Stewards of our Future: Museums' Environmental Practice Today

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M Shed

Wapping Road

Bristol

BS1 4RN

United Kingdom

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Julie’s Bicycle in partnership with Arts Council England and South West Museum Development Programme presents:

Stewards of our Future: museums' environmental practice today

Museums are stewards of our future. Custodians of our heritage, they help us to understand our past, interpret our present and, crucially, to envisage the ambition of humanity’s next steps. They help create and weave together the narrative threads of our culture through history, science, industrialisation, and the arts, helping us find our place in the world in relation to others and the environment.

In the context of a changing climate and rapid environmental degradation, what is the duty of care of museums as custodians, and what is their role in protecting the natural heritage and nurturing sustainable futures? What does it really mean to hold history in trust for society? How can we expand our notion of cultural stewardship in a way that places the natural environment at the heart of our values? How can we convey these fundamental principles to inspire and enable the much-needed shifts in values required in our society?

As a result of the pioneering work of those museums already recognising environmental stewardship at the core of their mission, we know that taking action on environmental sustainability can lead to improvements in staff wellbeing; the development of richer and more meaningful relationships with audiences and new partners; a more holistic approach to building, collections and exhibitions management; and overall healthier and more inspirational organisations shaped around environmental and social values.

This one-day event will explore the opportunities and challenges of climate change action for museums, including collections management, building and site management, exhibitions, and learning and outreach.

The day will offer a combination of inspiring panels featuring leading practitioners, in-depth case studies, and working groups tailored to the needs of organisations of various sizes and resources.

It will build on the Museums Framework due to be published by Julie’s Bicycle and Arts Council England later this year, which identifies key indicators of an environmentally sustainable museum and will aim to help museums identify their own current level of practice and inform their thinking and action going forward.


Speakers include:

  • Honor Beddard, Curator of Temporary Exhibitions, Wellcome Collection

  • Sabrina Mahfouz, Poet

  • David Martin, Operations Manager for Bristol Culture

  • Henry McGhie, Head of Collections & Curator of Zoology, Manchester Museum

  • Kevin Gosling, Chief Executive, Collections Trust

  • Phil Collins, Consultant and Committee Member for Heritage Lottery Fund South West

  • Tony Butler, Chair and Founder of The Happy Museum discussing the role of well-being in sustainable practice

  • Anna Brennand, CEO Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust

  • Laura Coleman, Founder & Chair of Trustees at ONCA

  • Kevin Ward, Museum Development Manager at Museum in the Park

Who should attend?

Any member of museum staff from operations to learning & outreach, volunteer, or trustee who wants a better overview of environmental sustainability practice in museums; learn from others in the sector; and shape their own approach in the context of their specific circumstance, resources, and location.

A more detailed agenda will be published closer to the date. The morning will be dedicated to presentations and panels, with the afternoon featuring more interactive breakout groups and workshops. Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

Some sessions will be livestreamed for those who can't make it in person. Keep an eye on our Twitter account for more details.

Accessibility

M Shed has a level entrance both at the back and at the front of the building. The first floor (where this event will take place) are served by a wheelchair accessible lift, and there are accessible toilets on all floors. For further information, please see their website. Please inform us at the time of booking if you have any specific access requirements to participate fully in the event and we will be happy to accommodate these as far as possible. Please email farah@juliesbicycle.com directly with any queries.

Getting There

M Shed is located around a 20 minute walk from Bistol Temple Meads train station. For instructions on how to reach M Shed by public transport, please visit their website. Bicycle racks are available on Museum Street, outside the south/back entrance of the building.

Travel Bursaries

South West Museum Development is offering a limited number of travel bursaries of up to £100 to enable museums in the south west which are part of Arts Council England’s Accreditation scheme (excluding Major Partner Museum sites) to attend. Please contact roz.bonnet@bristol.gov.uk for more information.

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Julie's Bicycle in partnership with Arts Council England, South West Museum Development Programme, and Good Energy


Event image courtesy of Manchester Museum, from their 'Climate Control' exhibition, 2016. Photo © Gareth Gardner


Date and Time

Location

M Shed

Wapping Road

Bristol

BS1 4RN

United Kingdom

View Map

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