A Year On From: Armenia Conference

Written by Claire Messenger, ITP Manager

One year ago the International Training Programme team were in Yerevan, Armenia working on a collaborative project with the Museum Education Center (MEC) in Armenia and Manchester Art Gallery.

While in Mumbai in 2015, Hayk and Marine Mkrtchyan and Davit Poghosyan (Armenia, ITP 2014 and 2015), took the challenge of ‘networking on a global level’ to heart and, together with Ronan Brindley, Head of Learning at Manchester Art Gallery, discussed plans for a learning-based project that could be delivered in-country.

So with ITP support, the group developed and delivered a conference and workshop focussing on the vital role museums play in education and skills development, both in Armenia and in other parts of the world.

The conference started with a fascinating series of learning-based case studies delivered by colleagues across the ITP network – Andrea Martin (The Collection, Lincoln), Elaine Addington (Glasgow Museums Resource Centre), Christine Fischer (Grassi Museum, Leipzig, Germany) and Shreen Amin (Children’s Museum at the Egyptian Museum, Cairo, Egypt) – and from museums and galleries across Yerevan.

The workshop that followed focussed on debating and brainstorming around four key issues, highlighted as areas of concern by our Armenian colleagues:

  • Family Learning
  • Teen-Friendly Engagement
  • Adult Learning, focussing on Working with Older Audiences
  • Working with New Audiences

Workshop participants identified an audience and planned a learning/engagement project that could be delivered in their institution.

With the generous support of the Marie Louise von Motesiczky Charitable Trust, we were delighted also to welcome three of the ITP alumni to join us: Tugba Tanyeri Erdemir (Turkey, ITP 2016), Shubha Banerji (India, ITP 2014) and Nathalie El-Alam (Lebanon, ITP 2012).  Our colleagues helped support and facilitate the working groups and spoke at the conference about their ITP experiences.

Following the workshop, the ITP team worked with the four groups to produce toolkits – resources that we have shared with the programme alumni.

Thanks to Marine, Hayk, Davit and Ronan, the event was a wonderful success with exceptionally positive feedback from our 19 delegates from selected Armenia museums and cultural institutions. We hope to give you an update on further outcomes in the next ITP Newsletter.