At Belfast Exposed, we are committed to building meaningful and productive relationships with the communities we serve and actively consult, through evaluations, peer reviews, planning, focus groups, seminars and public debate. The Belfast Exposed Engagement Team is a mechanism to support agency and sustain this dialogue. It has emerged through our participation in Paul Hamlyn Foundation’s Our Museum, a nationwide initiative aimed at bringing community engagement to the heart of museum and gallery practice.
As one of 9 UK galleries and museums taking part, we have been working with community partners to explore challenges, which will be familiar to many working in the arts and broader public sector: how to establish common values and goals that are meaningful to the wide range of interests we serve. At the heart of the question sits our commitment to build more effective relationships of trust across all the work we do in the gallery and in the community.
Since spring 2012, our staff, volunteers, Board, arts and community partners have been coming together to contribute to a series of learning, evaluative, consultative, planning and research sessions. The Belfast Exposed Engagement Team is playing a crucial role in helping us to drive new ways of working and organisational change by acting as critical friends and co-producers.
Information on organisations, communities and individuals that currently make up our Engagement Team are listed below alongside links to the wider Our Museum partnership.