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How to Use the Power of Collections in Advocacy — 16 May 2023

© Jon Sleigh

In this study day you will explore how museums can use the power of collections in advocacy, activism and co-production. The workshop will look at practical ways in which we can reread and use collections in compelling and engaging new ways. Combining powerful museum examples with a range of expert speakers, this study day offers a warm, collaborative, and practical environment to explore engagement and co-production within museum spaces.

Case study example: Ageism sits quietly within many cultures, and casts a long shadow within our museum collections. Objects and artworks often depict an idealised, romantic or misleading image of ageing. Interpretations which lead us to see the elderly as ‘sweet’ or ‘unproblematic’ are deeply ageist, and deny the rich emotional and intellectual life of those aging well. How can we challenge this narrative, and use objects for the advocacy of those aging well today? How in turn can we orientate collections for the advocacy of others?

At this study day you’ll gain first-hand experience of how to use the power of collections in advocacy, activism and co-production and walk away with practical and actionable next steps that you can take back to your museum.

How to Use the Power of Collections in Advocacy, Activism and Co-production
Study Day, 16 May 2023, Wellcome Collection, London

Workshop leader: Workshop leader 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, 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.

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.

Book tickets: Click ‘Select options’ below to book your place on the study day. Tickets are available on a sliding scale from £177 – £137. Book with colleagues for multiple delegate discounts. Book your ticket online below or email if you prefer to be invoiced.

20% of tickets are available at a reduced rate for museum workers who may often be excluded from training and professional development opportunities, including people of colour, LGBTQ+ and working class members of staff, people with a disability, front of house staff, students, freelancers, those working at small independent museums, and people new to the sector. Reduced rate tickets are £97 – email to check availability and to book a ticket at the reduced rate.

The Museum Ideas 2023 Study Day and Conference programme is sponsored by Art Fund and BECK.

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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