Collections Care Conference 2023: Preserving the Un-Preservable


10:00-10:15 Welcome to day two of Regroup Rethink Reset

Join David Burgess and Jamie Everitt as they kick off day two of the 2021 online festival. 


David Burgess, Director of Apollo Fundraising
Jamie Everitt, Regional Manager at SHARE Museums East

10:15-11:15 SHED Talks

Perspectives on the funding landscape from the John Ellerman Foundation, a medium-sized grant maker

In this session, Sufina will offer reflections on the Covid-19 response by funders and what it can teach us, including exploring the role of creativity, resourcefulness and responsiveness in decision-making, as well as what we might do differently now with the benefit of hindsight. She will also reflect on what it means to have been living and working through such high and intense levels of ‘VUCA’ (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity) for such a sustained period of time. 

In her reflections, Sufina will also share insights about the role of leadership within these circumstances. Leadership can mean many different things to people, and Sufina will particularly focus on the paradoxes that leaders navigate, whilst committing to and delivering compelling visions for the present and beyond.  

Sufina Ahmad, Director at John Ellerman Foundation

Sufina is the Director of John Ellerman Foundation, a medium-sized grantmaker supporting UK-registered charities delivering work in the arts, social action and the environment.  

Sufina has worked in corporate strategy and performance at the City of London Corporation, and held grantmaking, strategy and policy roles at the National Lottery Community Fund and City Bridge Trust. Sufina started her career in service delivery and business development roles in health and social care and housing.  

Sufina holds trusteeships with Just for Kids Law, We Belong, The Charterhouse and the Association of Charitable Foundations. Sufina is an honorary Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Fundraising, having chaired their Expert Panel on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. She is also an RSA fellow. Sufina was awarded an MBE for charitable services in 2020. 

Existential crisis, or reinvention? What Art Fund has learned about museums and about itself, and what we’re going to do about it   

In the early days of the pandemic we talked a lot about there being an ‘existential crisis’ in the museums sector. We meant, of course, that a total loss of income had left many museums fighting for their survival. But as the weeks and months progressed, it became clear that this could also be a moment to re-evaluate what a museum was and could be – that the existential crisis was not just about survival, but also about identity.  

My talk will consider not only what we have learned, through our research and grant-making, about how the pandemic has impacted the museums and galleries we support, but also how it has changed us as a funder, and what this might mean for the future.   

Sarah Philp, Director of Programme and Policy at Art Fund

Sarah Philp is director of programme and policy at Art Fund, where she leads on the development and delivery of the annual grants programme, museum and gallery support, and sector policy and research. She works with partners nationwide across the museum and visual arts sectors – focusing most recently on new research and funding to support the sector through Covid-19. She is chair of Michael Clark Company and a founding member of the Association of Women in the Arts, has advised organisations including the King’s Cross Knowledge Quarter and the Churches Conservation Trust, and been a mentor for Arts Emergency.  

11:30-12:00 Reflect. Represent. Reframe. Rethink. A new contemporary artwork by Kehinde Wiley at The Stained Glass Museum

How do we connect with new audiences through new acquisitions? Using the example of recent acquisition by African American queer artist Kehinde Wiley at The Stained Glass Museumthis presentation explores how a single acquisition can bring in new audiences, deepen engagement, change perceptions, and bring fresh perspectives to our existing collections.  

Jasmine Allen, Director and Curator at The Stained Glass Museum

Jasmine is Director and Curator of The Stained Glass Museum, an independent museum with a main gallery set in the heights of Ely Cathedral. The museum houses a collection of both national and international significance, from medieval to modern. With a background in Art History, specialising in 19th and 20th century stained glass, Jasmine moved to Ely to take up her role in 2013. In the last 8 years she has built up the museum’s modern and contemporary collection, whilst showcasing contemporary stained glass art through temporary exhibitions.

12:00-12:30 Conversations

Join your fellow conference attendees in conversation around key themes, facilitated by our county Museum Development Officers.

Income generation 

How can museums encourage secondary spend? How can museums shops square environmental responsibility with profitability and customer satisfaction across a wide range of visitor demographics? 

Volunteering Reset 

Post- pandemic, how can we Regroup Rethink Reset volunteering in our museums? What are the issues we face? How can we encourage and support young volunteers? 

Digital Engagement & Learning 

Many museums have embraced the opportunity and necessity of digital engagement with their visitors over the last 18 months. What can we learn from the experience? What does the future look like? 

Fundraising with David Burgess

Do we need to reset our view of what a museum supporter looks like? Do we need to rethink what museums can bring to the table? How do we regroup and move from emergency funding to long-term sustainability?

13:30-14:00 The pandemic’s impact on our audiences: challenges and opportunities  

Covid-19 has caused disruption and challenges to our audience engagement and development. But as the rule book and status quo disappeared, experimentation and opportunities also emerged. Many museums have been forced to, or chosen to, try new ways of thinking and new models of working. They have worked hard to remain relevant to their existing audiences, whilst reaching out to new ones.  

This presentation will highlight key research on the impact of Covid-19 on museums’ audiences, and opportunities as we look to the future. It will also share examples of museums’ resourcefulness and creativity in their audience engagement work over the last 18 months. It will end by suggesting questions for museums to consider when planning their audience development over the coming months and years. 

Christina Lister, Marketing and Audience Development Consultant at Christina Lister Comms

Christina is a marketing and audience development consultant, trainer and facilitator with 20 years’ experience, working with museums, heritage sites and cultural venues. She has worked with organisations including Jane Austen’s House, the Science Museum Group, the Museum of London, the Museum of Cambridge, American Library, Dundee Science Centre, the Association of Independent Museums (AIM), the Arts Marketing Association and Norwich Historic Churches Trust.  

Her work has won a range of awards and she is a regular contributor to sector media and events. Christina is passionate about championing audiences and broadening the appeal of, and access to, heritage and culture. 

14:00-14:40 SHED Talk

Museum professional wellbeing in a (hopefully) post-covid world

The past 18+ months have been challenging for everyone.  But the toll the pandemic has taken on the world of those in the Museums and Heritage sector cannot be underestimated,  This session (and its accompanying materials for use after the event), will encourage Museum professionals to consider the causes of their current “unwellbeing”, the ways that impact of these could be reduced or removed, and how they can prioritise and embed wellbeing (my definition of which, we will get to at the event) in their own lives and those of their colleagues and enjoy the benefits of doing so.

Claire Warner, Founder and CEO at Purpose Driven People

Claire Warner is a former Fundraising Director and Charity Senior Leader, turned Wellbeing and Management Coach & Workplace Culture Consultant. She covers all things well being, life balance, management expertise and workplace culture for purpose-driven people.

14:40-15:15 Closing remarks 

Join chairs David Burgess, Jenny Cousins and Steve Miller alongside the SHED Talkers as they concludes the 2021 online festival. 


David Burgess, Director of Apollo Fundraising
Jenny Cousins, Director at Museum of East Anglian Life
Steve Miller, Norfolk County Council Director of Culture & Heritage, Head of Norfolk Museums Service & Head of Norfolk Arts Service
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