2016 – Head of Learning, Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, University of East Anglia, Norwich
I manage the learning team at the Sainsbury Centre (3 learning programme managers, 2 administrators, 60 volunteer guides and 30 artist educators), overseeing learning programmes and projects. These cater for a diverse range of audiences from children and families, to schools, to young people and adults, and are inspired by the collections and exhibitions at the Centre. As part of the management team, I am responsible for the strategic direction of the organisation. I am also involved in teaching across the University of East Anglia, and continue to pursue my own object/interpretation research interests.
2015-17 Researcher, Things Unbound: Exploring engagements with Objects in Museums in the UK and India (British Academy funded research and training partnership between School of Museum Studies, Leicester and National Museum Institute, Delhi)
Working as researcher on UKIERI/British Academy partnership project between School of Museum Studies, Leicester and National Museum Institute, New Delhi, India, led by Drs Sandra Dudley and Manvi Seth. ‘Things Unbound’ explores what it is that objects do, focussing particularly on the moment of encounter between a person and an object in a museum. Research using a variety of methods has taken place in the City Palace Museum, Jaipur (February 2015), Ely Cathedral (October 2015) and monasteries in Ladakh (May 2017).
2015-16 Special Projects Manager, Royal Armouries, Leeds
Managing cross-departmental exhibition and interpretation projects for temporary and permanent displays. I managed the special exhibition, ‘Warrior Treasures: Saxon Gold from the Staffordshire Hoard’ which attracted an audience of 58,000 during its 4 month display and successfully gained ACE funding to develop an artist commission inspired by the exhibition.
2014- 16 Reviewer, Our Favourite Places, Sheffield Cultural Website
Writing regular arts and cultural reviews.
2014 Interpretation Mentor, Saving the 70s HLF Project (Suffolk and Hertfordshire)
Overseeing interpretation and running training events for museum staff and volunteers across Suffolk and Hertforshire on creative approaches to object interpretation.
2012-2013 PhD Conference Manager, Museum Metamorphosis (November 2013)
Managing international academic conference.
2012-2013 Researcher, Research Centre for Museums and Galleries (ACE funded Museums, Health and Wellbeing in the East Midlands project including development of “Journey into the Museum” website)
Working as researcher on ACE funded programme ‘Museums, Health and Wellbeing: Nurturing innovation in the East Midlands’ which aims to develop partnerships between museums in the region and various health providers.
2012 Curator, “Mouseion: artists’ reflections on museums”, School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester
Developed concept for, organised and curated ‘Mouseion’, an exhibition in the School of Museum Studies, involving 7 artists from across the UK whose work explores what museums are and do, working with PhD colleague Cy Shih as exhibition designer. Artists involved include Karl and Kimberley Foster, Yvette Hawkins, Dawn Felicia Knox, Hazel Jones, Michael Leigh and Lyndall Phelps.
2012 Peer Reviewer, Museum Worlds Journal
2011- 2016 Teaching Assistant, School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester
I teach MA students of Museum Studies and Art Museum and Gallery Studies topics around using objects within museum learning and interpretation (as part of the Education Option led by Dr Viv Golding), on sensory experience within museums and galleries (as part of the Dr Sandra Dudley’s course on material culture), and have led other workshops and events for MA and PhD students. I also mark MA student assignments.
2011- 15 Freelance Interpretation Consultant
2010-2011 Digital Projects Manager, Renaissance East Midlands
Managed regional digital programmes in museums and archives across the East Midlands which included managing annual budgets of £500k in 2010/11 and £200k in 2011/12.
Established Digital Ambassador Network (DAN) in June 2011 (now known as Digital Engagement Network) which provides support and skills sharing in digital/social media, as well as awarding grants to support digital sustainability in the region and developing CPD training programme.
Oversaw and commissioned a future-proof consultation led by Bridget McKenzie at Flow Associates to look at the future sustainability of our two websites: http://www.mubu.org.uk and http://www.learnwithmuseums.org.uk.
Managed research scholarships undertaken by Cynthia Brown (independent researcher looking at food history and museum work) and David Amos (‘MuBu Miner’ researching for a PhD in coal mining heritage at the University of Nottingham).
This post was a freelance job-share with Sam Smith covering Caroline Moore’s maternity leave.
2007-2010 Interpretation Development Officer, Manchester Art Gallery
Developed and managed participatory innovative interpretation of collections with a variety of audiences. Projects included: Tate Visual Dialogues: a DCMS/DCFS-funded national project which involved working with artists and young people as co-creators to interpret historic collections displayed alongside contemporary interventions; Mary Greg: this collection of ‘handicrafts of bygone times’ had been in storage for over 50 years. Working with artists, the project involved creatively re-imagining this orphan collection in an open-ended research project, which aimed to question the notion of ‘value’ at the gallery. A research blog can be found at: http://www.marymaryquitecontrary.org.uk; Clore Interactive Gallery: research, development and fundraising for the redevelopment of the Clore Interactive Gallery for families working in partnership with interactive exhibit designers 24Design; Object Dialogue Box: commissioning interpretive resource and developing programme of staff development enabling imaginative responses to collections; Ford Madox Brown’s Work: management, research, and development of a BAFTA Award nominated online teaching resource based on this significant Pre-Raphaelite painting.
2005-2007 Hub Learning Projects Coordinator, Museums Sheffield
Managing schools programme for Millennium Gallery and Graves Art Gallery; running national partnership projects funded by DCMS/DCFS (Image & Identity with the V&A, and Visual Dialogues with Tate); overseeing ITT (initial teacher training) partnerships with York St John University; developing educational exhibition content, interactives and family activities; running EPDP budget (Renaissance Yorkshire education strand); recruiting and managing artists and freelance staff; managing team of Gallery Enablers
2002-2004 Teacher of Religious Studies & Philosophy, Queen’s College, Taunton
Developing curriculum and teaching Religious Education and Philosophy from KS2 to A-Level; Assistant Housemistress in Boarding House; Form Tutor for Y7; Running extra-curricular groups and fundraising.
2001 Education Assistant, Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge
Assisting with educational activities for schools and families; developing resources and sessions for projects; creating pack for visually impaired visitors.
2001 English Language Teacher, Szeged, Hungary
Teaching English to children aged 6-16 as part of language summer school in towns in southern Hungary; running extra curricular activities.
2016 PhD Museum Studies, University of Leicester (examined by Professor Helen Rees Leahy, University of Manchester and Dr Suzanne MacLeod, University of Leicester)
2005 MA Art Gallery Studies (Education), Distinction, University of Leicester
2002 PGCE Secondary Religious Education, University of Cambridge
2000 MPhil Medieval Theology, Newnham College, University of Cambridge
1999 BA Hons Theology, 1st Class, University of Birmingham
1996 A Levels (A) Theology, English Literature, Russian, Art, Sherborne School for Girls, Dorset
1995 AS Level (B) Philosophy, Sherborne School, Dorset
1993-4 GCSEs (all A*/A) Sherborne School for Girls, Dorset
2014 Emotions, Transformations, Restorations Participant, Institute of Making, UCL
2013 University of Leicester Teaching Partnership Award (for contribution to teaching, particularly based on Mouseion exhibition)
2013 Newnham College Alumna Travelling Scholarship
2012 AHRC Collaborative Skills Award for Partnership Working project (Student-Led Strand)
2012 Postgraduate Programme Bursary, (funded by Getty Foundation) CIHA2012, Nuremberg
2011 AHRC Research Scholarship for PhD Research, University of Leicester
2010 AMA Associate Membership, Museums Association
2009 GEM Research and Travel Bursary – ‘Family Interpretation and Interactivity in Art Galleries in the USA’ (incorporating visits to Los Angeles, San Diego and Phoenix)
2008 BAFTA shortlist and nomination, Children’s Primary Learning category for Ford Madox Brown Work interactive
2004 AHRB Postgraduate Funding (Full Award) for Leicester MA
2000 Clothworkers’ Research Studentship, Newnham College Cambridge
1999 J.G. Davies Memorial Prize, University of Birmingham
Networks and Responsibilities
2018 Executive Committee, Norfolk Arts Forum
2018 Women Cultural Leaders Network, East
2015 Judge, East Midlands Heritage Awards
2014-2016 Trustee and Board of Directors, UK Group for Education in Museums (GEM)
2014 Book Reviewer, Museum & Society and H Net Material Culture
2014 Moving On Up Conference Committee, Museums Association
2013 Judge, Derbyshire Heritage Awards
2012/13 PhD Student Representative, The Museum Studio Postgraduate Reading Group Organiser, Creative Symposium Organiser & Research Week Visit Coordinator, School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester
2011- AMA Mentor
2011-2014 GEM Yorkshire and Humberside Area Co-Convenor
2010 Judge, Koestler Trust Arts by Offenders NW Exhibition and Competition
2008-2010 Yorkshire AMA Support Group Coordinator
2004-2005 Chairperson, Student and Staff Teaching and Learning Committee, Department of Museum Studies, University of Leicester