The Museums Association conference

I have just returned from the Museums Association conference in Liverpool.

Museums Association

Museums Association

The MA is a professional organisation for those who work in museums or galleries. The conference consists of discussions and talks around the current issues in the museum sector.

The MA is consulting on the issue of sustainability at the moment. Their categories of environmental, financial and social sustainability include everything from collections and exhibitions, to efficient energy use. Debates focused on what a sustainable museum might look like and the golden opportunity for museums to be at the forefront of this issue.

Another big issue was working with communities and the idea of ‘co-production’. It was apparent that nobody had a clear definition of ‘co-production’, but most people had examples of when it hadn’t worked. Working with community groups in a meaningful way is something we should all aspire to in museums, but we have a lot of learning to do especially from outside the sector.

I was disappointed in the representation of the people at the conference, most were senior managers. This seems to have been due to the greater than £400 cost of attending the conference. (I was on a free place). This bias, meant that debates inevitably reflect the opinions of the few and not the majority of the members of the Museums Association.

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