On 3rd May, MUPI (the Museum University Partnerships Initiative) were in Bristol as part of a series of workshops that they are holding around the UK. This current programme of work (18 months long) is going to be considering how “to maximise the potential for museums and universities to work together to mutually beneficial aims”.
On 3rd May they were focusing on researchers and museums in the South West, Bridging the Gap went along wearing two hats. Firstly, MUPI were kind enough to let us observe their method for nurturing conversations, and new collaborations. Secondly, we were interested in figuring out if there was a new collaboration we could get stuck into.
We were blown away by MUPIs structured activities, and the ways in which they allowed attendees to begin to get to know each other and explore each others’ interests. We were really pleased to learn that MUPI will be circulating this method more widely at a future date as it is an important aspect of their project.
Importantly, however, there was also seed-funding available for collaborations that emerged from the day’s discussions. This money, although a relatively small amount, helped to focus attention and to get the conversations quickly engaged with the practical necessities and outcomes of potential projects.
The MUPI team have taken away a very wide range of proposals to muse over and will announce the recipients over the coming week or so. We will be keeping our fingers crossed, but regardless we’ll have learned a great deal about how to get collaborative conversations ‘juicy’ in a very short space of time.