The British Museum: Annual Director’s Dinner, dedicated to the ITP!

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the International Training Programme (ITP) and our global network. A total of 183 colleagues have taken part so far, representing 27 countries in the Middle East, Africa, South and East Asia, Europe and Latin America.

As you know, the ITP is externally funded by individuals, trusts and foundations, and cultural institutions – and throughout the year the Museum raises funds to cover all costs of the programme.

Thanks to the generosity of the Marie-Louise von Motesiczky Charitable Trust, the British Museum (BM) has been offered a challenge fund of up to £500,000 to match every donation in support of the ITP in honour of Museum Director Neil MacGregor’s term. If the Museum can match the challenge fund, the ITP would be secure for the next 5 years – an amazing achievement and one we hope to make the most of in the years to come.

So to generate more awareness of the ITP and to raise further funds, this year our annual ‘Director’s Dinner’ was themed around the Programme – inviting British Museum Patrons to celebrate our achievements and legacy.

© 2015 Josh Redman

Dinner guests – © 2015 Josh Redman

The BM was delighted to invite back Nourah Sammar, Palestine, ITP 2009 and Nelson Abiti, Uganda, ITP 2013 to attend the dinner as honoured guests, and speak about their experiences on the ITP and the impacts on their professional and personal development. Having been so impressed by Nourah and Nelson’s talks at our 10th Anniversary Staff Breakfast, the BM was eager to have them back in the museum once more.

Nourah Sammar - © 2015 Josh Redman

Nourah Sammar – © 2015 Josh Redman

Since the ITP, Nourah has enrolled in two Master’s Degrees: one in Democracy and Human Rights at Birzeit University in Palestine, researching Cultural Heritage and Human Rights though the lens of human dignity, and another at the European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation, focusing on the MENA Region.

Nelson has cascaded his ITP training to colleagues throughout the National Museum of Uganda, organising training programmes on subjects from collections care to visitor experience. He is currently pursuing an MA at the Arts of Africa, Oceania and Americas, Sainsbury Research Unit of the University of East Anglia – supported by the British Museum’s Africa Programme.

Abiti Nelson - © 2015 Josh Redman

Abiti Nelson – © 2015 Josh Redman

Nourah and Nelson had plenty of time to shine during the day – giving interviews to the BM film crew which will soon be shown on the British Museum website!

All in all the evening was a wonderful opportunity to celebrate our participants and the programme.