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Museum Ideas 2020: Explore the Ideas Shaping the Future of Museums

© Whitney Museum of American Art, NYC

Museum Ideas 2020: Explore the Ideas Shaping the Future of Museums

“Museum Ideas is the best museum conference there is. It constantly pitches high and secures superb, relevant speakers, who cover a rich and wide range of topics from international perspectives. It offers food for thought and feeds the soul with engaging and inspiring conversation, networks and ideas” – Helen Whiteoak, National Portrait Gallery

Due to coronavirus we are unable to run the 2020 conference in the usual way and have decided to make it a FREE online event. With the current experiences of job losses, uncertainty, anxiety and grief, we feel this is not the right time for us to be putting the cost of a ticket in the way of taking part in the 2020 event.

Museum Ideas 2020 will take place online in October and further details will be announced here soon…

Tickets for Museum Ideas 2021: Representation, Solidarity and Social Justice
If you have already booked for the 2020 conference your ticket remains valid and has been transferred to the 2021 conference. If you are unable to attend, tickets can be swapped between colleagues working at the same organisation or gifted to someone else to attend in your place. And in response to the financial concerns coronavirus has caused to both individuals and organisations, all the remaining tickets for Museum Ideas 2021 are now available at our lower early-bird rate. There are also additional savings available for multiple tickets booked at the same time by the same organisation. As with our previous conferences, we made 25% of tickets available free or at the reduced rate of £97 for professionals often underrepresented at museum conferences.

“An inspirational conference! A coming together of museum minds from across the world – gaining insights, sharing ideas and making connections” – Gillian Crumpton, Ironbridge Gorge Museum

With a progressive attitude and international approach, the Museum Ideas conference in London has welcomed thousands of museum professionals from over 30 countries to share and advance the ideas shaping the future of museums. Museum Ideas 2020 – the ninth edition of the annual international conference – will explore new models of collaborative and socially engaged participatory practice, progressive public engagement, social impact and much more – sharing pioneering ideas that will help shape and support change in museums around the world. Each year the conference brings together a deliberately eclectic group of speakers from around the world and challenges them to share transformative ideas in concise, powerful talks.

“Museum Ideas is a fantastic showcase for inspiring, creative projects and a great opportunity to meet and network with museum colleagues from across the globe. Looking forward to next year already!” – Lucy Morris, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

Museum Ideas 2020 Sponsors: Art Fund; Absolute Museum & Gallery Products; BECK; Cogapp; Designmap; Haley Sharpe Design; Locatify; Meyvaert; Opus Instruments; Squint/Opera; Vernon Systems

“A conference for mind expanding conversations and international networking with a platform for shared discussion” – Martin Payne, The British Museum

Speakers from previous editions of the Museum Ideas conference

Museum Ideas Speakers
At the 2018 conference award-winning playwright Linda Brogan spoke movingly about the ‘Excavating The Reno’ community project in Manchester’s Moss Side. Bringing together archaeologists, artists, social historians and the public, the project explores the story of a soul and funk club that became a sanctuary from racism in the 1970s. Linda’s talk was frank, honest and extraordinary. This is what Sandra Shakespeare from Museum Detox had to say about it: “Excellent to see the work of Excavating The Reno – an absolutely remarkable fresh change to see such honesty at a museum conference where the tendency is always to showcase the great and the good. It was deeply moving to witness vulnerability and authenticity.” This was echoed by Dhikshana Pering: “Still thinking about the Excavating The Reno project at Museum Ideas 2018 – hands down no conference session in my life has left such an impact… thank you.”

Kayleigh Bryant-Greenwell, Head of Public Programs at Smithsonian American Art Museum, opened the 2019 conference and set the agenda with her compelling talk ‘Break the Wheel: Museums Challenge the Status Quo’: “As museum practitioners we can allow museums to be a tool of the establishment, the powered, even the oppressor. But through a reflective practice and a reimagining of our purpose, we can instead exercise the power of the museum towards challenging the status quo.” Dr Lauren Vargas from the University of Leicester commented: “This may have been the best museum conference presentation I have ever witnessed – thank you for reminding museums of their role in challenging the status quo and how power is determined by relationship with social justice.”

Highlights from previous editions of the conference also include: The Right to Remember by Bonita Bennett, District Six Museum, Cape Town; Talking Trash by Alexandra Johnson, Science Museum; A Year in Museums by Sree Sreenivasan, Metropolitan Museum of Art; The Good of Being Different in a Time of Sameness by Mike Sarna, Royal Museums Greenwich; Museums as Vehicles of Social Change by Manal Ataya, Sharjah Museums; Immersive Theatre in Museums by Peter Higgin, Punchdrunk; and Talking to Strangers by Rosie Stanbury, Wellcome Collection.

The Museum Ideas conference has featured speakers from India, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, United States, Canada, Hong Kong, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Spain, The Netherlands, and England, Scotland and Wales.

“It was an impressive conference that was expertly curated to bring together voices from across the world to discuss the universal issues museums are addressing. I would highly recommend to colleagues and will definitely attend again in the future” – Laura Crean, Imperial War Museums


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