The Creative Museum: Extending participation through collaboration

The Irish Museums Association held the two-day seminar The Creative Museum: Extending Participation through Collaboration on 23-24 October at the Brian Friel Lecture Theatre, School of Creative Arts, Queen's University of Belfast (QUB).

This free event for IMA members and postgraduate students brought together artists and museum professionals to explore the opportunities, complexities and negotiations that take place when museums and artists in dance, visual arts, sound, and theatre collaborate to create unique visitor experiences.

'Audiences and Participation' are not a new phenomenon for our cultural institutions. Concerns such as enhancing access to collections through participatory practice and engagement through multi-disciplinary activities are amongst the priorities for the contemporary cultural sector. Many of our museums are responding to this in highly creative ways and are exploring how connecting our heritage with different art forms can enhance the experience of existing audiences and build new ones.

This event presented and examined - through a series of talks, practical examples and site visits - some of the approaches taken by museums in the Republic of Ireland (ROI), Northern Ireland (NI), and further afield, in creative collaborations with the broader arts sector. It discussed how organisations can enhance their relationship with the public and demonstrate their value and relevance in contemporary culture.

Speakers from the museum and arts sector  were invited to give an overview of their work:

Lar Joye, Assistant Keeper, National Museum of Ireland - Art and Industrial Division

Louise Lowe, Artistic Director, ANU Productions

Professor Pedro Rebelo, Director of Research, School of Creative Arts (incl. SARC), QUB

Katie Green, Founder and Director, Made by Katie Green

Margaret Henry, Chief Executive, Audiences NI

Michelle Browne, Visual Artist and Curator

Dr Hugh Maguire, Director, The Hunt Museum

Nigel Monaghan, Keeper, National Museum of Ireland - Natural History Division

Dr Emily Mark-Fitzgerald, Lecturer, School of Art History & Cultural Policy, UCD


Click here to view the detailed schedule.

Click here to view Speakers' biographies and presentation abstracts.

'The Creative Museum: Extending Participation through Collaboration' was organised by the Irish Museums Association (IMA), the School of Creative Arts (QUB), School of Art History & Cultural Policy (UCD) and funded by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht under the 2015 Co-operation with Northern Ireland funding scheme.