The Museums Association Conference & Exhibition will take place in Belfast from 8 to 10 November 2018.

The Museums Association Conference & Exhibition is the largest event of its kind in Europe for museums and heritage professionals.  Over 1,500 senior staff discuss the latest issues, discover new practice and meet the world’s leading suppliers and consultants.

The theme of Belfast 2018 is Dissent: Inspiring Hope, Embracing Change – having the courage to challenge traditional thinking to transform museums and society. And what better place to do this than Belfast. We highlight the role museums of all sizes and types can play as dissenting organisations, standing with their communities as they encourage activism and promote positive social change.

This year’s event is packed with content and delegates will have the opportunity to debate and discuss big ideas with colleagues from around the UK and internationally.

Keynote speakers include Rita Ann Higgins, award-winning Irish poet and playwright and Laura Raicovich, US-based writer and artworker. Directors in Conversation session will feature Lynn Scarff, director, National Museum of Ireland; Hilary McGrady, director-general, National Trust; Kathryn Thomson, chief executive officer and director, National Museums Northern Ireland; and Kim Streets, chief executive, Museums Sheffield. Other sessions cover topics such as co-curation, activism, curating conflict, diversity, equality, protest, Brexit, soft power, and the future of collections.

There are a host of other sessions, practical workshops and training – all developed to facilitate fresh thinking. The social events give you the opportunity to see Belfast City Hall, Ulster Museum and HMS Caroline.

Look out for the Festival of Change which is a series of creative interventions exploring the serious issues we’re all dealing with while indulging in some much-needed fun. Who says change has to be painful?

The third day to conference this year is a chance to visit a range of museums and galleries across Northern Ireland and Dublin. There is a programme of special events, exhibition tours, expert talks and behind-the-scenes visits to museums, galleries and cultural venues in the area, all included in the price. The programme includes cultural and political tours in Belfast, Downpatrick, Dublin and Derry~Londonderry, the UK City of Culture 2013.

Conference is a vital forum for debate, exchange and networking – join us for the biggest event of its kind in Europe and help shape the future of museums.

For more information and to book your place go to www.museumsassociation.org/conference.

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