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Becoming a Change-Maker in Museums: Experiences, Opportunities and Challenges - Reflections on the Museums Association's Transformers Workforce Development Initiative.

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posted on 15.05.2020, 11:07 by Nuala Morse, Mercy Mccann

The idea that museums and art galleries can have a social impact is now central to contemporary discussion about the museum sector. Many museum professionals are looking at how they might advance ‘socially-engaged practice’ within their institutions and how they might enable more participatory approaches to address issues of diversity, access and representation. As this area of practice grows, the keys questions that animate the cultural sector are: What are the processes of organisational transformation? How does this work lead to sustained impact in museums? And who leads change? This last question is the starting point for this report. It considers the experience of ‘change-makers’ in museums and art galleries and the current barriers and challenges they face. It focuses on mid-career museum professionals who took part in the UK Museums Association’s (MA) workforce initiative, Transformers: Radical change in the Museum. As a first study into personal experiences of change-makers, this report raises some important challenges for the UK museum sector.


The report forms part of the research project Change-makers in the creative economy: the role of front-line museum professionals in organisational change, funded through an AHRC Midlands3Cities Creative Economy Engagement Fellowship (grant number AH/R013330/1), with additional funding from the University of Leicester College Research Development Fund.


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School of Museum Studies


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University of Leicester on behalf of the School of Museum Studies



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