Session 5 overview

Our fifth and final session explores the future of lending and borrowing and the wider challenges that museums and galleries face. The panel will discuss how the Covid-19 pandemic has not only heightened issues, including diversifying workforces; decolonising collections and audience engagement, but will also reflect on the opportunities that have arisen from this unprecedented event and how the sector can work better together. The panel will include a range of voices working in innovative ways to address these challenges.   

Session 5 Speakers

Director of programmes and policy, Art Fund

Sarah Philp leads the team responsible for managing and developing Art Fund’s grant-giving programmes, which support the museums and galleries sector in the UK through funding new acquisitions, and curatorial and collections development. She has coordinated the development of many new initiatives, including the Jonathan Ruffer curatorial grants programme, New Collecting Awards, and the Weston Loan programme.

Previously, she was senior grants officer at Art Fund, and has worked as a fundraiser for the Charleston Trust and in a voluntary capacity as an advisor to small arts organisations in Brighton.

Head of Museum of Liverpool

Kate is Head of Museum of Liverpool, part of National Museums Liverpool (NML). She manages curatorial teams at the museum and is responsible for social history and regional archaeology collections. She oversees the visitor offer, public programme and audience development, and coordinates a wider team of educators, front of house, marketing and estates colleagues to ensure a high standard of visitor experience. Kate joined National Museums Liverpool in 2000 and developed her career in Education and Community Partnerships. She was Senior Education Manager for NML’s art galleries from 2005 to 2014. Highlights of this time were the opening of Big Art for Little Artists, the Walker Art Gallery’s dedicated children’s gallery and the redevelopment of permanent galleries at the Lady Lever Art Gallery. Kate was Acting Deputy Director of Education for NML from 2014-2015 before moving to the Museum of Liverpool in 2016 as Deputy Director of the Museum of Liverpool before taking up her current role in the Summer of 2019. Kate holds a history degree from the University of Sheffield and a Masters degree in Art Gallery Studies from the University of Liverpool.

Exhibitions and Displays Curator at Sheffield Museums Trust

Lucy has worked in multiple curatorial and exhibitions roles, including over ten years delivering and planning exhibitions in Sheffield. Recent projects have included co-ordinating touring exhibitions from the V&A and British Museum, and curating the new Sheffield Stories gallery at Weston Park Museum. Upcoming projects include the Thomas Bateman exhibition featuring multiple loans supported by the Weston Loan Programme, and Hair: Untold Stories the first exhibition created by MAGNET, the new Museums and Galleries Network for Exhibition Touring.

Head of Engagement & Skills, Somerset House

Dhikshana has been the Head of Engagement & Skills at Somerset House, London since January 2020, just as a pandemic engulfed the world. In her initial months, she focused on a new strategy for the team, with a stronger importance on young people’s engagement and skills development, coproduction with their onsite creative community and content development around their cultural programme. During 2020, she led on what a post Covid-19 engagement programme would look like and the organisation’s Anti-racism pledge.

Dhikshana’s career has been built in London over 14 years, working in learning and engagement across the Science Museum, London Transport Museum, and Brent 2020 – London Borough of Culture. She is an active member of the Museum Detox network and an elected Trustee of the Museums Association.

Freelance Illustrator and Future Producer at Somerset House, London

Kayleigh is first and foremost an illustrator. She has built a portfolio of work and events experience through art commissions, being featured in zines, such as We Are Zanna , and hosting creative collage workshops at CassArts in Bristol. In 2020, Kayleigh joined the Head Start programme at the H club in London.

Currently, Kayleigh works as a freelance illustrator, alongside being part of the Future Producer Residency programme at Somerset House. The programme provides emerging creatives aged 18-30 who are underrepresented in the cultural sector opportunity and space to flourish at Somerset House. As a Future Producer, Kayleigh co-led on the first co-production called Decentralise working with 5 other Future Producers and Somerset House Resident Comuzi and connected to Somerset House’s anti-racism commitment. Decentralise seeks to celebrate Black history past and present, through an immersive site that allows users to interact with objects that are created by Black creatives who have featured work at Somerset House.