Museums Change Lives: museum activism, socially engaged practice, policy and ethics

Speaker Sharon Heal is the director of the Museums Association, a campaigning membership body that promotes the value of museums to society.

She regularly comments on museums and cultural policy in the UK; speaks at conferences and events in the UK and internationally; and has published extensively. She lectures in the history of museums, museum ethics and museums and social impact.

Sharon is the chair of the Museum of Homelessness and a member of the Museum Slaskie Council.

In this session, Sharon will be focusing on the Museums Association’s Museums Change Lives campaign.

With society facing issues such as poverty, inequality, intolerance and discrimination, museums can help us understand, debate, and challenge these concerns. They can also enhance everyone’s life chances by breaking down barriers to access and inclusion. Museums are doing this through active public participation, engaging with diverse communities, and sharing collections and knowledge in ways that are transforming lives.

Museums of all sizes, with collections ranging from fine art to social history, are changing lives – often in partnership with community groups, health charities and other third sector organisations.

The Museums Association is campaigning for museums to develop their role as socially purposeful organisations and there is growing evidence that they are working with their communities and delivering positive social impact. This type of work helps museums be more sustainable and the public benefits it generates underline the importance of continuing public investment in them.

This event is free to attend and all are welcome. There is no need to book.

Organised by the Centre for Critical Studies in Museums, Galleries and Heritage, based in the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies at the University of Leeds.


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