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Creative Museums Summit


Choose Day

29 April 2024

All times are BST (the time in London)

14:00 (BST)

Cruising with the Queer History Club

Hear from members of the Queer History Club at the National Maritime Museum, a recently established group of community researchers, to learn about their creative research methods, queering and being-queer-in the museum collections and archives. Queer History Club members invite you to board our ‘cruise ship’ for a special presentation on their theories and conversations about queer/ing maritime history.

14:30 (BST)

ChitChats & Atelier Sessions

Dive into the heart of visual creativity with FOMU’s captivating two-part program! Each year, the museum rolls out the red carpet for four visionary guests who are shaping the world of imagery. These masters of the visual guide attendees through hands-on atelier sessions by day and spark engaging conversations by night. Imagine the chance to co-create in a temporary exhibition with one of these luminaries, all while drawing on the expertise of partners Het Bos and Initials LA.

Tailored for a kaleidoscope of creatives—from photographers capturing fleeting moments to fashion designers draping dreams in reality—this program is a treasure trove of image literacy, creative sparks, and the art of seeing. It’s more than a conference; it’s a vibrant marketplace of ideas, a network of inspiration, and a celebration of personal expression. Attendees are here to share their vision, expand their horizons, or simply soak in the brilliance of like-minded individuals. FOMU’s program offers a canvas to explore the endless possibilities of visual communication, ready to inspire, challenge, and transform anyone who participates.

15:00 (BST)

DesignLab Nation: How Can We Inspire The Next Generation Of Designers, Makers And Innovators?

Shopping centres to football team monikers are often connected with the craft historically produced in the area. However, with the generational decline in industry as a source of community pride, coupled with an emerging crisis of creative education in UK schools, are young people across the UK facing a creative disconnect? How can museums collaborate to enrich creative networks between regional and national collections, between teachers and between the past and present of local making and designers in the UK? Through these networks, how can museums support students to build knowledge and develop key 21st century skills necessary for workplaces of the future – creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking?

15:30 (BST)

Creating (Sign Language) Signs With Museum Collections

This is a story of how to make creative and socially meaningful use of historical collections.

A collaborative effort among deaf educators, scientists, and curators from the Science Museum Group (SMG) led to the organization of a workshop focused on developing new British Sign Language (BSL) signs utilizing objects from historic collections.

The workshop served as a crucial intervention, addressing the shortage of BSL signs for scientific terms, which has been a significant obstacle to educational and career opportunities within the deaf community.

This initiative showcased the creative potential of historic objects in facilitating the expression and communication of new and emerging scientific concepts.

16:00 (BST)

How To Create A Mini Museum In A Shopping Mall

When the Swedish Museum of Natural History closed down because of urgent renovations, they had to quickly find a creative solution to the problem.

The session will tell the story of how a bunch of dinosaurs moved in to Sweden’s biggest shopping mall and found a new audience.

16:30 (BST)


17:00 (BST)

The power of public art

Commissioned work has a particular ability to speak to the now; to help museums bring their collections and spaces to life; and to bring artists, commissioning partners and audiences together in ways that would not otherwise be possible.  

Join this panel discussion to hear how Art Fund has supported Ashish Gupta’s commission at the William Morris Gallery and Melanie Manchot’s commission at the Liverpool Biennial. We’ll explore how commissioning a wide range of works in different forms can ensure collections nationally reflects the diversity of the UK and new developments in artistic practice. Plus, we’ll discuss how commissions can benefit the artist, the commissioning organisation and the public.



Rob Dingle, Senior Programme Manager, Projects at Art Fund 

Hadrian Garrad, Director at William Morris Gallery 

Ashish Gupta, artist

Sam Lackey, Director at Liverpool Biennial 


17:30 (BST)

More Than Just An Extra Letter: Genuine “A(rt)” In STEAM At A Science Museum

What is art? We won’t try to answer that! Instead, we will explore how to more genuinely incorporate creative arts into museum disciplines such as science and history. Too often we see arts integrated in subservient roles, e.g. using music to deliver science content. While this has value and can provide effective tools, COSI has explored new ways to enliven the A(rt) in the context of STEAM. Novel creative projects, such as a musical theater exploration of the solar eclipse and our community-generated art exhibitions, seek to go beyond the basic “art using” and inspire more authentic “art making.”

18:00 (BST)

The Future of Museums Is in Our Homes

The Museos Caseros (Bahía Blanca city, Argentina) represent an innovative museological vision, highlighting the richness of what is made with love and dedication at home. This approach refers to the daily life and traditions of the community, reflecting the collective memory of Bahía Blanca in an intimate and authentic way. The exhibitions are characterized by their simplicity and effectiveness, deeply resonating with the public as they are based on the transmission of knowledge and experiences from generation to generation. Instead of following conventional and academic parameters, the Museos Caseros prioritize the emotional relevance of each piece within the social mosaic of Bahía Blanca

18:30 (BST)

Open Innovation in Cultural Heritage Institutions

Unlock the secrets of successful cultural innovation! Join our presentation to discover how cultural institutions can drive transformative change through strategic partnerships and product development. Gain insights from real-world experiences in the Recharge project, where we explore innovative approaches, challenges, and opportunities. Learn how your institution can become a catalyst for creativity, leveraging expertise and networks to shape the future of museums. Don’t miss this chance to revolutionize your perspective on cultural heritage and discover the keys to meaningful collaborations. Be part of the conversation that’s shaping the future of cultural institutions

19:00 (BST)

Museums As Catalysts For Cultural Literacy

Join CEO Michele Y. Smith of the Museum of Pop Culture as she makes the case for why the museum space needs to respond to the decrease and slashing of arts and culture education in public school systems. In this talk, Michele will outline the dangers of not teaching cultural literacy, explain how pop culture can be used as a tool for education, and demonstrate how the museum can implement various programs to ensure every student thrives in a culturally enriched environment. Be part of a movement that reshapes the future of arts and culture education. Don’t miss this inspiring talk – your chance to champion cultural literacy and understand the transformative role museums can play in bridging the educational equity gap.

30 April 2024

All times are BST (the time in London)

14:00 (BST)

How To Inspire Social Media Audiences With The Power Of Illustration

When illustrated posts on your social media feed help you achieve thousands of interactions, you’ll be amazed by how effective this age-old form of visual storytelling is in encouraging your online audience to look, feel and act. The earliest recorded illustrations appear in the cave paintings in 15,000 B.C, and they’re still used in our digital age to tackle local and global issues. Find out how the Natural History Museum utilises drawing to encourage their social media audience to take positive action for people and planet.

14:30 (BST)

Celebrating SEND Learners’ Creativity

Children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) express their creativity in many ways. The learning and enjoyment often comes with sensory engagement in the process of creating rather than the final outcome. Hear from the National Maritime Museum and Willow Dene Special school about how they worked together creatively to capture learners’ responses to collections and themes and make them visible in Museum spaces including a permanent presence in the Museum’s award-winning playground. Hear about the impact and legacy this has had for local SEND families and both institutions.

15:00 (BST)

From Passive Display To Co-Produced Storytelling.

Objects are not seen as passive entities; they narrate stories. When considered individually and collectively, they evoke images and impart emotions. One year into adopting a ‘turn’ towards co-production, The Bowes Museum is set to reveal the practical steps that have enabled the institution to leverage exhibition and display as a means for co-produced storytelling and quiet activism. Being a purpose-built museum with a designated collection, objects were traditionally showcased in genre-based galleries through chronological curation. However, by engaging in co-production with its communities, the museum has transitioned to employing thematic and narrative methods for presenting objects. This new approach is now being applied in an initial six out of the museum’s 19 gallery spaces. The museum plans to share the challenges faced, provide top tips, and discuss its future aspirations.

15:30 (BST)

Theatrical Costumes And Beyond

The theatrical costumes of Tadeusz Kantor have been shown only once in their entirety so far. This time, the guide will take the audience to the costume warehouse and show them how they are stored. The audience will have a conversation with Actor Tadeusz Kantor, who will show them some costumes. The guide will explain how families were involved in creating a book about the costumes and how an exhibition hall was designed to showcase this mysterious collection of theatrical costumes to the public. In Krakow, in the year 2022, the objects became a pretext, a reason, for creative actions.

16:00 (BST)

Multi-Frequency Spaces / Multi-Frequency Museum

It is uncertain whether museums will continue to exist by 2050. To ensure their longevity, there is a need for the creation of spaces that establish a genuine connection with audiences of both today and the future, moving beyond the traditional, authoritative role often associated with museums. The Museum of Art and History (MAH) is at the forefront of exploring new possibilities, pioneering innovative approaches to art and creativity engagement.

16:30 (BST)


17:00 (BST)

Giving Support For Risky Museum Teams

How do museum teams take the first big step towards initiating riskier projects? What could happen if they have the opportunity to remake an exhibition or a public program because they have learned from their past mistakes? “Ensayar Museos (Rehearsal Museums)” is a grant that invites Argentinean museum teams to submit bold ideas and promote innovative museum projects. This exploration reveals some of the findings from joining museum teams that challenge themselves to think further, along with several suggestions to attract potential funding partners who could support their most ambitious projects.

17:30 (BST)

Cultivating Wild, Wacky And Wonderful

What happens when a group of creative makers are given the freedom to pursue their joy? The KID Museum’s strategy for fostering creativity involves encouraging its staff to embrace unrestricted creativity, designing spaces and engagements that are alive with the potential of “what if…” and “why not…” instead of “what do I do?” They invite others to join them in exploring their process, or sometimes the lack thereof, their approach to learning from failure, and the results of continuous creative iteration in their Maker Playground exhibits and engagements.

18:00 (BST)

How To Let Creatives Through The Door And Not Have The Place Turned Upside Down (Completely)

The presentation is set to be entertaining, engaging – even fun, and hopefully inspiring. It will include examples of public programmes that have been created with museums, offering a Museum Next exclusive look at the successes and failures. The discussion will delve into the methods and reasons behind these outcomes, and what occurred when things didn’t go as planned. Tips on collaborating with creatives will be shared, along with advice on recognizing and avoiding potential pitfalls. The presentation aims to explore how museums can work with artists to reimagine their collections and exhibitions. It seeks to convince the audience of the benefits of taking the risk of inviting creatives, highlighting the potential for significantly increased audience engagement and a surge of curiosity and wonder.

18:20 (BST)

Is Your Museum Creatively Connecting Itself To The Community

Imagine you arrive at the museum tomorrow and the door is chained shut. A note attached reads “Today…figure out how to do your job out there…in the community.” How do you connect your museum to the community, beyond the walls of the museum? Placemaking projects engage museums, arts organiSations, libraries, businesses, citizens, and community groups. They reveal the potential of a space, bring assets to the forefront, and introduce new possibilities and meaning. I want to talk to you about how to connect the wonderful things you and your museum do, to the community and the world.

18:50 (BST)

Immersive Creative Education

Storytelling in the 21st century takes many forms and the stories in the exhibitions are told in many ways. In Culture Makers Lab, students work creatively with artists combining hand crafts and digital immersive technology to explore their personal stories.