Mu­se­ums con­fer­ence at Te Manawa

The Tribune (NZ) - - ENJOY -

This year, for the first time, Te Manawa will host the Mu­se­ums Aotearoa con­fer­ence. The theme of the 2017 event is he waka eke noa, or ‘‘we’re all in this to­gether’’ with the fo­cus on how mu­se­ums can work to­ward be­ing the most in­clu­sive places they can.

‘‘This is a crit­i­cal theme near and dear to us,’’ says Te Manawa Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Andy Lowe.

‘‘Peo­ple are at the heart of ev­ery­thing we do – from pre­serv­ing the an­tiq­ui­ties that tell unique and per­sonal sto­ries, to fa­cil­i­tat­ing ac­cess to them in new and in­no­va­tive ways.’’

‘‘In­clu­sive’’ means a lot more than just invit­ing ev­ery­one in and mak­ing them wel­come; our spa­ces must be ac­ces­si­ble too. Mea­sures to achieve this could be as sim­ple as mak­ing sure au­dio-vis­ual con­tent is subti­tled, or as com­plex as an elab­o­rate event cen­tred on and cel­e­brat­ing one of our marginalised com­mu­ni­ties.

‘‘It’s also im­por­tant that the com­mu­nity feels some own­er­ship of the events and ex­hi­bi­tions that we put on, or even drive th­ese them­selves,’’ Lowe says.

‘‘Hav­ing the com­mu­nity get be­hind such fan­tas­tic sto­ries is the great­est way to show that they feel in­cluded and pas­sion­ate about the role of mod­ern mu­se­ums in our neigh­bour­hoods.’’

As Te Manawa strives to be a ‘‘mu­seum with­out bound­aries,’’ in­clu­siv­ity is one of its core goals. This ex­tends be­hind the scenes, too. How Te Manawa as­sem­bles and cat­a­logues its col­lec­tions is just as im­por­tant as how they are dis­played.

Con­fer­ence ses­sions will ad­dress Maori and Pasi­fika per­spec­tives, as well as those of chil­dren and the dis­abil­ity com­mu­nity.

The con­fer­ence runs from May 22-24 at the Palmer­ston North Con­ven­tion Cen­tre, with some events tak­ing place at Te Manawa. The pro­gramme is not re­stricted to mu­seum pro­fes­sion­als – any­one can reg­is­ter.

This can be done at www.mu­se­um­saotearoa.org.nz where more in­for­ma­tion about speak­ers and the full pro­gramme can be found.

HeAra Tae, in 2014, wasa mas­sive event cre­ated by chil­dren, peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties and se­nior cit­i­zens work­ing with RE­ACT. Photo: UDOVONMULERT

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