2016 Annual Conference - Museums for Society: Towards a Cultural Democracy

Monday 29 February - Wednesday 31 July 2019

The 2016 Annual Conference - Museums for Society: Towards a Cultural Democracy took place at the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin, on 26 - 28 February.

2016 marked the centenary of the Proclamation of the Irish Republic and its promise of "civil liberty, equal rights and equal opportunities for all its citizens". The IMA annual conference will look at museums as civic institutions with an important role to play in the social, cultural and educational life of society. They hold, interpret and exhibit their collections - the tangible and intangible heritage of humanity - on behalf of the public. They should therefore be ideally placed to help define and enhance a sense of citizenship and belonging, but are they living up to their potential? Do our audiences really feel ownership of "their" museums? Is a democratic museum possible?

Speakers and Participants in the Irish Museums Association's Annual Conference 2016 discussed the purpose and place of museums in what is a changing and fast-paced society.

Invited and Selected Speakers included:

Nazia Ali, Curator of Collecting Birmingham, Birmingham Museums Trust
Edith Andrees, Cultural Historian and Museum Educator
Ciarán Benson, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, University College Dublin
Dr Marie Bourke, Museum Professional and former Keeper and Head of Education, National Gallery of Ireland
Liam Bradley, Curator, Monaghan County Museum
Tony Butler, Executive Director, Derby Museums Trust
Fionnuala Croke, Director, Chester Beatty Library
Elizabeth Crooke, Professor of Heritage and Museum Studies, Ulster University
Louise Foott, Lecturer, Department of Arts in Health & Community Practice, CIT Crawford College of Art & Design
Elma Hašimbegović, Director, History Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Dr Anthony Haughey, Visual Artist and Lecturer, School of Media, Dublin Institute of Technology
Lar Joye, Assistant Keeper, Art and Industrial Division, National Museum of Ireland
Dr Alan Kirwan, Museum Educator, House of European History, a project of the European Parliament
Fiona Kearney, Director, Lewis Glucksman Gallery
Dr Malachi O'Doherty, Writer and Broadcaster
Dr Aislinn O'Donnell, Lecturer in Philosophy of Education, University of Limerick
Nicola Ralston, Assistant Keeper - Education and Outreach, National Library of Ireland
Dr Jette Sandahl, Museum Advisor and former Director, Museum of Copenhagen, Denmark
Audrey Smith, Heritage Consultant, Drogheda Museum
Jo-Anne Sunderland-Bowe, Heritage Consultant and Cultural Facilitator
Eithne Verling, Director, Galway City Museum
Trevor White, Director, Little Museum of Dublin
Briony Widdis, PhD Candidate, Ulster University

To view and download the programme outline, click here

To view and download the Speakers' Biographies, click here

To view and download the abstracts, click here for Friday 26 February and click here for Saturday 27 February