These narratives are alternatively powerful, emotional, uplifting or divisive. How can we use collections to explore class, and in turn ourselves?

This workshop combines detailed exploration of class and social inequality, combined with a practical application in engagement and ethics. How do we explore class as a way of bringing others together? How can collections be used as tools of advocacy for others? What contemporary relevance do they have to us today? How do we use objects and collections ethically? How do we safeguard ourselves and others within narratives on inequality? Are we the right people to present these conversations?

Combining powerful museum examples with a range of expert speakers, this workshop offers a warm, collaborative, and practical environment to explore class within museums.

Applying Class to Museum Collections
Study Day, 26 April, Museum of London

Workshop leaders: Jon Sleigh (he/him) is a learning officer, learning curator and art history writer. He works freelance nationally as a specialist in fine art engagement with a diverse portfolio of arts institutions, museum and heritage sites across the UK. Clients include The National Gallery, The National Portrait Gallery, The National Archives, Historic Royal Palaces, Art Fund, V&A, Government Art Collection DCMS and the Arts Council Collection. Prior to this Jon worked for Birmingham Museums Trust / The Arts Collection in Round One of the acclaimed ACE National Partners Programme. Jon has built a strong reputation for innovation, applied ethics and delivery of projects reflecting inclusive futures. He has a passion for challenging and underrepresented narratives in art – co-producing with communities and bringing their lived experience to artworks for advocacy.

Dave O’Brien is Professor of Creative Industries at the University of Sheffield. He is also a co-investigator at the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre (AHRC PEC), and the AHRC funded Impact of Covid-19 on the Cultural Sector research project. He has published extensively on cultural policy, cultural and creative industries, and the creative economy. His latest book, Culture is Bad for You, is co-authored with Drs Mark Taylor and Orian Brook, and he is also the co-author of the Creative Majority report on what works to support diversity in the creative industries, published by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Creative Diversity

Study Day Format: Working in small groups with a welcoming and informal atmosphere, study day participants will benefit from expert guidance and support coupled with hands-on, practical sessions.

Tickets: Reduced rate tickets at £97 are available for museum workers who are often excluded from professional development and training opportunities, students, freelancers, those working at independent museums, and people new to the sector. Please email to book a ticket at the reduced rate.

Click ‘Select options’ below to reserve tickets at the standard rate. Book with colleagues for multiple delegate discounts — standard rate tickets available on a sliding scale from £137 per person. Book your ticket online below or email if you prefer to be invoiced.

Tickets are non-refundable but may be swapped between colleagues at the same organisation and between different study days (if places are available). If the workshop is postponed due to Covid-19 restrictions your ticket remains valid for the rescheduled date.

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