2022 conference programme

Thursday 16 June

Day one is sponsored by Meaco Measurement and Control

11:00 – 11:10Welcome to Conference 

AIM Chair, Andrew Lovett

11:10 – 11:30Welcome to Port Sunlight

Paul Harris, Chief Executive, Port Sunlight Village Trust

“…there is no standing still – we are either going forward or we are going backward.” Paul Harris will reflect on the words of Port Sunlight’s founder William Lever, the conference theme ‘Making it happen’, and the work of PSVT.

11:30 – 12:05KeynoteWhen recovery is opportunity

How can we build on recovery from the pandemic, seize opportunity and focus on change? Join National Museums Liverpool Director, Laura Pye, to reflect on the highs and lows of these rollercoaster times.

Laura Pye – Director, National Museums Liverpool

12:05 – 12:45Plenary – Fire and flood: Change through crisis

‘Just waiting for the frogs and locusts…’ Two museums on how they overcame extraordinary challenges, in addition to the pandemic, to emerge even stronger.

Mike Benson, Director, The Scottish Crannog Centre

Nick Ralls, CEO, Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust

Martin Howard and Mark Rose, Hayes Parsons Insurance Brokers

12:45 – 13:45LUNCH AND SUPPLIER EXPO

Optional lunchtime Port Sunlight Highlights Tour

Port Sunlight is an exemplar worker village, created to support the well-being and productivity of the Lever Brothers soap works employees and their families. Want to find out more? Join one of PSVT’s guides for a short walking tour.

13:45 – 14:45Breakouts – Relationships and recovery

  1. ‘Everybody needs good neighbours – Liz Power, Director, London Museum of Water and Steam

Hear how small museums can build understanding of and relationships with stakeholders. Drawing on the experience of London Museum of Water & Steam in working with the community during and since lockdown, this session will share lessons on cementing the museum’s place in the local area and how the institution became deeply embedded locally.

2. Living Legacy – How we used a Victorian hero to look to the future – Grant MacKenzie, Director and Trustee, David Livingstone Birthplace

Grant will share how the revitalised Birthplace delivers on commitment to future generations through Global Citizenship, participation in COP26 climate and de-colonisation conversations, and the transformative capital project.

3. Moving forward together  – Recognising and repairing any problems with your Board

Hilary Barnard and Ruth Lesirge, authors of AIM’s Successful Museum Governance publication

4. Tour – Discover more about the Lady Lever Art Gallery and the world-renowned paintings on display.

The tour will recount the history of the gallery, which celebrates its centenary in 2022. Our guides will take you through our exemplary collection of Victorian and Pre-Raphaelite paintings, uncovering the secrets behind some of the artworks on display.

Highlights include Bubbles and The Black Brunswicker by Millais, Lady Hamilton as a Bacchante by Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun, The Scapegoat by William Holman Hunt, alongside paintings by other masters including turner and Burne-Jones.

5. Tour – Behind the scenes at Unilever archives

Unilever has over 400 brands in the portfolio, available in 190 countries used by an estimated 2.5 billion people every day and is committed to making sustainable living commonplace. The portfolio includes household brands such as Hellman’s, Magnum, Sunlight, Lifebuoy, Signal, Persil and Comfort.

The Unilever Art, Archives and Records Management (UARM) team look after one of the most important collections of business records in the world. The collections have been Designated as being of ‘International Significance’ and the service UARM provide is Accredited by the National Archives scheme.

Delegates on this tour of the new Discovery space in the historic Lever House will learn more about who the team are and what they do. You will then walk over part of the factory site to see behind the scenes in one of the strong rooms. Places are limited and wait list will reallocate places as needed.

14:45 – 15:10TEA BREAK AND SUPPLIER EXPO
15:10 – 15:30Strategic updates from DCMS, Museums Galleries Scotland, the Welsh Government and National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Helen Whitehouse, Deputy Director, Museums and Cultural Property, DCMS

An overview of funding available from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, including the Dynamic Collections campaign.
Melissa Strauss, Interim Head of Museums, Libraries and Archives Policy, National Lottery Heritage Fund

Creating a Wales for Future Generations: the Role of Our Museums
Victoria Rogers, Head of Museums and Collections, Welsh Government

Joe Traynor, Head of Museum Development, Museums Galleries Scotland

15:30 – 16:30Panel discussion – Happy Museums: Looking after our people

Maintaining strong relationships with your volunteers

Wendy Wilshere, Volunteer Coordinator, and Celyn Gurden-Williams, Head of People Development, Beamish Museum

How leadership focused on wellbeing and flexibility can change the culture of your organisation.

Victoria Reeves, Chief Executive, National Justice Museum

How Manchester Jewish Museum worked with its board during Covid to open a new museum and has subsequently refreshed the board for next steps.

Gareth Redston, Chief Executive, Manchester Jewish Museum

How investing in museum leaders in Wales to Network for Resilience has helped staff and business to adapt and recover.

Morrigan Mason, Museums Development Manager, Carmarthenshire County Council

16:40 – 17:00AIM Annual General Meeting
from 1900Evening drinks reception at Lady Lever Art Gallery followed by an informal dinner and entertainment at Leverhulme Hotel, kindly sponsored by Convious.

Friday 17 June

Day two is sponsored by Art Fund 

09:30 – 09:45Welcome to Day Two

AIM Director, Lisa Ollerhead

Hayes Parsons Insurance Brokers, conference sponsors

09:45 – 10:45Keynote – Independent museums in an interdependent world

In April the Museum of East Anglian Life rebranded as the Food Museum, exploring stories and issues that resonate with today’s audiences. 

Jenny Cousins, Director, Food Museum

10:45 – 11:30Breakouts – Sustaining sustainability

  1. Going green as a small museum – Manchester Museum’s Roots and Branches programme is helping small museums be more sustainable as an organisation. Hear the intentions of the programme and learnings so far, illustrated by a case study from Quaker Tapestry Museum.

Hannah Hartley, Environmental Action Manager, Manchester Museum and Naomi Garnett, General Manager, Quaker Tapestry Museum

2. Sustaining sustainability – Making a difference. How can a small museum contribute to the climate crisis and the environmental debate?  Hear about the strategic challenges and a practical approach.

Steve Green, Co-Director, Gilbert White’s House and Garden

3. Transformation with sustainability at the heart – Sustainability of buildings and organisation with a colonial collection.

Catriona West, Director, Powell-Cotton Museum

4. Tour – Port Sunlight Highlights Tour

Port Sunlight is an exemplar worker village, created to support the well-being and productivity of the Lever Brothers soap works employees and their families. Want to find out more? Join one of PSVT’s guides for a short walking tour.

5. Tour – Behind the scenes of Unilever Archives

Unilever has over 400 brands in the portfolio, available in 190 countries used by an estimated 2.5 billion people every day and is committed to making sustainable living commonplace. The portfolio includes household brands such as Hellman’s, Magnum, Sunlight, Lifebuoy, Signal, Persil and Comfort.

The Unilever Art, Archives and Records Management (UARM) team look after one of the most important collections of business records in the world. The collections have been Designated as being of ‘International Significance’ and the service UARM provide is Accredited by the National Archives scheme.

Delegates on this tour of the new Discovery space in the historic Lever House will learn more about who the team are and what they do. You will then walk over part of the factory site to see behind the scenes in one of the strong rooms. Places are limited and wait list will reallocate places as needed.

11:30 – 12:00TEA BREAK AND SUPPLIER EXPO
12:00 – 13:00Plenary – Tackling inequalities

Using AIM’s Tackling Inequalities and New Stories New Audiences projects to explore diversifying audiences.

Feels Like Home – welcoming refugees and asylum seekers through sharing the culture and heritage of Barnsley.

Gaby Lees, Community Arts Officer, and Joanna Sutcliffe, Freelance ESOL tutor and Project Co-ordinator for Feels Like Home, Barnsley Museums and Archive.

Diversity and policing: a shared history. The evolving story of the relationship between the police and minority ethnic communities in Bradford. Its impact and relevance.

Martin Baines, Director, Bradford Police Museum.

Action plan! The Peace Museum’s approach to embedding inclusive practice.  

Shannen Johnson, Learning and Engagement Officer, The Peace Museum.

13:00 – 14:00LUNCH AND SUPPLIER EXPO
14:00 – 14:45Breakouts – income when your audience can’t come in

  1. Building towards sustainable net zero on limited budgets – our journey.

Alexander Goodger, Museum Manager and Irene Hallyburton, Museum Development Officer, Dundee Museum of Transport.

Lisa Wilkinson, Sustainability Manager, Beamish Museum.

2. From on-line to on-site – How did the Garden Museum generate income when visitors disappeared in the pandemic, and which ideas have stuck for good?

Christina McMahon, Deputy Director, Garden Museum

3. Grown up in Britain:  Radical collecting in the face of the pandemic. Museum of Youth Culture explores how the pandemic became their biggest year of growth led by a nationwide collection drive.

Jamie Brett and Lisa der Weduwe, Museum of Youth Culture.

4. Tour – Port Sunlight Highlights Tour

Port Sunlight is an exemplar worker village, created to support the well-being and productivity of the Lever Brothers soap works employees and their families. Want to find out more? Join one of PSVT’s guides for a short walking tour.

5. Tour – Behind the scenes at Unilever Archives

Unilever has over 400 brands in the portfolio, available in 190 countries used by an estimated 2.5 billion people every day and is committed to making sustainable living commonplace. The portfolio includes household brands such as Hellman’s, Magnum, Sunlight, Lifebuoy, Signal, Persil and Comfort.

The Unilever Art, Archives and Records Management (UARM) team look after one of the most important collections of business records in the world. The collections have been Designated as being of ‘International Significance’ and the service UARM provide is Accredited by the National Archives scheme.

Delegates on this tour of the new Discovery space in the historic Lever House will learn more about who the team are and what they do. You will then walk over part of the factory site to see behind the scenes in one of the strong rooms. Places are limited and wait list will reallocate places as needed.

14:45 – 15:00TEA BREAK AND SUPPLIER EXPO
15:00 – 15:45Plenary – The museum next door

Campaigning communities – researching the emotional drivers behind successful campaigns with AIM and Art Fund.

Elliot Simmonds, Client Solutions Director, M.E.L. Research and Meriel Royal, Culture Bulb

Talking about colonial heritage at Port Sunlight: A proposal for a community dialogue

Andy Hardman, academic and filmmaker, University of Manchester

15:45 – 16:30Keynote – From the concrete to the creative

Creative health can feed and enrich your professional practice: how what we do is part of how we do it. 

Arike Oke, Executive Director of Knowledge and Collections, British Film Institute.

16:30 – 16:45Conference closing plenary – AIM Chair, Andrew Lovett
From 1800Evening social event at National Waterways Museum

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Breakouts and tours

Please note all delegates will be contacted in advance of the conference to book your place on breakout sessions.

For all tours: Please note that all tours need to be signed up for in advance. In the event that we have more people signed up than available places, we will operate a waiting list. Anyone signing up for the tours will receive a notification before the conference.

Health and safety: For health and safety reasons at the Unilever tour, please wear shoes/trainers which cover your feet (i.e. no open toe/flip flops are permitted) as you will be entering an active production site. Please note that this tour involves some steps and is not fully accessible, if you would like more information on the accessibility, please contact Christine Andrews on: Christine.andrews@aim-museums.co.uk