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Major Partner Museum conference to be held in Cumbria

Director of Tullie House, Andrew Mackay (photo Stuart Walker)

[O]ver 100 invited guests of the Cumbrian Museum Consortium are gathering at Tullie House Museum’s conference suite in Carlisle on Tuesday 5 June to celebrate their successes and look at the ongoing work of the Cumbria Museum Consortium. This successful partnership has benefited visitors, local communities and other Cumbrian museums, through the John Ellerman Foundation funded Curatorial Excellence Project.

Museums in rural areas are among some of the finest in the country and Cumbria is fortunate to have many award -winning examples across the county. Like many regional museums, they house internationally significant collections, artworks and artefacts and provide vital access to cultural treasures and memory stores to our visitors and local communities – and attract major loans and support from national museums and galleries.

The conference will feature inspirational speakers and museum professionals from national and rural museums. Each will show how they have worked collaboratively to address challenges and achieve excellence.

Andrew Mackay, Director of Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery, has invited Kate Bellamy Director, Museums, Arts Council England to speak at the conference. Kate Bellamy will be joined by speakers and workshop leaders from over 12 national and regional organisations. Emma Chaplin, Director, Association of Independent Museums and Maria Bojanowska from the The British Museum join representatives from Black Country Living Museum, Cornwall Museums Partnership, Northumberland’s Baliffgate Museum, Cheshire’s Lion Salt Works and Kilmartin Museum in the heart of Argyll.

Maria Bojanowska, The British Museum said: “I am always challenged and inspired by the work of museums and galleries in rural settings. It is great therefore for them to have the platform to shout about these successes!”

The speakers will explore some of the unique challenges museums in rural areas face and highlight how collaboration with others, including some of our city-based partners, can benefit us all.

Jane Mann, Baliffgate Museum, Alnick said: “We are a small museum in Alnwick run almost entirely by volunteers and are happy to share with other museums how much we enjoyed running the ‘Illustrating Harry Potter’ exhibition last year. We have called our talk ‘Creating Magic- without Witchcraft and Wizardry’ which we think says it all.”

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