The conference “Museums as Agents of Change: Diversity, Accessibility and Inclusion” will take place at the Benaki Museum (138 Pireos St.), on Thursday, November 30, 2017, from 9.00 am to 5.00 p.m.

Museums and cultural institutions can change people’s lives. They are pillars of healthy communities and ideal spaces to connect people. While communities around the globe address issues of immigration, religious expression, cultural diversity, discrimination, gender identity, and equality, the commitment of museums to diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion has never been more important. At the seventh edition of the Museum Conference, museum and cultural professionals from the U.S., the UK and Greece will examine the social impact of museums, their role in promoting social inclusion and cohesion, and how diversity and accessibility programs are directly linked with audience engagement, funding sources, resilience and sustainability.

Below are some of the issues we hope will inspire an engaging dialogue.

-What place should the museum occupy in the rapidly changing landscape of social inclusion policies?

-Who comes and does not come to museums? How do museums attract and retain diverse audiences beyond race, ethnicity, beliefs, age, class, ability, language, sexual orientation, and gender identity?

-How can museums give voice to underprivileged groups and be places of creative exchange and open dialogue?

-How can cultural institutions ensure that all audiences can access their programs, collections and resources?  How do we make accessibility a lifelong process for museums and cultural organizations that goes beyond compliance with basic building standards?

-How can museums empower community through museum outreach programmes (including in hospitals, elderly homes, prisons and other institutions)?

-What are the new technologies and digital tools that can assist museums with addressing different forms of disability, including restricted mobility, sight and hearing impairments, learning challenges, age and mental health restrictions?

-How do museums become diverse, accessible and inclusive within their organization?

-What are key partnerships with other organizations – cultural institutions, public and private entities, non-profits and businesses – that museums can foster to become more diverse and also grow their audience and funding base?

-How do museums sustain traditional supporters and at the same time diversify donors as they adapt to changing demographics?

The conference will include keynote addresses, as well as a series of workshops, and will feature the following speakers: Dr. Nicole Ivy (Director of Inclusion, American Alliance of Museums, USA), Georgia Krantz (Independent Accessibility Trainer and Consultant, USA), Sarah Plump (Research Associate, Research Center for Museums and Galleries, UK), Jess Turtle and Matt Turtle (Co-founders, Museum of Homelessness, UK).

There will be simultaneous interpretation into Greek and English.

Entry is free, on a first come-first served basis. Pre-registration for the conference will be available on Eventbrite from 20.11.2017.