Happy New Year from the ITP Team

Written by Claire Messenger, Manager, International Training Programme

We wanted to wish you all a very Happy New Year and give you a brief up-date on our plans for 2022.

I think we can all agree that 2021 was another challenging year!!  While we were unable to welcome ITP fellows to the British Museum due to the uncertainty regarding travel, testing and vaccination regimes, both in the UK and our cohort countries, we hope that the on-site bespoke programme for the 2021 cohort will finally take place in March/April 2022. 

The onsite visit for the ITP Annual Programme 2021 cohort is being planned from 14 March to 8 April 2022 and will include a visit to our network of UK Partner museums.  While the ITP is working on the four-week programme, fellows are e-meeting their BM departmental and UK partner representatives to discuss their time with them.  We hope you will join us welcoming our colleagues to the wider global network and we’ll look forward to sharing more on the Annual Programme with you over the coming months.

Anna is currently working on a report on our ITP Futures project which was held remotely in 2021 through a series of online sessions.  Together with our Senior Fellows and key colleagues across the BM and our UK network, we have been discussing the future of the Programme and Anna’s report will be a way of sharing the outcomes of these sessions with you for your thoughts and feedback. We will also welcoming our Senior Fellows back to the British Museum during 2022 – more detail on that to come.  And don’t forget that we’ll be looking for our ITP Senior Fellow 2022 in the spring!!

In January, the ITP team will be launching our refreshed new website and sharing our contemporary new design, echoing the style of the British Museum’s website, with you all. The new site showcases and highlights the ITP’s projects and programmes whilst providing an improved user experience and increased access for our audiences. There will be new ITP films – both from our archives and new, exciting moving image projects; plenty of new resources to keep sharing knowledge, skills and experiences and our new ITP Online Exhibition based on your wonderful and creative Object in focus exhibition proposals.

Social media (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram) – particularly with the launch of our new website – will be at the core of ITP global networking in 2022.  George is currently working on new and creative ways to keep in touch and keep our fellows up to date with network news and opportunities.  He’s also working on the theme and prompts for a second #ITP28 through February this year and we hope lots more of our network will be involved this year.  We’ll be looking forward to seeing your posts – and sharing ours.

Following on from the success of our online ITP Subject Specialist Sessions, and with your invaluable feedback, we are planning to continue sharing knowledge, skills and experiences remotely. Online sessions will continue to develop for a third series in 2022. These sessions will aim to include more thematic structures, as well as panel discussions to encourage participation from more ITP fellows and network colleagues. These sessions will continue be open to colleagues across the wider heritage sector both in the UK and around the world, allowing us to reach-out to museum professionals outside of the network. 

In the new year Anna will be sharing a new call for applications for our ITP Conference and Research Grants.  If you have a place at a conference or a research proposal that needs additional financial support, we might be able to help you.  In response to fellows seeking support to attend conferences and carry out research, the ITP has been offering financial assistance to attend and participate in conferences and to conduct research which will develop their professional skills in the museum and heritage sector.   In 2022 we’ll be setting more funds aside to support our ITP network so keep checking the ITP blog for more information!!!

The ITP Newsletter 2022 – our 9th issue – will focus on climate, the environment and sustainability.  Across the ITP network, museums and galleries are facing the impact of climate change and fellows are working on projects and programmes to support sustainable, environmentally friendly practices.  Over Christmas we shared a blog post calling for submissions so please send us a contribution – remember, it is ‘your’ newsletter!!!

The ITP team were due to be in Edinburgh in 2020, to take part in the Museums Association Conference, with ITP Fellows from Armenia, China, Egypt, Romania, Rwanda and Uzbekistan. This was postponed until 2022 and we look forward to attending from 27-29 October, alongside our selected group of ITP fellows.  As in previous year’s – both in person and online – we’ll be sharing as much of our conference learning as possible with the wider network.

And we will continue to work on new and creative ways for the ITP alumni to become an integral part of the Museum’s vision for the future, specifically with projects and programmes that contribute to the Museum’s masterplan, and specifically the redisplay of the collection. We will also be sharing some exciting new ITP legacy projects which we’re very much looking forward to sharing with you.

Finally, just a reminder that the ITP team will be hosting a ‘drop-in’ on Wednesday 5 January from 1.00 – 2.00pm.  We hope to be joined by BM colleagues and UK and Programme Partners and we’d LOVE to see you there, whether for just 5 minutes or for the whole hour!!

And please remember, that whatever 2022 brings, we hope that the ITP continues to support and engage our network and of course, if you have ideas or thoughts you would like to share with us, please don’t hesitate to contact me at any time – I’d love to hear from you.