Collections Care Conference 2023: Preserving the Un-Preservable



Day 1 – Monday 22 November

9:30-9:50 Disco wellbeing session Get an active start to the conference with a light-hearted warm-up from our Day 2 host and chair, David Burgess. Dancing compulsory, camera not so!  

10:00-10:15 Opening remarks
Jamie Everitt (SHARE Museums East), Jenny Cousins (Museum of East Anglian Life) and Steve Miller (Norfolk County Council)

10:15-11:15 SHED Talks

  • Off the sticky floor! Lead with a growth mindflow Ruchi Aggarwal (University of Lincoln)

  • We can’t go back Zak Mensah (Birmingham Museums Trust)

11:30-12:30 SHED Talks

  • Collaborative strategies for success – Emmie Kell (Cornwall Museums Partnership)
  • Values in action: surviving the pandemic – and recovering Liz Power (London Museum of Water and Steam)


12:30-13:30 Lunch break

13:30-14:15 Conversations – three networking sessions, covering the following topics:

  • Values & community 
    What values are important to you and your museum practice?  
    Join us for an informal conversation about our values and the values of those around us in our communities – how can we find common ground, work together and become more relevant to our audiences? 
  • Social prescribing & wellbeing 
    Could your museums engage with Social Prescribing and other organised Wellbeing activities? 
    Informal conversation to share experiences and ambitions in this area 
  • Activism in museums
    “There is a growing and irresistible imperative to redefine the contemporary museum as an active agent in shaping the world around us and making it a better place” Richard Sandell and Robert Janes in Museum Activism 2019. The idea of museums’ neutrality has been challenged for many years but what does activism mean in museums? Is the term activism unhelpful and how is it different to advocacy? Can it increase our relevance and help us appeal to currently underserved audiences? How do we choose our causes without alienating anyone?

14:30-15:15 Talks

  • Commercialising the Warner Textile Archive collection – Robert Rose (Braintree District Museum Trust)
  • Growing through tough times: a case study of de Havilland Aircraft Museum – Rachel Mackay (The Recovery Room) and John Baldwin (De Havilland Aircraft Museum)

15:15-15:20 Closing remarks – Jenny Cousins (Museum of East Anglian Life)

Day 2 – Tuesday 23 November

10:00-10:15 Opening remarks
David Burgess (Apollo Fundraising) and Jamie Everitt (SHARE Museums East)

10:15-11:15 SHED Talks

  • Perspectives on the funding landscape from the John Ellerman Foundation, a medium-sized grant makerSufina Ahmad (John Ellerman Foundation)
  • Existential crisis, or reinvention? What Art Fund has learned about museums and about itself, and what we’re going to do about it  – Sarah Philp (Art Fund)

11:30-12:00 Talk

  • Reflect. Represent. Reframe. Rethink. A new contemporary artwork by Kehinde Wiley at The Stained Glass Museum
    Jasmine Allen (The Stained Glass Museum)

12:00-12:30 Conversations – three networking sessions, covering the following topics:

  • 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?

12:30-13:30 Lunch break

13:30-14:00 Talk

  • The pandemic’s impact on our audiences: challenges and opportunities – Christina Lister (Christina Lister Comms)

14:00-14:40 SHED Talk

  • Museum professional wellbeing in a (hopefully) post-Covid world – Claire Warner (Purpose Driven People)


14:40-15:15 Round up and closing remarks
David Burgess (Apollo Fundraising), Jenny Cousins (Museum of East Anglian Life), Steve Miller (Norfolk County Council) and SHED Talkers

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