Research Centre for Museums and Galleries (RCMG)

Engaging the City


Engaging the City brings leading-edge thinking, creativity and research rigour to bear on the ways in which the Museum of London connects with, talks to and collaborates with Londoners to support its ambition to be a museum for everybody. The project will address the following research questions:

How can the Museum of London approach, and take forward, its relationship with Londoners to become a force for good in and beyond the city? How can new approaches to engagement, shaped by leading-edge thinking and practice in the field, support the making of a museum that opens up new possibilities for the city’s diverse communities?

More particularly, the project is built around a series of ‘engagement challenges’ that the Museum – and the sector more widely – are grappling with, including:

  • What approaches to engagement will support the museum to open up conversations with groups that typically don’t visit museums and support the making of a new museum in which those groups feel comfortable and welcomed?

  • How can the museum open up mass engagement – ensuring tens of thousands of Londoners have a say in the future of the museum; what it feels and looks like, how it will be used, and how it can open up new possibilities for London communities? How can this mass engagement be supported alongside small-scale and longer-term engagement with specific communities?

  • In divided times, how can the museum be a place for debate that genuinely listens to communities and individuals with wide ranging opinions and, at the same time, upholds the institution’s values? What role can the museum play in bridging and bringing together communities with different world views?

  • How can the museum approach engagement in ways that support the ambition to be a force for good, which benefits diverse communities on their own terms and in ways that meet genuine need?

  • How might adopting principles of radical transparency support our efforts to build trust amongst the groups with whom we engage?

A summary of the Engagement Framework (PDF, 5.46MB) developed through the collaboration can be found here.  

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