2016 was a year that was met with shock and bewilderment throughout the world and the feelings were in large, reflected in the Museum community. As the political landscape changed, new challenges facing the sector opened up, particularly around funding. However, museums are public spaces and we, as museum professionals, have the chance and the opportunity to celebrate communities and to promote inclusion. For the Scottish Museums Federation we were privy to some of the most exciting events of the year.
The 2014 SMF Conference, “Dealing with Difficult Issues: Controversy, Collections and Communities” was held at the Glasgow Women’s Library in April. In June, the Committee took part in the AIM conference, hosted at The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. In October we hosted #ScottishMuseumsDay, an online advocacy day that was met with great success. The year finished in Glasgow at the annual Museums Association Conference. At the conference, we spoke about the work Museum Federations can do, as well as #ScottishMuseumsDay.
The fact that Brexit and Trump happened at two fairly large museum events in Scotland is a coincidence.
Moving On Up
With that in mind, we look forward to 2017. In February, the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, home of Surgeons’ Hall Museums, hosts the Museums Association’s Moving on Up: Own your Museum Career one day conference. Members of the SMF committee, are on the organising panel for this event, and it’s shaping up to be a pretty exciting day. The programme looks to strike the balance between professional development and the bigger picture issues that are affecting the Museum sector. These include issues such as diversity, funding, technological advancements and the wider social and political landscape. The Scottish Museums Federation is delighted to be able to offer SMF members the MA member rate for this event. You can find more details on our website.
A Positive Future
For the Scottish Museums Federation we are hosting our annual conference and AGM at National Museums of Scotland in Edinburgh. Our membership is at an all-time high, and we celebrate the SMF’s 80th birthday. The theme for our conference is “A Positive Future: Institutions, Collections & Audiences”. This week, we as the committee, are meeting to select the papers that will make up our conference. It is a privilege to be choosing the papers for our conference for the SMF’s 80th year.
In October we will be hosting the 2nd ever #ScottishMuseumsDay. We are immensely proud of how this event went last year and are keen to do it again this year. As a result, all those involved are eager to replicate it for 2017, and make it bigger than before. We will be hosting other events throughout the year, so please keep an eye out for them. We’re also hard at work putting together a Scottish Museums Instagram Swap!