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Welcome to Museum Ideas 2020 — introducing the free online event

Welcome to Museum Ideas 2020. Normally in October hundreds of museum colleagues from around the world are meeting up at the Museum of London for our annual Museum Ideas conference. But of course this year is different and due to the pandemic we are unable to run our 2020 conference in the usual way. So this year we’ve made it a FREE online event — no subscription, membership or ticket required.

With the current experiences of uncertainty, anxiety and grief, we feel this is the wrong time to be putting the cost of a ticket in the way of taking part in the conference this year. Making Museum Ideas 2020 free is a practical act of solidarity with museum workers.

We hope the talks will provide a space to explore how museums can be reimagined as ethical, people focused organisations in a time of growing inequality, environmental emergency, and economic and political crisis.


Speakers this year include: Melanie Keen (Wellcome Collection); Kayleigh Bryant-Greenwell (Smithsonian American Art Museum); Manal Ataya (Sharjah Museums, UAE); Alvin Tan (National Heritage Board, Singapore); Monica O. Montgomery (Museum Hue); Esme Ward (Manchester Museum); Sufea Mohamad Noor (Tate Liverpool); Hudda Khaireh (Somali Museum UK); Lucy Malone (Museum of Ordinary People); Nick Merriman (Horniman Museum); Chris Michaels (National Gallery); Richard Benjamin (International Slavery Museum); Nina Finigan (Auckland Museum, New Zealand); Thanh Sinden (Diversity and Inclusion Consultant); Anna Hansen (Regional Museum Kristianstad, Sweden); Russell Dornan (V&A Dundee); Anjana Khatwa (Wessex Museums); Becki Morris (Disability Collaborative Network); Aisling Serrant (Museum of London); Veronica Carrillo (Museum für Kommunikation); Katrina Lashley (Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum); and Sarah Wang (Vancouver Art Gallery; Canada).

We will be back next year with a full programme of workshops, study days and our annual conference. All tickets booked for our postponed 2020 events have been transferred to 2021 and we look forward to seeing you then. We remain committed to continuing to share museum ideas and doing everything we can to help support the wider museum community.


Why we are making Museum Ideas 2020 FREE
At this moment — more than ever — museum workers need support, solidarity, and meaningful structural change rather than expensive and exclusive events. Many working in museums are going through a difficult time — the pandemic hitting hardest those already experiencing structural inequality, financial hardship, emotional stress, and barriers to access and opportunity. Individuals and institutions are under considerable strain. In these difficult times we felt making the conference free to access this year was the right thing to do.

We’ve always tried to keep the cost of our conference tickets as low as possible (with a sliding scale starting at £97) — and certainly lower than many other professional development events in the museums sector. To charge a considerable amount of money for an online event while museum colleagues are being made redundant, lives are being turned upside down, and times are so difficult for so many, simply doesn’t seem to be a fair, just or equitable approach to take.

To our friends and colleagues in the museum community we send solidarity and best wishes. We hope you are keeping safe and well and that you find the talks interesting, helpful and worthwhile. We would like to thank all the speakers for taking the time to contribute their ideas on the future of museums.

Tickets for Museum Ideas 2021
If you have already booked for the 2020 conference your ticket has been transferred to the 2021 conference. Museum Ideas 2021 will take place in the usual way in London in October next year. 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. As with our previous conferences, 25% of tickets for Museum Ideas 2021 are free or available at the reduced rate of £97 for professionals often underrepresented at museum conferences. A crucial part of being an inclusive and relevant event is trying to keep the cost of tickets down as much as possible. Having a higher ticket rate means excluding people who should be represented and who need to be there to move the conversation forward in a meaningful way.

There are around 70 tickets remaining for Museum Ideas 2021. If you would like to support our continued work please consider purchasing a ticket to the 2021 edition of the conference. Or you can buy the book of the 2019 conference (£29.95) and/ or subscribe to Museum-iD magazine (£4.95).

Thank you to our sponsors
Many of our sponsors have supported the conference from the start — 9 years ago now — and their involvement with the event is crucial to its continued success. We would like to thank them for their support.

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