Seeing each other through the arts.







The Conference

This conference will create an opportunity for the global sector to reflect, re-evaluate and challenge the museums contemporary role. What are museums for today and what purpose are they going to serve in the future? Can public policy help museums move towards these possible new frontiers?

Panels will cover :

• Museums and social activism

• Public policies for museums

• Branding, innovation and digital media

• Audience engagement

• Financial sustainability

The International Conference "Museums, what for?" has been organised by the British Council, in cooperation with the Museum of Tomorrow (Museu do Amanhã).



Museums, what for?

Traditionally the primary purpose of museums has been to collect, preserve and protect objects. Increasingly this perception is shifting globally to expand this role to one that is proactive in responding to the wider and urgent needs of society.  

Museums can now act as catalysts in transforming the world around them. Their economic, social and political influence can positively impact everything from citizen well-being through to urban regeneration. In order to accomplish these aspirations, museums need to first establish a deep and lasting connection with their audiences.  It is also fundamental that they develop long-term sustainability.


Transform Museums Program

"Museums, what for?" celebrates four years (2012-2016) of the Transform Museum Programme: a unique platform about the best practices, knowledge exchange and partnerships between institutions from the museums sector.  More than 200 institutions represented by museum directors and managers, public authorities and universities, in Brazil, UK and other parts of the world, participated in study visits, seminars, workshops, training courses, research and partnerships between museums.

1.30 p.m. - 5.30 p.m.

Registration Museum of Tomorrow (Side entrance  - west)
Special sessions at the Museum  Observatory. Prior registration required.


3:00 to 5:00 p.m. Visit to the Museum of Tomorrow

6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Conference Official Opening

What are Museums for today? What purpose are they going to serve in the future?

The Central theme of the Conference sets out to discuss the role museums can play in society and asks what significant commitment from museums is required in order for them to reach their fullest potential.


Keynote Speakers

6:30 to 7:00 p.m. Richard Benjamin, Director - International Slavery Museum, Liverpool

7:00 - 7:30 p.m. Maria Ignez Mantovani, President - ICOM Brasil


8:00 - 10:00 p.m. – Welcome Reception

Reception goods made by local producers, as part of the museum´s Neighbourhood Programme which embraces local craft skilled people.

Exhibition Visit

Venue:  Museu de Arte do Rio – MAR

DAY 2 - Tuesday - November 22nd


8.30 a.m. - 9.00 a.m.

Registration and Welcome Coffee

9.30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. – Panels Discussions



9.30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m

Panel 1 - What realities can we change?

Museums shape the future by interrogating  the past and engaging in debate and dialogue with the present. How can museums influence urban regeneration, well being and social inclusion by engaging in activism, community outreach and increased accessibility?


Martin Bellamy,
Reserach Director and Curatorship, Glasgow Museums

Laura Taves, Community Relations Manager, Museu do Amanhã
Rayén Gutiérrez, International relations , Museo de La Memoria Y Los Derechos Humanos

Marilia Bonas
, Diretora, Museu da Imigração


11:00 to 11:15 a.m. – Break


11:20 to 11:30 a.m. - SPEAKERS CORNER

Workshop showcase by participants held on 21 November at the Observatório focusing on Accessibility in Museums and Museum Managers


11:30 a.m.  to 1:00 p.m.
Panel 2 - Public Policies: what they can do for us?

How are public policies for Museums around the world structured? Examples from Scotland, Italy, Brazil and other parts of the world demonstrate how effective public policy can strengthen organisations, influence thought leadership, produce performance indicators and empower museums to enhance social impact.

Joanne Orr, Executive Director, Museums & Galleries Scotland

Luigi Di-Corato, Director, Fondazione de Brescia, Italy

Eneida Braga, Director of the Department of Museum Dissemination, Development and Economy – IBRAM
Renata Motta, UPPM Coordinator/Secretaria de Cultura do Estado de São Paulo

Mariana Varzea
, Director, Inspirações Ilimitadas projetos Culturais

1:00 to 1:50 p.m. – Lunch break
Lunch at Museum of Tomorrow for all participants 
(West side  - outer west arch)


1:50 to 3:15 p.m.
Painel 3 - Who and how we connect?

Museums continually seek to attract, maintain and diversify their audiences. How can museums successfully engage with such a variety of visitors and communities that potentially have very different needs? How can museums integrate their actions with their audiences´ expectations towards contemporary social causes?


Victoria Pinnington, Communication and Income Generations Director, Horniman Museum & Garden

Janaina Melo, Manager, Escola do Olhar, Museu de Arte do Rio (MAR)

Eduardo Sarmento, Manager,Paço do Frevo


Luis Marcelo Mendes, Museums Consultant

3:20 to 4:00 p.m.
Palestra Keynote: Branding, Innovation and Digital Media

Rob Baker, Marketing Director - Tate

How the latest developments in Branding, Innovation and Engagement have shaped contemporary perceptions of the museums relevance within society.

4:00 to 4:15 p.m. – break

4:20 to 5:45 p.m.

Painel 4 - Diversifying Income: an urgent call for Future Finances

Can museums become sustainable by balancing revenue generated through enterprise with funding obtained from external sources? How can this model be developed strategically for long-term stability? Can increased revenue be generated through a deeper more meaningful relationship with audiences?


Jonathan Newby, Deputy Director, Science Museum

Paulo Vicelli, Institutional Relations Director, Pinacoteca

Raquel Novais, Deputy Executive Director, Inhotim


Lucimara Letelier, Deputy Director for the Arts, British Council Brasil and Transform Museums Programme Coordinator.


5:45 to 6:30 p.m.
Stand up! Museums in 2026!

In the future, museums what for? What is expected for museums in the future? What is the impact and challenges?


6:30  to 7:00 p.m.

Conference Closing - With One Voice Choir

A  music project that aims to bring Rio's unseen peoples to popular landmarks such as museums, giving them a stage from which to be seen and heard through song



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DAY 1 -  Monday - November 21st

“Museums in Liverpool, and other parts of the world, hope they can play a role in global citizenship, encouraging visitors to leave with a different mind-set – about respect for human rights, social justice, diversity, equality, and sustainability.”

David Fleming, Director, National Museums Liverpool


Museum specialists and authorities from Brazil, UK and other countries will join the panels as speakers-panellists, moderators and keynote speakers in dynamic sessions, with the delegates participation!


Maria Ignez Mantovani Franco


ICOM Brasil

Dr. Richard Benjamin


International Slavery Museum


Rob Baker

Chief Marketing Officer

Tate Britain



Eduardo Sarmento

General Manager

Paço do Frevo


Eneida Braga Rocha

Director of the Brazilian Institute of Museums’ Department for Diffusion, Promotion and Economics / Ministry of Culture IBRAM


Janaína Melo


Escola do Olhar /Museu de Arte do Rio


Joanne Orr


Museums Galleries Scotland


Jonathan Newby

Deputy Director and COO

Science Museum Group


Laura Taves

Community Relations Manager

Museu do Amanhã


Lucimara Letelier

Deputy Director

British Council Brasil


Luigi di Corato


Brescia Museums Foundation


Luis Marcelo Mendes

Independent Museums Consultant on Communications


Marília Bonas


Museu da Imigração e Museu do Café



Mariana Várzea


Inspirações Ilimitadas

Dr. Martin Bellamy

Research and Curatorial Manager

Glasgow Museums


Paulo Vicelli

Director of Institucional Relations


Victoria Pinnington

Director of Communications and Income Generator

Horniman Museum and Gardens


Renata Motta

Museums Preservation and Heritage Unit Coordinator

Secretaria da Cultura do Estado de São Paulo


Juan Pablo Gaviria

Chief Innovation and Development Officer

Parque Explora


Luciane Gorgulho

Head of the Culture Economy Department


Rayén Gutiérrez Cortés

International Relations

Muuseo de la Memória y Derechos Humanos



Raquel Novais

Deputy Executive Director

Instituto Cultural Inhotim



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Museums Professionals

The Conference is aimed at professionals working in the Museum sector and in the cultural and creative sector. It also welcomes museums employees, cultural managers, consultants, producers, educators, researchers, Government professionals working in public policies for museums and culture in Brazil and the world. The event will feature simultaneous translation English-Portuguese and Portuguese-English.



We have places for university students in the areas of Museology, heritage, memory, Museums Management, Arts&Culture management and production. If you are a student within this description, you can participate in the selection process. Registration for the selection starts from 26 October until 10 November. APPLY FOR SELECTION PROCESS HERE.



On line registrations open from 26 October to 10 November.

There will be early bird registration for the Transform Museums Program partners..

Free event.
Subject to availability due  to capacity limit of the auditorium.

Registered participants will receive a confirmation through email.



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Museu do Amanhã, Auditorium
Praça Mauá, 1 - Centro - Rio de Janeiro, RJ

Entrance from the External West Arch (standing in front of the museum's main entrance, please take the left path, past the reflecting pool.)


Recommended accommodation: Novotel Botafogo



Produced by:

British Council Brasil

Museu do Amanhã



Lucimara Letelier


Conference and
Transform Museums Programme

Coordinator: Lucimara Letelier

Management: Effie Vourakis



British Council Team

Director: Martin Dowle

Deputy Diretor: Eric Klug

Director Arts: Luiz Coradazzi

Deputy Director Arts: Lucimara Letelier

Arts Project Managers: Effie Vourakis, Sabrina Cândido, Liliane Rebelo, Marcia Mansur

Digital Arts Manager: Silvia Lunazzi

Communications: Lucia Alves, Juliana Ferreira, Ana Signorini

Interns: Luciana Raele, Jessica Happatsch




Claudia Porto


Executive Production

AV Produções


Graphic Design

Ei Viu! Design e Comunicação



Agência Febre





PROGRAMA TRANSFORM DE MUSEUS | 2016          Conference Museums, What For?                 #museumswhatfor

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