Creative Collections Open Forum Event: how can community collaboration advance our collections knowledge & curatorial practice?

Event Date:14 January 2022 10:00 am — 14 January 2022 11:30am

This event is part of the Creative Collections Grant scheme. Find out more here.

Our second Creative Collections Open Forum session will be led by Isilda Almeida of ‘No Barriers’. Isilda is a passionate advocate for Cultural Inclusion.

She has worked in the heritage and cultural sectors for nearly 20 years in various collections and community focused roles, and is currently working as an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Consultant. She is also doing a PhD researching the use of drone technology for engaging audiences with heritage experiences, objects and sites at the University of Brighton. Isilda believes in ‘the power of museums and cultural institutions to inspire, foster belonging, promote economic growth and stronger communities’.

In this Forum we will ask what are the tools you need internally and externally to successfully collaborate with communities? We will endeavour to cover the following:

  • How can you build bridges with communities?
  • Which doors are closed?
  • How can you open them?
  • What are the obstacles?
  • How can you overcome them?

The Open Forum is a safe online space, where thoughts and opinions can be shared. The conversations we have are meant to inspire and progress knowledge and that is a valid outcome in itself!

However it is hoped that we touch upon some of the key learning outcomes below:

Aim – Dynamism: Museums are dynamic and able to respond to the challenges of the next decade

  • How can trying new things (taking risks) help to make our collections more dynamic? What could ‘dynamic’ curatorial practice look like?
  • How can we be more confident about collaborating with new groups, and know how and where to connect with them?

AIM – Ambition & Quality:  Museums are ambitious and committed to improving the quality of their work

  • How can collaborating with communities help us to achieve high quality collections and interpretation that meets the museums needs?
  • How will transferring ownership and fostering new relationships outside our museum help us to explore the gaps in our collections knowledge and unearth new understanding?

Aim – Inclusivity & Relevance:  England’s diversity is fully reflected in museums and the culture they produce. 

  • How will building relationships with our diverse communities result in more representative and relevant programming ideas? 

What you need to bring to the Forum:

It always helps if you have spent a little time pondering the subject we are covering and bringing any budding ideas, queries, past experiences, and a willingness to contribute and share with the other attendees. Discussion and debate are encouraged as we go along throughout the session, but please frame them respectfully.


Beginner to Advanced – all welcome.

What kinds of workshopping could happen in the Forum:

This will depend on the particular topic and facilitator for each Form, but online tools such as;

  • Film/Video.
  • Nudge techniques – e.g. breaking questions apart, brainstorming.
  • Interactive online tools – e.g. annotate, white board/ jam board, polls, breakout rooms, chat.
  • Round table or group discussion.
  • Signposting, actions to take away and try.

Sign up here

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