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Are Museums Still Relevant? 2016 Caribbean Museum Conference Seeks to Redefine Museums and Art Institutions in the Region

National Gallery of Cayman Hosts MAC 2016 on relevance of museums in the region

With its heavy dependence on tourism, along with the natural resources that make up the islands in the Caribbean archipelago, the region’s culture and history are possibly the most important elements to the sector. So even as some member states are buffeted by or recovering from hurricanes that threaten the natural patrimony, members of the region’s cultural and heritage sector will converge on the Cayman islands to explore the role and relevance of their area to contemporary audiences.

The conversations will take place during the Museums Association of the Caribbean’s  (MAC) 27th meeting and conference which is expected to pull in academics as well as representatives from museums and other art institutions from the region and elsewhere. This edition of the conference will nest in the Dart Auditorium at the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands, October 9-12, 2016.

“This is a wonderful chance to showcase the very best of Caymanian culture to our regional guests and we are grateful to our sister cultural organisations for opening their doors and ensuring access to the full cultural offerings available,” says Natalie Urquhart, head of the NGCI, highlighting the significance and potential for museums and the enhancement of the region’s tourism product. Urquhart also noted that the conference will allow for networking and exploration of regional strategies and partnerships.

 This year’s gathering takes place under the theme ‘The Essential Museum - Redefining the role of the Cultural and Heritage Sector for 21st Century Audiences. The theme sets the stage for discussions surrounding the evolving role cultural entities can play within their communities as well as explore key questions such as how museums can define and demonstrate public value in the modern age and how institutions can address diversity. 

In addition to a keynote panel discussion featuring Dr. Veerle Poupeye (National Gallery of Jamaica), Amanda Coulson (The National Art Gallery of the Bahamas), and NGCI’s Natalie Urquhart, the conference will feature 20 presentations.