Inspiring Action

"A must-read collection"  Esme Ward, Head of Engagement, The Whitworth and Manchester Museum, The University of Manchester.

"Important and timely" Dr Michael Murawski, Director of Education and Public Programs, Portland Art Museum.

"Invaluable" Kerry Wilson, Head of Research, Institute of Cultural Capital. 

"Will appeal to the professionals working to keep our institutions relevant"  Andrea K Jones, Director of Programs and Visitor Engagement, AccokeekFoundation.

"Inspiring collection" Helen Graham, Director, Centre for Critical Studies in Museums, Galleries and Heritage, University of Leeds. 

"Lives up to its title" Dr Carol Bossert, CB Services LLC and host of The Museum Life on VoiceAmerica Radio.

In this ground-breaking book, leading international professionals contribute practical, theoretical, historical – and always inspiring – case studies on how museums and galleries are responding to the social challenges of the 21st century, including:

  1. Supporting disadvantaged minorities…
  2. Helping rehabilitate young offenders…
  3. Reskilling long-term unemployed people…
  4. Providing new enjoyment for the elderly… 

Inspiring Action shares pioneering museum experience from the UK, USA, Australia and Africa, exploring the theory and practice of building inclusion and participation into museum and gallery programmes. Among the world-class institutions whose experience is featured here are:

  1. Clark Art Institute
  2. Dulwich Art Gallery
  3. Durban Art Gallery
  4. Royal Armouries Museum
  5. Tate Modern
  6. Tower of London
  7. V&A
  8. Weeksville Heritage Center

 We guarantee you’ll find this book powerful, moving – and an inspiration to action.

Bringing Art to the Street
Carol Brown, International Curator and former Director, Durban Art Gallery, South Africa

Rules for the (R)evolution of Museums
Elizabeth Wood, Public Scholar of Museums, Families and Learning, Indiana University-Purdue University

The Fight
Gabriela Salgado, Curator and Consultant, and formerly Curator of Public Programmes, Tate Modern

Exchanges and the Historical Construction of Collections
Gareth Knapman, Researcher, National Centre for Indigenous Studies, Australian National University

History Off The Chain: Liberating the Narrative
Jennifer Scott, Director, Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, Chicago 

Examining Contemporary Conflict
Jo Woolley, Senior Officer Organisational Development, Arts Council England

Learn about the Past, Act in the Present, Change the Future
Katy Ashton, Director, People's History Museum, Manchester 

The Tower in Society: Working for Life
Keith Cima, formerly Resident Governor, HM Tower of London

Exhibiting Human Rights: New Narratives of Global Health
Manon Parry, Assistant Professor of Public History University of Amsterdam 

Creating a Museum from a Grassroots Project
Marcia Jo Zerivitz, Founding Executive Director and Chief Curator, Jewish Museum of Florida 

Indigenous Frames of Reference: Translating the Past into a Politics of the Future
Olivia Guntarik, Lecturer, RMIT University, Melbourne

Capacity Building and Cultural Ownership
Eithne Nightingale, photographer, fim-maker, writer and formerly Head of the Diversity Strategy Unit, Victoria & Albert Museum

What’s the Point? Glorifying Violence or Keeping People Safe?
Peter Armstrong, Senior Director, Jamestown and Yorktown Museums, Virginia, USA

Building Audience: Juvenile Delinquents at the Clark
Ronna Tulgan Ostheimer, Head of Education, Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, USA

Reaching Out to Older Visitors
Susan Ghosh, formerly Good Times Coordinator, Dulwich Picture Gallery, London

Dr Carol Bossert, CB Services, LLC and host of The Museum Life on VoiceAmerica Radio:
Inspiring Action lives up to its title. Thirteen museum professionals reflect upon their experiences in addressing societal issues and becoming change agents in their communities. Each essay is a case study in how a museum can cultivate its sense of social responsibility and channel it into meaningful programs. This book should put to rest any belief — or fear — that museums cannot overcome their insular traditions.

Helen Graham, Director, Centre for Critical Studies in Museums, Galleries and Heritage, University of Leeds:
An inspiring collection of essays which refuses any dichotomy between practice and the crucial theorisation of power and politics, and which shows that change and innovation in art galleries and museums comes through experimentation, trying things out and action itself.

Andrea K Jones, Director of Programs and Visitor Engagement, Accokeek Foundation:
The authors in this volume form a bold and uplifting chorus of voices. Collectively, they ask museums to stop merely reflecting society, and instead become an active part of it. This book will undoubtedly appeal to an important and necessary new generation of museum professionals: the questioners, the rabble-rousers, and the innovators who work to keep our institutions relevant. 

Dr Michael Murawski, Director of Education & Public Programs, Portland Art Museum:
Inspiring Action highlights a range of forward-thinking museums across the globe that are working to become change agents within their communities.  These important and timely essays challenge museums to be more socially responsive, more inclusive of local communities, and more engaged in public life.  A great read!

Esme Ward, Head of Engagement, The Whitworth and Manchester Museum, The University of Manchester:
By drawing upon leading practice from across the globe, Inspiring Action: Museums and Social Change explores how museums enable, mobilise and narrate social change. This must-read collection of essays has never been more timely as many museums grapple with the role they play in their communities; how to listen more, build stronger relationships and be brave, honest and ambitious in their decision-making and actions. 

Kerry Wilson, Head of Research, Institute of Cultural Capital:
The Inspiring Action collection of essays delivers on its promise. Drawing on the experience and expertise of museum professionals working across a range of social and political contexts, the practical complexities and cultural rewards of effecting social change are described in edifying detail. This is an invaluable volume for those interested in the capacity of museums to make a real social difference.

Inspiring Action: Museums and Social Change
Pages 280
Colour illustrations 26
Size 216 x 140 mm
Publication 2016
Editions £45 [paperback] | £35 [eBook] 
ISBN 978-1-910144-86-2 [paperback]  

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