2008 Annual Conference: New Approaches to the Museum’s Engagement with the Local Community

Friday 29 February - Sunday 02 March 2008

All museums have a local dimension. At the most basic level, collections and visitors provide links with the local community in addition to their international dimensions. Enormous benefits, however, can be gained from developing a strategic approach to local and community partnerships. This conference aims to look at the range of opportunities available for all types of museums; national, regional, local and voluntary. You will learn how fostering and cultivating local partnerships can help raise your profile, develop your community base, gain new friends for the museum and improve your local history knowledge. Everyone associated with the Irish museums community will identify with the importance of the role of museums in this area. The Museum’s engagement with the local community is often seen as a low priority or regarded as appropriate only for the smallest institutions. Speakers will challenge these perceptions and show you how, with research, imagination, flair and persistence, every museum can develop a significant local community presence. The dynamic relationship between museums and their local community is something that can challenge even the smallest museum but given time, energy and a variety of strategies, it can prove to be a lifeline towards gaining more regular and frequent visitors together with providing a more fulfilling role for the museum. Questions dealing with these issues will be answered at the Irish Museums Association Annual Conference. The Irish Museums Association Annual Conference is being held in Wexford in 2008.