Final Programme For 2018 Working Internationally Conference 7 March Edinburgh

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Final programme for 2018 Working Internationally Conference, 7 March, Edinburgh

Learn more about working internationally by attending the 2018 Working Internationally Conference.  This is the only UK museums conference with a dedicated international focus.

Working Locally, Thinking Globally’ considers how museums can respond to the new international context in light of recent world events, while maintaining relevance for both domestic and international audiences.

Alongside Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs (Scotland) and Giles Smith, Director (Interim), Arts, Heritage and Tourism Directorate, DCMS delegates will hear from in-demand international speakers Rob Stein, Executive Vice President & Chief Program Officer, American Alliance of Museums (AAM) and Nina Zdravič, Head of Programmes and Communications, Slovene Ethnographic Museum & ICOM Europe committee member, and many more.

The day includes a flash-session on funding and support available for internationally focused initiatives.  A panel discussion with colleagues from Manchester Museum, Edinburgh Airport and the V&A explores how they are adapting their organisations’ activity in response to the new political and social environment by exploring conflict, climate change, new patterns of tourism and digital reproduction.

There are plenty of opportunities for questions to speakers and for networking with delegates over lunch and refreshments.

See the full conference programme below and book your tickets at:

Tickets are £45 for ICOM UK and NMDC members (£75 for non-members).  There are a limited number of student tickets at £25.  Ticket sales close on Friday 2 March at 12:00.


Working Locally, Thinking Globally

2018 Working Internationally Conference

Wednesday 7 March 2018, National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh

10:30   Registration, refreshments, networking

11:00   Welcome to NMS: Dr Gordon Rintoul CBE, Director NMS

Conference Introduction: Tonya Nelson, Chair, ICOM UK and NMDC

11:10   Views from Abroad

Speakers from the United States and Slovenia discuss the international programmes and policies in their countries followed by a moderated discussion and questions from the audience.

Discussion and questions from the floor moderated by Janice Lane, Director of Gallery Development & Visitor Experience, National Museum Wales

12:00   Keynote Address:

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Scotland

12:30   Giles Smith, Director (Interim), Arts, Heritage and Tourism Directorate, DCMS (Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sports)

12:50   Lunch and Networking

13:50   Flash Session: Funding & Support

Organisations will speak briefly about support and funding available to UK organisations interested in working internationally. The short presentations will be followed by questions from the audience.

14:35   Break & Networking

15:00   Conversation / Panel Discussion: Working locally, thinking globally

Chaired by Tonya Nelson, ICOM UK. UK museum professionals will give a short overview of their project followed by a moderated panel discussion and questions from the audience.

16:15   Summary and closing remarks: ICOM UK and NMDC

16:30   End

Brexit: movement of people in the fields of sports and culture inquiry launched

The EU Home Affairs Sub-Committee launches a new inquiry into the movement of people in the fields of sport and culture after Brexit.


The House of Lords EU Committee and its six Sub-Committees are conducting a series of inquiries looking at the key issues that will arise in the negotiations on Brexit.

Scope of the inquiry

EU/EEA nationals wishing to immigrate or move temporarily to the UK to work in the fields of sport and culture (and vice versa) currently enjoy freedom of movement. But those from non-EU/EEA countries must be sponsored by a relevant governing body (for example, the Football Association) or obtain an endorsement that the applicant is a recognised or emerging leader in their field. BBC research has shown that without freedom of movement, 332 current players in the English Premier League, the Championship and the Scottish Premier League would not meet the requirements for non-EU/EEA nationals, while UK Music's 2016 Diversity Strategy found that 10% of the UK music industry workforce held an EU passport for a non-UK member state.

This inquiry will examine possible future arrangements for the movement of people between the UK and EU in the fields of sports and culture, and the impact that these arrangements could have.

Further information

Nathalie Levi, Head of Programme – Curator of Exhibitions, RWA Bristol travels to New York

Nathalie Levi, Head of Programme – Curator of Exhibitions, Royal West of England Academy in Bristol travelled to New York on an ICOM UK - British Council Global Travel grant this month.  This is Natalie's blog post from her visit.

The opportunity to travel to New York to develop the RWA’s upcoming exhibition Albert Irvin and American Abstract Expressionism (8 December 2018 – 3 March 2019) has been a rare privilege that proved exceptionally productive.  Our exhibition’s intention is to explore the impact American Abstract Expressionism had on British art, in particular The New American Painting touring exhibition curated by Dorothy C. Miller, which came to the Tate 60 years ago. It is simultaneously a retrospective for the painter Albert Irvin OBE RA RWA (Hon) (1922-2015) who exemplifies the catalytic effect The New American Painting had on the British scene.



Tate has already been tremendously supportive with a number of important loans agreed from the major abstract painters and the crucial 1950s period.  On the visit to New York, I was seeking to make connections with more of the partner institutions that were key to the original The New American Painting and featured artists, in particular collections holding Mark Rothko and Grace Hartigan.

On my first day in New York I visited MoMA where I met with Erik Patton, Director, Exhibition Planning and Administration.  I outlined our own exhibition plans and we had an enriching conversation about the new hang of the MoMA collection, once their extension is completed, which will allow far more works to be on view.  It was fascinating to hear which works were the most popular within the MoMA collections and consider in relation to our own displays.  We also talked about possibilities of cross-promotion.  I then took advantage of the visit to see works by Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock, Barnett Newman and Willem de Kooning in the collection galleries, and snuck in a tour of the superb Louise Bourgeois exhibition.

My next meeting was with William O’Reilly and Ann Freedman at Freedman Art on the Upper East Side.  They have kindly been helping seek out loans for our exhibition though we have not yet had the opportunity to meet.  We focussed on Grace Hartigan, whose work I am particularly keen to display at the RWA as the only female artist in the original The New American Painting show.  There are very few examples of Hartigan’s work in Europe, let alone the UK.  I was able to supply Bill with more formal materials from the RWA to present the exhibition and enjoyed the displays of abstract art in the offices including a stunning piece by Theodore Stamos.

I then made a trip to ACA Galleries and the first thing I saw was a superb Grace Hartigan piece Coffee Pot and Gladiolas, 1954 hanging above the desks.  I was warmly welcomed by Dorian and Vaughn Bergen who kindly brought out a fantastic range of 1950s Grace Hartigan pieces from their store for me to view, including beautiful collage and small paintings.  It was an invaluable experience, as I have not yet had the chance to see Hartigan’s work first hand, and led to the start of a promising new collaboration on the exhibition.  I look forward to bringing a similar experience to our visitors in Bristol.

Finally, I met with Joseph Baptista, Director of PACE Gallery (pictured above).  We discussed the rationale of our exhibition and, as a figurehead of abstraction, the inclusion of Mark Rothko.  Joe kindly shared valuable advice and his experience of organising Rothko exhibitions at PACE such as the Dark Pallette exhibition in 2016.

The visit has not only brought about some brilliant insights and exciting potential loans but has allowed fruitful partnerships to begin, strengthened existing networks and furthered the international ambitions of the RWA for the upcoming programme and beyond.  Our thanks go to ICOM UK and the British Council for making the visit possible and all the wonderful people I met whilst in New York.

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism & External Affairs in Scotland confirmed as keynote speaker at WI2018

Fiona Hyslop - SNP - Linlithgow
Pic - Andrew Cowan/Scottish Parliament

We are delighted to announce Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism & External Affairs in Scotland will give the keynote address at the 2018 Working Internationally Conference on 7 March at the National Museum of Scotland.

To view the full conference programme and book your tickets visit

Giles Smith, Director Arts, Heritage & Tourism Directorate at DCMS to speak at WI2018

We're delighted to announce the second of our government level speakers for the 2018 Working Internationally Conference at the National Museum of Scotland on Wednesday 7 March.

Giles Smith, Director (Interim), Arts, Heritage & Tourism Directorate at DCMS will give an overview of the focus and priorities for working internationally from DCMS's perspective.


To view the full programme of speakers and book your tickets visit


Giles Smith Biography:

Giles grew up in Hastings with the town – so reliant on the tourism trade – and part-time jobs at Hastings Castle and the Smuggler’s Caves giving him an early insight into the tourism sector.  On graduating from University, Giles had a brief spell in the City before joining the Department of Trade and Industry. Whilst in that department and its various guises, Giles worked as a Private Secretary and on a range of policy areas, including European employment law, energy and planning policy. Most recently he has been leading work aimed at supporting the growth, innovation and skills of the UK’s Cyber Security sector. Giles was appointed Head of Tourism, Heritage and Cultural Diplomacy in November 2016

Exhibiting Sounds of Changes International Conference – call for papers

Tampere, Finland
Tuesday 12th - Wednedsay 13th June 2018

In museums, we do have paintings, photographs and all sorts of items. They  tell our visitors what things used to look like in the past. Few museums  use sounds for their collections and exhibitions. However, museum  exhibitions cannot only be experienced visually, but also by hearing. But,  it is not only a question of bad planning and a lack of technology: we  simply do not know enough about sounds as sources and as medium.

In 2013, six European museums started to record endangered and disappearing sounds of industrial society. The “Work with Sounds”-project  (2013-2015) was soon followed by the “Sounds of Changes”-project (2017–2019), both were funded by Creative Europe programme. In these  projects we have collected a great archive of historical sounds that can  be used for free from All the sounds are licensed under Creative Commons and can be found in Europeana and Wikimedia.

The Sounds of Changes project, WORKLAB (International Association of Labour Museums) and The Finnish Labour Museum are organising a summer conference, 12th-13th of June 2018, in Tampere. The two-day conference will focus on sounds of industrial, social and technical culture. How can we present and preserve sounds in museums?

We encourage all museum professionals, researchers and exhibition designers to submit papers that relate to the wide themes of exhibitions, sounds and history. We welcome theoretical approaches as well as practical case studies, tools and best practices. Papers presented at the conference are invited to share innovative ideas, experiences of trying new things, successes, opportunities and failures dealing with one or some of the following topics:

- Using sound technology in exhibitions

- Visitors and sounds

- Soundscapes, silence and noise in museum exhibitions

- Historical sounds of everyday life

- Sounds in/as exhibition narratives

- Authenticity of museum sounds

- Sounds, hearing and inclusion

- Historical and recreated speech acts in exhibitions

- How to find the right sounds?

The Call for Papers is open until 31st of March 2018. If you would like to present your project please send your proposal (200-300 words) along with a brief professional profile (100-200 words) to:

The conference will take place at The Finnish Labour Museum in Tampere.  

Participation is without a fee; however travel, accommodation and daily living are at your expense. Tampere is a lively city located in southern Finland. It can be reached from Helsinki airport by a two-hour train connection. The programme will include paper presentations, keynote speeches and social activities in summery (and cool) Finland.

Updated info can be found on WORKLAB website and soon on the project site

“Sounds of Changes” is a EU project funded by Creative Europe program (2017–2019). It is a joint effort of six museums: Swedish Air Force Museum (Sweden, project leader), Muzeum Inżynierii Miejskiej (Poland), LWL-Industriemuseum (Germany), Museum of Work (Sweden), Technical Museum of Slovenia and The Finnish Labour Museum. Museums are collecting, interpreting and disseminating endangered sounds and soundscapes together.  

See more at

WORKLAB – The International Association of Labour Museums is a dynamic network founded in 1997. Today, this network has more than 30 member museums from four continents. WORKLAB museums represent a lively scale of museums interested in social, industrial and labour heritage. Network organizes conferences, projects and publications. WORKLAB meetings are open for everyone. See more at

Call for papers – ICOM-CIDOC conference 2018 (deadline 28 Feb)

The 2018 ICOM-CIDOC conference aims at supporting museums by deepening the understanding of documentation as a means of knowledge preservation, dissemination and exchange.

Until 28th February we are accepting proposals for presentations, workshops, case studies, for CIDOC's annual conference.

Visit the CIDOC 2018 Call for Papers page for submission guidelines and selection criteria:

Theme: Provenance of Knowledge

The ‘Provenance of Knowledge’ is a core element of good practice in documentation and so is the theme of the next ICOM-CIDOC conference, in Heraklion-Crete-Greece from 29 September to 4 October 2018.

As an essential aspect of documentation, Provenance of Knowledge refers to the attempt to trace the origins of the information and knowledge about an object, an entity or an idea in order to reconstruct the whole chain of creation, use, interpretation and dissemination of relevant information and knowledge. The ultimate purpose of this reconstruction is to confirm, illustrate, and validate the information and knowledge contained in the documentation in order to facilitate understanding across times and cultures. In this way, it contributes to scholarly citation in information handling while connecting all the material evidence kept in museums and other memory institutions.

The validation of information and knowledge has been greatly helped by the increasing use of digital technologies in documentation. However, this advancement in documentation has created new difficulties as the abundance of the available information makes it difficult to introduce standards and processes to model and maintain the development and validity of documented information.

WI2018 speaker profile: Nina Zdravič Polič, Head of Programmes & Communications, Slovene Ethnographic Museum (SEM), Slovenia

Today we introduce another of our international speakers for the 2018 Working Internationally Conference (WI2018), 7 March, National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh

Nina Zdravič Polič, Head of Programmes and Communications at the Slovene Ethnographic Museum (SEM) in Ljubljana has been involved for over twenty years in museum work in different capacities.  At the Slovene Ethnographic Museum, she is responsible for museum public programmes, marketing and exhibitions.

Nina's presentation will outline selected approaches to, and concepts of international projects of the SEM and other museums in Slovenia that actively contribute to a greater openness of Slovenia.

She will observe how Slovenian museums are are developing and managing international relations through communication, dialogue, collaborative processes and projects, as well as diverse outreach approaches to audience and partnership development.   Her presentation will explore how modernity in today’s internet-dominated world of constant change has made Slovenian museums pursue an inclusive paradigm by raising questions about self-awareness, the awareness of others and otherness, diversity of cultural landscapes, the continuity of remembering.

To this end, the museums of Slovenia strengthen international co-operation and create possibilities for linking testimonies of the past of other cultures into meaningful narratives of the present. They are thus reaching out to the cross-border regions of Slovenia, European countries and to some countries on other continents.

At the same time, they spread Slovenia's cultural history and heritage beyond its borders by enhancing the distinct cultural heritage features in many ways, particularly through partnerships in European projects, mobility of collections, scientific work, trans-national and trans institutional networking.

Nina is the author of numerous museum exhibitions and articles on museum communications and museum’s role in society, and the co-author of a handbook Marketing Museums: Theory and Practises in Slovene Museums, and frequently lectures on the subject in Slovenia and abroad. She is an honorary member of ICOM Slovenia, (former president 2003 - 2011), member of ICOM Europe Board, the judge at the Forum of Slavic Cultures for the Živa Award for the Best Slavic Museum, President of Živa Jury, and (former vice - president of ICOM SEE 2007 – 2016, and former vice-president of ICOM MPR 2004 - 2010).

To view the WI 2018 programme and book your tickets visit:

Contribute to the global discussion on the definition of museums in the 21st century

For museum colleagues who will be in Edinburgh on Wed 7 March, ICOM UK is hosting a special round table breakfast (09:30 - 10:30) before the 2018 Working Internationally Conference.

ICOM National Committees are running a series of round tables across the world to explore the future of museums and how museums and societies intertwine and impact each other.  This is your opportunity to contribute to the international discussion around the definition of museums in the 21st century.

Watch this video of Jette Sandahl, Chair of the ICOM Committee for Museum Definition, Prospects and Potential talking about changing the ICOM definition of museums for the 21st century:

To register for the round table event contact Dana Andrew, ICOM UK Executive Director at

To see the programme and book tickets for the 2018 Working Internationally Conference, go to: