Pathways to Participation

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In a world that is rapidly changing and becoming more complex, museums are arguably more important than ever in society as social and cultural spaces where people can come together and explore what they have in common and acknowledge and understand their differences. The NMI played a critical role in engaging the general public in the events and developments associated with those turbulent years in Irish history between 1913 and 1918. This publication documents the diversity of learning programmes organised by the NMI’s Education Department between 2013 and 2018, with a particular focus on events and projects organised around Easter Week 1916, World War 1 and women’s suffrage. Academics, historians, artists, museum professionals, communities and educators worked with the NMI to create this public programme and to reflect on it from a range of perspectives. Among those contributing essays are academics, historians, artists, educators, leaders of cultural institutions, communities and genealogists, all of whom worked with the NMI on different elements of the NMI’s Decade of Commemorations programme. They include Professor Luke Gibbons, National University of Ireland, Maynooth; Deborah Kelleher, Director of RIAM; Alison Conneely, Textile Artist; iCAN Communities who curated Our Irish Women exhibition with local Authority Heritage Officers and the NMI Education Dept.; Dermot Bolger, Writer in Residence with NMI in 2016; Gary Granville, Professor Emeritus at National College of Art and Design, Dublin. Audrey Whitty, Head of Collections and Learning at the NMI writes about the range of exhibitions created by the NMI to commemorate events that happened in the Ireland from 1913 to 1918. This publication should prove to be a useful resource for the wider public and in particular for those interested in history and cultural heritage; local communities; educators in the formal and informal sectors; museum and heritage professionals; artists, arts organisations and cultural providers; students at post primary and third level; policy-makers; historians and archaeologists; national cultural institutions; and museums and local authorities in Ireland and beyond.