I am Carolyn Chinn, the South East Museum Development Programme Manager. I joined the team in June 2019 and am based out of our Brighton office (and my car, as I’m on the road a lot meeting with the team and other key partners).
I lead the SEMDP team and help to ensure we deliver our Programme Plan for 2018-22. I liaise with key partners like the Museum Development Network and Arts Council England to devise the strategy for future resilience for the region, and advocate museum development regionally and nationally.
This is my first museum development post, having spent the last 25 years on the ground working in museums in England, Scotland and Canada.
Over the years, I’ve worked in various roles (e.g. education, engagement, audience development, public programming, exhibitions, curatorial, visitor services), with different types of collections (art, social history, science, archaeology) and within a variety of organisations (charitable trusts, national museums, independent museums, council museum services). I think it is fair to describe myself as an ‘all-rounder’.
I have a MA in Museum Studies from the University of Toronto and two BAs (Communication Studies and Classics) from Concordia University in my hometown of Montreal.
I was the Head of Public Programmes at Charleston (East Sussex) for five years, and the Learning Manager with the V&A Museum of Childhood for ten years. Both were senior management positions and both museums underwent major redevelopment projects during my time.
Other employers include: the National Trust (Kent), Museum of Childhood (Edinburgh), Historic Scotland (Edinburgh), Royal Observatory Visitor Centre (Edinburgh), McMichael Canadian Art Collection (Ontario, Canada), and Ontario Heritage Association (Canada).
I took this job in museum development because I love museums. I believe our team at SEMDP plays a vital role in helping museums in the South East remain relevant, robust and resilient enabling them to respond to the demands of a rapidly changing landscape.