Future of Museums Q&As

Exchanging views and ideas between early career and senior museum professionals

Early career museum professionals have lots of ideas about the future of the museum sector. Senior museum professionals are in a position to start to make changes. Isn’t it time for the two groups to engage with each other and share ideas and expertise? These Question Time-style Q&As in London and Manchester will give early career folk the chance to discuss their ideas about the future of museums with senior professionals.

Where & when?

  • London Transport Museum, Wednesday 19 November. Drinks 6-7pm. Q&A 7-8pm.
  • Manchester Museum, Wednesday 3 December. Drinks 6-7pm. Q&A 7-8pm.

How will it work?

The events will be based on a panel of senior professionals responding to questions from an audience of early career professionals (see below for details of the panels). Each question will then be opened up for discussion by the audience. When you register for a ticket you will be invited to submit a question to the panel. We (Museums Showoff) will select questions from those submitted. If your question is selected we will contact you a few days in advance to let you know and to give you details about what will happen on the night.

Who will be on the panels?


  • Beth McKillop – deputy director & director of collections at the V&A
  • Tonya Nelson – head of museums & collections at UCL
  • Tamalie Newbery – executive director of the Association of Independent Museums
  • John Orna Ornstein –& director of museums for Arts Council England
  • Fiona Talbott – head of museums, libraries & archives at the Heritage Lottery Fund.


  • Maria Balshaw – director of Whitworth Art Gallery, University of Manchester and Manchester City Galleries
  • John Orna Ornstein – director of museums for Arts Council England
  • Gaby Porter – Museums Association trustee & independent museum consultant
  • Helen Rees Leahy – director of the Centre for Museology, Manchester University

How do I get a ticket?

These events are for early career museum professionals, i.e. those within six years full-time equivalent of their first entry-level museum sector job. If that’s you and you’d like to come along, you can get a free ticket here:

London: (This event is now over.)

Manchester: (This event is now over.)

These events are supported by Arts Council England.

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