Irish Museums Association (IMA) New Strategy 2023-2027

29 Sep 2023

We are delighted to share with you the IMA’s new Strategy 2023-2027.

This guiding document seeks to inform our activity over the coming years in support of the museum sector, while also identifying what changes we need to make to how we work in order to deliver effectively.

It builds on the success of previous strategies - which has seen our membership grow by 52% and, in no small part due to the financial support extended by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media and The Heritage Council of Ireland, our annual income increase by 114% in the past five years - to outline our vision of a strong organisation that advocates effectively for its membership and bolsters the museum sector across the island of Ireland.

Our main imperative remains, as always, to support our membership – as our main stakeholders – in their work providing care, access and interpretation of our shared cultural heritage for the public benefit. We are conscious of the diffused nature of our sector, one that answers to multiple stakeholders across different jurisdictions, and that it is crucial that we extend a united voice in working and supporting common aims. We seek to provide a space of unity and equity that celebrates our shared cultural heritage, discussion, and collaborations, and inspires our communities to engage with the rich cultural collections that museums hold in trust; to demonstrate impact and the important contribution by museums to our society as places of learning, conservation, research, and interpretation; and to work with partners and funders to ensure sustainability within our sector.

In looking towards the 50th anniversary of the foundation of the IMA in 2027, we wish to reflect on the achievements of both the Association and the sector during this half-century period, to celebrate what we do well and continue to do this, but also to be self-critical and identify areas of improvement and avenues through which we can enact change and continue to have a vital impact on our communities.

As the ambitions of the IMA have grown, so have expectations for - and from - the organisation. Over the next five years, we aim to grow the Association and provide increased capacity to meet these challenges, while ensuring we continue to extend a welcoming, equitable, and supportive platform and seek to adequately resource our programme offering - which informs this work - to evidence how the museum sector has transformed in recent years to fulfil an increasingly vital role in our society.

We therefore commit to working with our membership, our supporters, and partners to co-create and deliver offerings that meet their needs and lead conversations; to encourage the improvement of museum practice, access to our cultural heritage, and evidence the impact of the museum as we work together as a society to reach the objectives of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals in creating a better future for all.

We present this new Strategy as a living document, one that reaffirms our commitments and outlines our priorities for the Association but also that will be periodically reviewed and revised to adjust priorities, reevaluate goals, and inform our annual business plans as circumstances change and new opportunities emerge.

In this spirit, we welcome any comments and are available should you wish to discuss any aspect of this document in person, either at this point or in the future with the IMA's executive director, Gina O'Kelly, director(at)