‘Can museums improve wellbeing or should they concentrate on looking after and displaying collections? Should museums address contemporary issues and engage audiences in debate? There is a growing discussion about whether museums can make people feel happier and healthier. How can museums prepare for, shape and respond to possible future trends and changes in economics, politics, demographics, technology and social patterns.’ These are some of the questions brought-up at this year’s Museums Association Conference 2013 held in Liverpool on 11th and 12th November.
Claire and Shezza went to Liverpool last week to engage with colleagues across the museum sector in the UK and abroad to discuss the issues above and many other ideas around heritage and culture. This year’s MA Conference had three main strands of session running through the 2 days:
The Therapeutic Museum, coordinated by Carol Rogers, executive director, education, communities and visitors, Nations Museums Liverpool.
Tomorrow’s World, led by Iain Watson who many of you will know as the director of Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums.
The Emotional Museum, coordinated by David Fleming, director, National Museums Liverpool.
With keynote speeches from Ricardo Brodsky, director of the Museum of Memory and Human Rights, Chile; Helen Goodman, shadow culture minister and Lucy Worsley, broadcaster chief curator at Historic Royal Palaces as well as many workshops and exhibition stands, the conference has, yet again, been a fascinating and inspirational two days.
If you’d like to know more we’ll be putting up notes and thoughts over the next few days or you can go to the Museums Association website to read about the sessions.