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At their best, museums are flexible and wonderfully creative. They use their collections to respond to new ideas and challenges, to what's going on in the world, to local audiences and to the inspiration of artists.

Creative Museums supports museums in just this sort of flexible and 'scratch' practice, with BAC's producers encouraging and inspiring museum leaders to take creative risks and re-imagine their futures.

- John Orna-Ornstein Director of Museums, Arts Council England.


Creative Museums

Creative Museums was an 18-month programme working closely with six museums across England to explore Scratch within their organisations, their teams and their day-to-day creativity.

The aim was to empower the leaders of the participating museums with a creative risk-taking mindset, inherent in the Scratch process, that would enable them to adapt and respond to the challenges of the rapidly changing cultural and economic climate.


Our primary research questions were:

  • How might Creative Museums create an innovative model for museums and cultural organisations to work to together?
  • How can Creative Museums upskill staff across the museum to creatively adapt to existing and new challenges?
  • How can this programme improve the visitor experience and the enjoyment of small museums and diversify stakeholders?


Creative Museums was made up of six main strands of activity:

1. Producer pairing

Each museum leader was paired with a BAC producer who worked closely with them to support them and offer constructive challenges in shaping their Scratch project and building on their learning for the future.

2. Scratch Projects

Each museum was given seed funding to use for their Scratch experiment designed to allow them to explore how Scratch can work in practice and how the process could feed into their wider organisational ambitions.

3. Cohort Learning Days

Expert presentations, mentorship sessions and artist workshops made up six sets of cohort days and allowed Creative Museum partners to share updates, learning and moments of inspiration with each other.

4. Coaching

Professional coach Joanne Irvine worked with museum leaders on a confidential basis to support them in embracing the risk and vulnerability that comes with the Scratch process.

Sessions with Joanne focused on each museum leader's individual growth and on the growth of their organisation.

5. Bespoke Support

Each museum received bespoke support from BAC and externally, depending on individual need. Facilitated sessions on governance and purpose; in-depth interviews and mentoring on topics including diversifying income and staff and board roles were a few examples of this bespoke support.

6. Scratch Groups

Every museum leader and producer pairing was encouraged to establish a Scratch group in their region to test their emerging plans with other organisations, build a larger community of interest and share Scratch as a methodology.


If you are interested in finding out more about Creative Museums or Scratch, please email us at [email protected].