Written by Claire Messenger, Manager, International Training Programme.
The 2016 summer programme took place from 18 July to 26 August, with the British Museum and ten UK partner museums welcoming 21 fellows from 13 countries. Taking the opportunity to expand our global network further, colleagues from Croatia and Yemen took part for the first time in 2016, in what have become sustainable and rewarding partnerships.
The enthusiastic support of British Museum colleagues, both staff and volunteers, is essential to ensuring the success of the ITP. In 2016 this enabled us to provide a complete overview of how the Museum functions, both front of house and behind the scenes.
In summer 2016 we worked hard to ensure our network of UK programme partners continued to grow and sessions on contemporary issues and challenges in both the museum and wider cultural heritage sector helped the ITP develop and remain current and reflective.
Michelle Kindleysides, Health and Wellbeing Coordinator at Beamish Museum, explored the role that cultural heritage can play in addressing issues around health and wellbeing, focusing largely upon people living with dementia and other cognitive impairments. While Jasper Chalcraft from the University of Sussex delivered a session on cultural heritage and peace-building. This session introduced the concept of conflict sensitivity, a tool widely used in the NGO sector, and used a workshop format and group work to explore the relevance of a conflict-sensitive approach to the specific contexts of the ITP fellows.
We were delighted to welcome back Njeri Gachihi (Kenya, ITP 2010) as our Senior Fellow for 2016. Her then role as Programme Manager of the Kenya Heritage Training Institute (KeHTI) made her ideally placed to be able to support the ITP team delivering the summer programme. During the programme she led a workshop looking at skills sharing and professional development requirements across the cultural sector. Working alongside British Museum colleagues she examined the issues around skills development and brainstormed some possible ‘futures’ for those who work in the museum sector.
And to help support British Museum future planning, Curator of South Asia Imma Ramos, developed a workshop on objects and the modern world (1700 to the present) which asked ITP fellows to think about researching and displaying the last 300 years of global history through Museum objects. The group selected an object that illustrated a key idea or moment from the last 300 years and spoke on how and why it reflected their theme.
Finally, we were able to welcome a new member to the ITP team. The first day of the summer programme 2016 was also the first day for Rebecca Horton who joined us as ITP Administrator and quickly became an invaluable colleague and firm network favourite.