Dec 12th 2016

An insight into the Change Makers programme


Dr Tehmina Goskar hosts our first guest blog on our new website. Tehmina is leading Cornwall’s Change Maker programme, which is a flagship scheme of Arts Council England,  intended to diversify the senior leadership in the museum sector and inject new ways of thinking into cultural organisations.

Tehmina is a highly skilled curator with 16 years of cross-sectoral experience in creating, planning, project managing and delivering exhibition and collections projects, on a variety of scales and budgets in museums, archives, libraries, higher education and voluntary sectors.

In this post, Tehmina explains her experiences of working with Change Makers programme, and what the training entails.

Cornwall Change Makers Programme

Dr Tehmina Goskar

Consultant Curator and Heritage Interpreter 

“Adjusting to the Change Makers programme has been a joy and a challenge. What an opportunity, to have your own personal professional development supported so generously and with a view that by the end of the programme I might be considered leadership material by my peers.

I feel even more privileged, if not a little daunted, to be working in Cornwall whose own diversity is unique when compared with other regions, not least given official recognition of the Cornish as a National Minority. The timing of the Change Makers programme has therefore come at the right time for me and for the museums and organisations I will be working with over 18 months.

The challenging part is that I earn a living from freelancing. I specialise in strategic curatorial development, open knowledge, policy intelligence and research, and diverse-led audience development projects. That means my calendar looks mad most of the time and I am going to be ultra organised to undertake the ambitious leadership programme we have developed together.

My Change Makers programme looks like this:

  1. Leadership programme

    Comprising a formal leadership course (outside the arts sector), certification in facilitation, personal coaching, CPD, critical study visits abroad, and the achievement of the Fellowship of the Museums Association.

  1. Placement at the Royal Institution of Cornwall 

    Joining their Senior Leadership Team, contributing to strategic decision-making in the role of Lead for the development of its Bicentenary Programme in 2018.

  1. Research project on rural diversity with Cornwall Museums Partnership 

    With particular emphasis on social inequalities in the arts and cultural sector in Cornwall. In addition, I will be providing the Partnership with an opportunity to review policies which impact upon diversity and inclusion and setting up a national Rural Diversity Network for Arts, Culture and Heritage.

Apart from planning my leadership courses, I have focused my activities on getting to know my new colleagues at the Royal Institution of Cornwall. This independent charitable trust runs the Royal Cornwall Museum and the Courtney Library. It’s been a steep learning curve.

How do you go about developing a radically different feeling programme for an organisation that has been around for 200 years and has become used to certain ways of doing things?

My greatest pleasure so far as been in having the opportunity to better understand its collections. Like any museum, their collections are what makes them unique – as a window onto the world for Cornish people and as a window onto Cornwall for our millions of visitors.

Most of the staff, volunteers and trustees I’ve spoken with feel that there is just so much more potential in the work we can do with the collections and the knowledge and stories they hold.

This promises well for the development of an activity-led programme, that celebrates the institution’s history and collections by focusing on new, particularly under represented audiences. It will also centralise previously marginalised activity, such as the great work their education department is already doing with migrant families and college students, who are struggling with the demands of formal learning.”

To find out more about the Change Makers programme, please email info@cornwallmuseumspartnership.co.uk for more information.