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The Future is Now: Evolving Museum Strategy, Programming and Communication

4 December 2014

Thursday 4 December 2014 | 10:00 – 16.30

In an era of readily available cultural information, imagery and content beyond geographical borders and physical structures, while resources are shrinking, many museums are re-thinking their identity and mission to address shifts in their environment and adapt to the new reality Local museums are becoming international through new technologies, historic museums are featuring contemporary art exhibits or performing arts events, traditional museums are expanding their presence in public spaces. Those and many other changes are leading museums to rethink their internal structure, adding new, cross-disciplinary positions and experts on their roster. They also lead museums to a rebranding and repositioning process in terms of who their members and audience is, is not, or should be, aiming at remaining relevant.

The fourth installment of the Museum Conference co-organized by the Benaki Museum, the U.S. Embassy in Athens and the British Council, will examine the shifts – both internal and external – that museums and cultural institutions experience. Museum managers, curators and artists from Greece, the UK and the U.S. will meet to discuss the future of the museum and the museum of the future.

Cynthia Round, Senior Vice President of Marketing and External Relations for The Metropolitan Museum of Art, will talk about the new global brand of the museum and its strategy in programming and communication. Prior to joining the Met, Cynthia oversaw brand strategy and marketing for United Way Worldwide, the world's largest non-profit, which raises $5 billion annually across 40 countries. She began her career in brand management at private international companies and has guest-lectured on global branding and social marketing at Yale, Columbia, NYU, and Georgetown.

Susan Sellers, Head of Design at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, will present the ways in which design may redefine the brand identity of a museum, exhibition programming and visitor experience, physical or digital. Her past collaborations have included the Guggenheim Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, the Harvard Art Museums, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the American Academy in Rome, the Fondazione Prada, Novartis, Nike, MTV, Knoll and Vitra. She has taught and lectured widely, including at the Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation and the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Sam Thorne, Artistic Director of Tate St Ives, will talk about the development of the museum's strategy and its efforts to attract young generations of visitors and supporters. He has co-founded Open School East, an independent study programme for artists in East London. He has organised a number of international symposia, lectures and music programmes, including Frieze Talks in New York (2013), and has chaired and convened talks at Tate Modern and the Serpentine. He is a visiting tutor at the Royal College of Art, London, and a contributing editor at frieze magazine.

Representatives from Greek museums and cultural institution will also contribute to the discussion.

There will be simultaneous interpretation into Greek and English.
Entry is free, on a first come-first served basis.
Registrations will begin at 9:00 a.m.

On Friday, December 5th, the conference will take place in Thessaloniki, at the Museum of Byzantine Culture, 10:00-17:00, in collaboration with the State Museum of Contemporary Art, the Five Museums' Movement in Thessaloniki, the U.S. Consulate General in Thessaloniki and the British Council.

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