Senior Fellow 2020: Bilwa Kulkarni (India, ITP 2015)

Written by Claire Messenger, ITP Manager

I am delighted to announce that this summer our eighth Senior Fellow will be Bilwa Kulkarni, a freelance Education Consultant working on independent projects with museums and schools that require consultation and training in creating educational programmes and exhibitions.

Bilwa joined us on the International Training Programme in 2015 when she worked for Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS), Mumbai. During her time at CSMVS, Bilwa was involved in new in-house initiatives, including new exhibitions, the upgrade of the syllabus for the Post-Graduate Diploma in Museology coursed conducted by the museum, the operations and programming of the Museum on Wheels, the conception and creation of a new Children’s Museum wing at the CSMVS and the acquisition of a new children’s art collection.

Since her participation in the ITP, Bilwa she has been a valued member of the British Museum’s ITP global network. Bilwa took part the ITP 10th anniversary workshop Creating museums of world stories organised by the British Museum and CSMVS Mumbai in 2015. She was part of the team who worked on the 2017-18 exhibition India and the World: A History in Nine Stories, which was a collaboration between CSMVS, the BM and the National Museum, New Delhi. She also helped develop and deliver the ITP+ course on Museums and education, celebrating the opening of the Children’s Museum and focusing on the vital role museums can play in education, learning and social development, held at CSMVS in March 2019.

The opportunity to be back as a Senior Fellow and to create connections with new countries and new people is only available through the ITP.

Mohamed Mokhtar, Curator, Abdeen Palace Museums (Egypt, ITP Senior fellow 2019)

During her time on the International Training Programme in 2015, Bilwa was based in the British Museum’s Asia Department and her UK Partner placement was spent at Bristol Museums, Galleries and Archives. Her place on the Programme was generously supported by Steven Larcombe and Sonya Leydecker.

In this role as Senior Fellow Bilwa will be able to provide support and guidance to our ITP fellows 2020 through her knowledge of the course, the British Museum, of London and our UK partner museums. She will be an invaluable member of the ITP team, helping with the logistics and development of the summer programme and offering ideas for our legacy and sustainability projects.

Bilwa will be able to gain professionally through the opportunity to experience the International Training Programme from the ‘delivery and development’ perspective, by reconnecting with BM and UK partner colleagues and by making new connections across our growing global network.

The Senior Fellow role is important and necessary, in the sense that the role provides a link between the ITP team and the fellows…I was pleased when I
saw some changes in the programme that we had suggested to the Senior Fellow in 2017: it feels good to be taken into consideration.

Andrea Terrón Gomez, Museum Specialist (Guatemala, ITP Senior Fellow 2018)

Bilwa will also take on the role of guest editor of the ITP Newsletter 2021, Issue 8 and we’ll be sharing more news on the theme and focus for next year in due course.

We are really looking forward to welcoming Bilwa back to the British Museum in June and to working with her through this summer’s programme. The Senior Fellow role, first offered in 2013, has become a regular fixture in the ITP calendar and has become essential to the delivery of the summer programme and I am very confident that Bilwa will be a wonderful addition to the team this year.

You’ll be hearing from Bilwa over the coming months as she introduces herself and prepares for meeting the 2020 cohort.