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Connecting Cultures Conference National Media Museum, Bradford 17th October 2008, 9.00am – 4.30pm Conceived by Bradford Museums, Galleries and Heritage and Alchemy and evolving from the project Connect: People, Place, Imagination at Cartwright Hall, this conference explores current issues around audience engagement and museum curatorial practice by bringing together The Newark Museum, New Jersey, U.S.A. and Cartwright Hall Art Gallery, Bradford. Newark and Bradford have striking parallels – both cities were once wealthy because of their manufacturing industries; they have culturally diverse populations - presenting both tough challenges and exciting opportunities. Both cities are the focus of regeneration programmes in which culture plays a central role. This is a unique opportunity to gain valuable insights into how two cultural organisations are responding to the complex, rapidly shifting social environments within which they operate. Mary Sue Sweeney Price, Director of the groundbreaking Newark Museum will talk about how the Museum’s fresh, bold and original concepts have resulted in an organisation that has skilfully managed to combine access and excellence in a creative and sophisticated manner. Jane Glaister, (Strategic Director, Culture, Tourism and Sport), will present the context in which culture operates and its role as an economic and social driver for Bradford. This provides the background for the joint exploration by Mark Suggitt, (Head of Bradford Museums, Galleries and Heritage) and Nima Poovaya-Smith, (Director Alchemy and Project Director, Connect) of the making of Connect: People, Place, Imagination. In particular, they will discuss the critical role that target audiences have played in the shaping of this unusual and interesting project. You will also have the opportunity to hear artists’ views on the risks and opportunities of being represented in a public collection in the 21st century. The artists, all of whom have works in the Cartwright Hall Collection, are from Yorkshire, Canada, London, Pakistan and India – an indication of the variety and richness of the Collection. The conference will be chaired by Baroness Lola Young, who has played a key role in national and international debates about the transformational changes museums need to makein order to remain meaningful to people in the 21st century. The conference is aimed at people working within the cultural sector including museum professionals, educationists, artists, policy makers and opinion formers. Participants will gain from two lively case studies, artists’ perspectives about public collections and networking opportunities. With the addition of a guided tour of the new Permanent Collection display at Cartwright Hall Art Gallery in the afternoon, this conference is an important contribution to the debates on new approaches to collections, displays, interpretation and audience engagement.


Connecting Cultures Conference Agenda Date: Friday 17th October 2008 Time: 09.00 – 16.30 Location: National Media Museum, Bradford 09.00 – 10.00

Registration & Coffee

10.00 – 10.05

Welcome: Colin Philpott, Director, National Media Museum, Bradford

10.05 – 10.15

Bradford & Culture: Jane Glaister, Strategic Director, Culture, Tourism and Sport, Bradford MDC

10.15 – 11.00

Connecting Cultures, People and Collections: The Making of Connect: Mark Suggitt, Head of Museums, Galleries and Heritage, Bradford MDC & Nima Poovaya-Smith, Director, Alchemy

11.00 – 11.45

Newark Museum, New Jersey: Imagination, Inspiration & Innovation: Mary Sue Sweeney Price, Director, Newark Museum, USA

11.45 – 12.40

Artists and Public collections in the 21st century: Artists’ Panel

12.40 – 13.00

Q&A

13.00 – 14.30

Lunch

14.30 – 16.30

Guided Tour of Cartwright Hall Art Gallery

Booking Information Full price tickets £80/Concessions £50 for bookings of 8 or more, students or senior citizens. To book your place at the conference and to sign up to the opening event on Thursday 16th October please visit www.bradfordmuseums.org.rsvp or call Emma Bearman on 0845 050 7927. The website will also supply further information with regards terms and conditions, hotels and directions.


Connecting Cultures Conference Information