Conference Democratising museums. Governance and Public Quality

Organized by Creative Museum in cooperation with Žanis Lipke Memorial; supported by the State Culture Capital Foundation. The conference is the closing event of the series of expert and public discussions on the public quality of museums in anticipation of the planned museum governance reform in Latvia.

The concept of public quality has been central in assessing museum work over the last 40 years in Europe. Introduced by the founder of the European Museum of the Year Award, Kenneth Hudson, it represents a whole system of values the bottom line of which is democratic approach to museum governance and audience engagement.

In view to the planned museum governance reform in Latvia, which aims at liberalising the system via eventual turning of national museums into foundations (which presumes introducing boards of trustees, terminated agreements for museum directors, larger financial and fiscal autonomy etc.), this conference will look at the mechanisms of a democratic museum governance in result of which the public at large can expect quality museum service.


The conference program: 

Venue: Latvian National Library

Registration & coffee from 10am


Morning session from 11.00 to 12.30

The Baltic context: anticipating museum governance reform in Latvia

- Raivis Sīmansons, Creative Museum. Introduction 

- Uldis Zariņš, Deputy State Secretary of the Ministry of Culture of Latvia. Seeking flexibility: A Vision for Change in the Law on Museums

- Laura Lūse, Director of Rundāle Palace Museum. Rundāle Palace as a Pilot Project in the Museum Administrative Reform

- Urmas Dresen, Director of the Estonian Maritime Museum. Governance reform of Estonian national museums: The Estonian Maritime Museum



Lunch break 12.30-13.30


Afternoon session from 13.30 to 15.30

From local to global: good practice of museum governance and democracy work

- Raivis Sīmansons, Creative Museum. Introduction 

- Lolita Tomsone, Director of Kenneth Hudson Award-winning Žanis Lipke Memorial, Riga, Latvia. Museum is not a lonely island, even if it is located on an island. Shaking up the Latvian Society

- Dina Sorokina, Director of Kenneth Hudson Award-winning Boris Yeltsin Museum, Yekaterinburg, Russia. Presidential Centres in Russia as a new public institute and platform for debate on culture, history and democracy

- David Fleming, Liverpool Hope University, former director of the Council of Europe's award-winning Liverpool Museum. Management of Museums and Public Quality in the 21st Century

Panel discussion


Registration closing on 3 May

Ineta Zelča Sīmansone

Museologist, Project Manager and Consultant

Raivis Sīmansons