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Museum Forum 2021 - Museums Beyond Covid: Reset, Rethink & Respond

Find out more about the speakers at Museum Forum 2021 - Museums Beyond Covid: Reset, Rethink & Respond

01 March 2021

Museum Forum

Tuesday 23 March 2021, 10:00 am – 12:30

Museums Beyond Covid: Reset, Rethink & Respond


Margaret Henry, CEO, Thrive Audience Development

Margaret Henry leads the overall strategy and direction of thrive audience development working in the cultural sector across NI. She is responsible for partnerships, governance, impact and sustainability.

She joined thrive in 2014 from the BBC where she held several senior marketing and planning roles. Before that she worked in the cultural sector for the Old Museum arts centre and the Belfast Festival at Queen’s.  Margaret has served on several Boards including the Old Museum arts centre (now the MAC), Building Change Trust and Tinderbox Theatre Company.

Margaret is co-founder of the Arts Collaboration Network, an informal group of cultural sector support organisations and creative hubs who collaborate to find effective ways of delivering and advocate for support of the cultural sector.

She is an accredited AoEC Executive Coach


Maeve Walls, Director of Culture, Department for Communities

Maeve Walls has held the post of Director of Culture in the Department for Communities since June 2018 where she has policy and sponsorship responsibilities for Arts, Languages, Museums, Libraries and Architecture.  Prior to this Maeve held several Senior Civil Service posts as Director of the Voluntary and Community Unit, Director of HR and Estates and Director of Working Age Services. Maeve worked for the Northern Ireland Executive in Washington DC as Deputy Director in the Northern Ireland Bureau and is a past recipient of an NICS Fulbright Fellowship that saw her spend six months as a visiting Fellow in the Fels Institute of Government at the University of Pennsylvania. Maeve’s early career was spent working in the voluntary and community sector. 


Rosemarie Mc Hugh

Rosemarie Mc Hugh (LL.B, MSSc) is Director of Product Development at Tourism Northern Ireland. She joined Tourism NI in 2014; and prior to that was Director in the Consulting Division of Mazars Ireland in Dublin.

Rosemarie has responsibility for leading the development and implementation of plans and programmes which support sustainable tourism development in Northern Ireland. This programme of work seeks to stimulate and drive innovation and collaboration in the development of tourism experiences that are of appeal to consumers and meet the promise of the NI tourism brand – Northern Ireland Embrace A Giant Spirit. Rosemarie also chairs a cross-sectoral culture and heritage group set up to drive forward recommendations from a TNI strategic framework to unlock the potential of heritage-led tourism in Northern Ireland.


Paul Mullan, Northern Ireland Director, National Lottery Heritage Fund

Paul is the Northern Ireland Director of the National Lottery Heritage Fund.  He has been involved in a variety of heritage, tourism and conservation projects, and has written, lectured and broadcasted on heritage matters. He was until recently on the board of the Arts Council and had been a member of the BBC Trust’s Audience Council for Northern Ireland.  He was also chair of the Special Educational Needs Advisory Centre and the community carnival organisation the Beat Initiative.

He has studied at Queen’s University, Trinity College Dublin and the University of Ulster where he is currently completing a doctorate looking at how the past is remembered in a divided society.  Paul contributed a chapter on his research to Heritage after conflict, Crooke and Maguire, Routledge, 2018. 

Paul chairs the Decade of Centenaries Roundtable which supports civic and community organisations to navigate the challenging historical centenary events 1912-23.  He is also a member of the Northern Ireland Office’s Centenary advisory group as well as the Irish Government’s Expert Advisory Committee on the National Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage.


Anra Kennedy, Partnerships Director, Culture24

Anra works with museums, galleries and heritage organisations, nationally and internationally, to help them successfully navigate the impact of digital change, digital culture and technologies. Her specialism is digital literacies and skills, particularly in the context of the cultural sector’s resilience, social impact and values-led practice. These days she spends most of her time in Zoom working with leaders, staff and volunteers from museums, galleries and heritage organisations to build their skills and confidence and help them make decisions around digital. 

Anra’s current projects include Culture24’s ACE-funded Sector Support programme, supporting museums in England with digital skills and impact and Leading the Sector, a cohort programme for 16 senior leaders from UK heritage organisations to develop their digitally literate leadership, part of NLHF’s digital Skills for Heritage initiative. She’s part of the One By One team, researching and defining digital skills and literacies for museum people, an initiative lead by Leicester University and is working on developing and embedding the Digital Culture Compass a multi-partner project lead by The Space. Anra advises groups including Art UK and GEM and is an Industry Champion at Nesta’s Creative Industries & Policy Centre.


Lynn Scarff, Director, National Museum of Ireland

Lynn took up her position in May 2018.  Initially, working in environmental education across a diversity of projects including the Ballymun Regeneration, Lynn’s work is embedded in collaborative practice. As part of the initial development team of Science Gallery Dublin at Trinity College Dublin, she developed a programme of compelling cultural experiences that explored the boundaries of art and science and connected with a target audience of 15 – 25 year olds. In 2012, she was part of the leadership team that established the Global Science Gallery Network bringing the vision of Science Gallery to eight cities globally by 2020. In 2014, she was appointed Director leading Science Gallery Dublin through a process of organisational change, strategic planning and development.
Lynn is an advocate for the participative museum. Her research work focuses on non formal learning settings and the opportunities presented by museums and cultural spaces to engage young people, with a particular focus on underrepresented audiences. She has presented and written on these themes both in education, museum practice and communication journals globally. Her research and practice work has been funded through competitive grants awarded by Science Foundation Ireland, the Wellcome Trust in the UK and the European Commission through Horizon 2020 and Creative Europe calls. 
She studied Natural Sciences at Trinity College Dublin, specialising in zoology and natural history and holds an MSc in Science Communications. In 2016 she was awarded a National Arts Strategies Kresge Fellowship completed over one year at Harvard, Michigan Ross and Berkeley Business Schools in the USA, which focused on the critical elements of sustainable business development in the cultural sector. Lynn served on the board of the National Museum of Ireland for 18 months through 2016/2017 and is on expert panels for a number of public engagement trusts and awarding bodies including the Wellcome Trust.