South Western Federation of Museums and Art Galleries



Registration and coffee


Welcome and introduction

Claire Dixon, Chair - South West Fed


KEYNOTE: Building and diversifying audiences - the Cardiff Story

Victoria Rogers (Museum Manager, Cardiff Story Museum)

By establishing Wales’ capital’s first city history museum, its collection and its visitor and participant base from absolute scratch, the Cardiff Story Museum has built, and then diversified, its audience over the course of 12 years. This keynote will explore how they approached this, why it is crucial for museums to do so, and the things they learnt along the way.

Victoria Rogers is the Manager of the Cardiff Story Museum. With 20 years’ experience of the sector she has worked for Coldharbour Mill Trust, Tyne and Wear Museums and the project to establish Cardiff’s first city history museum. She is also President of the Federation of Museums and Art Galleries of Wales.


Developing a work experience programme to raise aspirations amongst young people

Deshni Pyndiah (Consultant, Real Ideas Organisation)

Jackie Winchester, (Senior Officer - Participation, Bristol Culture)

Discover how eight organisations across Bristol’s creative and cultural sector have banded together to develop new work experience programmes. Supported by the Real Ideas Organisation ACE’s SW bridge organisation, they now offer 50 one week placements per year targeted at cohorts of young people in years 10 & 11 from areas of high deprivation that don’t engage with museums. This presentation will share examples of resources/ processes and the feedback from the young people to show the practical side of how the programme works. It will suggest how the model developed in Bristol could be replicated across smaller organisations in the South West.

Deshni is a social enterprise and cultural education consultant for the Real Ideas Organisation a South West based social enterprise who are passionate about finding solutions to social problems, creating and supporting real and lasting change for individuals, organisations, communities and places. Deshni’s work spans a wide range of areas from research and evaluation, challenge-based learning projects, grant funded programme delivery through to consultancy support. Through RIO’s position as Arts Council’s South West Bridge organisation, Deshni offers specialist support to the arts and cultural sector, across the South West, to ensure young people connect to arts and cultural opportunities.

Jackie leads the Participation team for Bristol Culture, encompassing community and young people’s engagement as well as diversifying the profile of our volunteer profile. Jackie has worked in the museum sector for over 10 years, but has a background in community and adult learning in Bristol, obtaining regeneration funding to run first step learning programmes in areas of high deprivation, as well as prior to that, teaching adults in Birmingham and Istanbul.


Networking break


Inspiring audiences with archives: the Kresen Kernow story

Chloe Phillips (Learning Lead, Archives and Cornish Studies Service (Kresen Kernow))

Kresen Kernow, which is funded by Cornwall Council and the National Lottery Heritage Fund, will open in Redruth in 2019 as the new home for the Archives and Cornish Studies Service. This presentation explains how the team work to inspire a wide range of audiences in Cornwall and beyond. Activities include developing a schools outreach programme, family learning through partnerships, creative workshops, opportunities for remote volunteering and the innovative use of social media. The presentation will provide practical hints and tips and draw on years of experience of what works, and what doesn’t, when working with written and printed material.

After working for English Heritage and volunteering at various Cornish museums, Chloe has worked as the Learning Lead for the Archives and Cornish Studies Service for ten years this year. In the role she has initiated, developed and delivered a wide range of projects, activities and partnerships with colleagues across Cornwall. This experience led to her co-writing the Activity Plan for the Kresen Kernow project. Chloe is a prospective Associate of the Museums Association (AMA) candidate and is hoping to go for professional review this year – once Kresen Kernow is up and running!


Q&A Session

All speakers from the morning session

A chance to ask our speakers from the morning session your questions.


Networking lunch

Opportunity to network over a bite to eat.
Early Museum Professionals meet-up: This will be an opportunity to share experiences and to find out more about the network of early museum professionals in the South West.


WORKSHOPS (delegates will choose one workshop)

Workshop 1

Immersing Audiences: The Trench Bodmin

Verity Anthony (Experience and Collections Manager, Cornwall’s Regimental Museum)

In 2018 Cornwall’s Regimental Museum produced a major immersive theatre project, The Trench Bodmin, in partnership with Collective Arts theatre company, Bodmin and Wenford Railway, Bodmin College and Lanhydrock Estate. Forming part of the town’s WWI commemorations and funded by grants from HLF, Arts Council and FEAST, the project involved 65 local people in research, 25 in the production and audiences of 1280 people, as well as 420 school pupils. This workshop explores the work undertaken to produce the project, the impact on the community and organisations involved, and how the legacy of the project is being carried into the future.

Verity has been Visitor Experience and Collections Manager at Cornwall’s Regimental Museum since December 2016, having previously worked as Collections Assistant at The Roman Baths, Bath. Prior to this role she held roles as Project Assistant (Collections Online at The Museum of London from 2011-2013 and as an Archivist at Museum of London Archaeology from 2008-2011.

Workshop 2

Co-producing with ‘disengaged’ communities

Finn White (Engagement Officer - Communities, Bristol Culture)

Bristol Culture’s You Make Bristol display changes every year to a new co-produced community exhibition. Displays have covered a range of communities who previously had relatively little engagement with Bristol Culture, including white working class communities from one of the UKs most deprived neighbourhoods, Bristol’s diverse Somali communities, African Caribbean groups, who felt particularly misrepresented, and young people. This workshop documents the project’s challenges, pitfalls and successes. It will provide practical examples, with some clear tips on what to do and what not to do, and aims to inspire participants to have greater confidence in co-producing their own work.

Finn has worked in museum engagement in Bristol and London for 5 years and has been responsible for numerous co-production and community engagement projects. He previously worked for many years in adult education where he specialised in ESOL and literacy. Finn's passion and expertise lies in attempting to remove the barriers many people face when engaging with art, history and culture.

Workshop 3

Engaging audiences at Powderham Castle

Dan Maudlin, Diana Walters & Alan Butler (Cornerstone Praxis, University of Plymouth)

This workshop explores how research at Powderham Castle has informed interpretation and engagement for new audiences. A partnership of Powderham Castle, the Earl of Devon and the Universities of Plymouth and Pennsylvania in the USA have investigated the visual, material and spatial history of the castle through the eighteenth century. The workshop examines how research into the experiences of the 18th Century third Viscount as an “outed” gay man can effect an interpretation that speaks to a modern LGBT+ audience. Participants will also learn how a new sensory garden, which will also benefit wider audiences, was developed through co-production with disabled people.

Cornerstone Praxis is the University of Plymouth's heritage unit. Through not-for-profit partnerships, collaborative grants and contract research, they work in co-production with historic sites, museums, galleries, heritage organisations and community groups on a range of activities from original research to multimedia interpretation.

Alan Butler is curator of Plymouth’s LGBT Archive, Associate Lecturer in History at University of Plymouth and Community Engagement Officer for The Elizabethan House, Plymouth.

Daniel Maudlin is a historian with a background in the heritage sector, museums and galleries (Historic Scotland, National Galleries of Scotland, V&A, Peggy Guggenheim Collection). His research focuses on visual, spatial and material cultures of early modern Britain and North America.

Diana Walters is a visiting Research Fellow at University of Plymouth and Associate Lecturer in Heritage Studies.


Networking break


Quickfire presentations

A chance to hear short presentations from our trade stands.

Trade stands

Very short talk about what Sarah does: relocation to a new studio in Falmouth in 2019 to serve the SW region; museum standard conservation of paintings and frames; specialist areas -the structural treatment of canvas paintings (lining and re-lining), preventive conservation and museum standard conservation framing; AIM Collections Care audits; lecturing, teaching and consultancy on artists materials and technical art history; Constable Research Project

Sarah Cove ACR, Accredited Conservator (Accredited Conservation - Restoration of Paintings, Technical Art History, Lecturing)

BA (Hons) History of Art (Courtauld Inst); Internships at V&A and NPG; Accredited Paintings Conservator since 1999; Fellow of IIC and BAPCR; Trustee of ICON; former Community Member of the Steering Group for the Royal Greenwich Heritage Site; Accredited Lecturer for The Arts Soc (NADFAS) since 2003 and extensive worldwide public lecturing experience; Founded the Constable Research Project in 1986 and now the leading expert; BBC1 Fake or Fortune? 2014 /2017 and other TV and presenting experience

Daniel's quickfire session will introduce the University of Plymouth’s Heritage Placements Programme run by our heritage and public engagement unit, Cornerstone Praxis. Cornerstone runs a portfolio of research, interpretation and engagement projects with partners from across the museums and heritage sector ranging from Powderham Castle to Plymouth City Council. Cornerstone Praxis is a part of Cornerstone Heritage, the University’s interdisciplinary centre for research in cultural heritage.

Professor Daniel Maudlin (University of Plymouth)

Professor Daniel Maudlin is the Director of Cornerstone Praxis and Cornerstone Heritage. Coming from a background in the museums and heritage sector, he also teaches Heritage and Public History courses across the BA and MA History degree programmes at Plymouth.


Lemons and lemonade: audience development during a building conservation project

Louise Donovan, (Creative Programme Manager, National Trust Castle Drogo) and Paula Clarke, (Community Engagement Officer, National Trust Castle Drogo)

For six years the National Trust’s Castle Drogo has undergone a major building conservation project to make it watertight. This presentation explores how the upheaval of being a building site inspired new approaches to audience development, through growing repeat visits from core audiences, especially local Devon residents, to exploring opportunities to engage new audiences through collaborative community partnerships, working with artists, and creative programming. As the building project draws to an end it also reflects on the sea-change in the property team’s ways of working including new volunteer opportunities, co-curation and production and working together for a more holistic approach.

Louise has been Creative Programme Manager at Castle Drogo for the past 6 years and responsible for delivering the interpretation plan and working with Creative Partners as part of the ‘Saving Castle Drogo’ building conservation project. With a background in Art History, Louise has worked in museums and galleries for the past 25 years across a variety of arts, exhibition, learning and engagement including roles at Bristol Culture, Centre for Visual Arts Cardiff, Southwark Arts Service and Coldharbour Mill Trust.


Trail for Conference 2020

Hear about the plans for the 2020 conference


End of day 2

We'd like to thank our conference partners Cornerstone Heritage, University of Plymouth.