Back in Manchester after the Lori Summer School in Armenia (Ronan Brindley, Manchester Art Gallery)

Ronan Brindley, ITP UK Partner Representative at Manchester Art Gallery, has just returned home from Armenia, where he was running a museum summer school with, among others, ITP fellows Hayk Mkrtchyan (ITP 2014/Senior Fellow 2017), Marine Mkrtchyan (ITP 2014), Davit Poghosyan (ITP 2015) and Astghik Marabyan (ITP 2017)! This project followed the ITP, Museum Education Center and Manchester Art Gallery workshop Learning, education and museums, held in Yerevan in October 2016.

Written by Ronan Brindley, Head of Learning, Manchester Art Gallery (ITP UK Partner Representative: Manchester)


I’m now back in Manchester, missing Armenia but hugely enriched by the experience – both the new places I’ve gone to and people I’ve met. Highlights of the summer school keep on coming back to me – learning about the diversity of museums in Armenia, what it’s like working in a museum in the territory of Karabakh, the four presentations from the delegates, and the strong voices of the Cafesjian Teen Council.


Initial feedback suggests that the delegates found the ‘laboratory of ideas’ to be useful, they picked up ideas and skills and formed a network.  In my parting words, I stated that I hope I imparted as much as I’d gained.  I think it was a genuine learning experience for all.

The final few days saw me catching up on a few museums in and around Yerevan (see earlier blog) and re-visiting the National History Museum in the city centre.  Vahagn and Astghik Marabyan (Director and Head of Learning, the Cafesjian Art Centre) invited me to their home for another magnificent feast and we stayed late discussing museums and society – with more toasts, of course.

On Monday, as a last excursion, Hayk took me to see Lake Sevan, Dilijan and the surrounding area. It’s where Armenians go for holidays.  And from these images you can see why.


Ronan and Hayk: partners in crime (showing a lack of selfie skills!)


A better photo of Lake Sevan, without the two grimacing men!

A big thanks to Astghik, Davit, Marine, Anahit, Ester and a mention of Ava and Anahit (Hayk/Marine, and Asghik’s daughters who stopped me missing my own).

And the biggest thanks to Hayk who made it happen and always keeps the ITP torch alight.