The Museums Association (MA) has launched session proposals and super early bird booking for its annual conference in Belfast on 8-10 November 2018, under the theme: Dissent: Inspiring Hope - Embracing Change. The MA is working with museums across Ireland and is running this conference in collaboration with the Irish Museums Association.
"The conference will focus on having the courage to challenge traditional thinking to transform museums and society," says Simon Stephens, the MA's head of publications and events.
"How can we foster radical ideas that defy the norm? Which networks and individuals develop these ideas and how can we ensure that their voices are heard and valued in our work? And who are the dissenters from outside museums that can provoke, inspire and challenge us?
"Belfast 2018 will showcase inspiring work from across the world that places museums at the heart of their communities and transforms people's lives. It will highlight the role all museums can play standing with their communities as they encourage activism and promote positive social change. The deadline for session proposals is 1 March 2018.
"The conference will also challenge the concept of dissent. How dissenting can museums be, particularly those that are supported by public funding? Does dissent always lead to positive change and transformation? And how should museums represent dissenting voices that challenge values such as diversity, equality and inclusion?
"Dissent can be scary, it can involve debate, friction and conflict - but only by embracing change do we find the radical and innovative ideas that give all museums the tools to face the future with confidence, ambition and hope."
Ireland has a rich tradition of storytelling, music and literature, which will bring a creative flavour to the event - and the MA is seeking proposals from across Ireland.
"We have created a bold theme for this conference and we are seeking equally bold, innovative and thought-provoking proposals," says Stephens.
The MA also welcomes proposals from outside the sector and internationally, as well as those working in museums, galleries and heritage.
The super early bird booking is 25% cheaper than the standard price, which in some cases is a saving of £155 on a delegate place.
The MA also offers subsidised places for smaller museums that are members of the MA - these are limited to 50 places so early booking is advised.
The super early bird deadline is 30 April 2018.
Click here for further information.