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Looking forward as London prepares for MuseumNext


Museum delegates will soon gather in London for the European edition of this year’s MuseumNext conference, which kicks off for its 10th year.

Jim Broughton, head of international engagement at the Natural History Museum; Karen Carter, executive director of Toronto’s Myseum; and Gretchen Wilson-Prangley, founder and CEO of Play Africa are all scheduled to speak at the event, being held at the Royal Geographic Society in Kensington.

Those attending the conference will be given a National Art Pass, which will give them free entry to free entry to hundreds of museums, galleries and historic houses across the UK. On the first day of MuseumNext, tours will be set up at locations including Kensington Palace, HMS Belfast and the newly-opened Postal Museum. The passes will be valid for one month, meaning those in attendance can take in London and the rest of the UK’s cultural venues following the conclusion of MuseumNext.

The first sessions will take place on Tuesday (19 June), with a welcome from Tonya Nelson, head of museums and collections at University College London (UCL), Jasper Visser, senior partner at VISSCH+STAM and MuseumNext founder Jim Richardson.

Described as a “museum visionary”, Nina Simon, executive director of the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History, will deliver the keynote speech. Playing a key role in MuseumNext’s foundation in 2008, Simon has been called “one of the most inspiring speakers in the museum sector”.

Play Africa - the first world-class children’s museum in sub-Saharan Africa will be highlighted on day one, with Wilson-Prangley talking about how she successfully created a model of a well-networked, agile, relevant and low-cost museum that creates original content to serve the needs of the communities it serves.

Carter will speak on building a city museum without walls through community collaboration, discussing her role in Myseum - a city museum in Toronto partnered with diverse cultural organisations who own and exhibit the collections for their communities.

MuseumNext takes place close by to the Natural History Museum, one of London’s most popular institutions. Speaking at the event, Broughton will outline new strategic thinking and reveal a number of large-scale projects that have enabled the museum to engage large diverse publics in a new conversation about nature.

The second day of talks will be concluded by Visser and Hannah Fox, project director at Silk M at Derby Museums. In the interactive closing session, Visser will share what he’s learnt during the course of MuseumNext and highlight the skills, attitudes and knowledge needed to make museums more successful.

For more information on MuseumNext and for the full line-up of speakers, click here.

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