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Engage is the lead advocacy and training network for gallery education.

We support arts educators, organisations and artists to work together with communities in dynamic, open exchanges that give everyone the opportunity to learn and benefit from the arts.

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International member profiles

Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Canada

The Agnes Etherington Art Centre, the art gallery for Queen’s University and the City of Kingston, opened in 1957. Our collection of over 16,000 works includes European 17th century paintings, Canadian historical art, contemporary art, African sculpture and decorative arts. As a research intensive art museum, we work imaginatively to investigate, present and animate our high quality collections and emerging interpretations and art practices. In so doing, we illuminate the great artistic traditions of the past and the innovations of the present in exhibitions and artistic programs that speak to and through experience of today’s world.

We offer school tours, art classes, summer camps, screenings, panel discussions, tours and talks. We have teamed local artists with secondary school classes in week-long multimedia production workshops. Our Philosopher’s Cafés afford opportunity for discussion of provocative issues stemming from an exhibition. Drawing on Kingston’s lively cultural scene, we partner with writers, theatre companies and other artists for cross-disciplinary programs that attract varied audiences. As a university art gallery, we develop some programs with faculty, including rigorous symposia that bring important speakers to campus, and we provide stimulating volunteer opportunities for students.

Embracing our hybrid identity as a resource for campus and community, we plan to strengthen our presence in each sector. We want to increase our outreach to faculty, to encourage object-based learning in their curricula. Our ongoing school program will be augmented by an innovative project called Beyond Classrooms, in which a class and teacher are onsite for a week, using our exhibitions and resources to foster collaborative and inquiry-based learning. Our imminent website renovation will be a greater source of information on our collections, exhibitions and programs. If funding materializes, we plan to enrich an important upcoming exhibition through interpretive information available on iPads in the gallery.

"As the one-person public programs department, I need to keep abreast of education developments at home and abroad. For me, the engage journal is the best benefit because it’s an important source of information and reflective assessment.

I find its themed issues offer broader research on gallery education than I find elsewhere, which is stimulating."

- Patricia Sullivan, Public Programs Manager, at Agnes Etherington Art Centre

Image courtesy Paul Lovelace photography

Museum of Contemporary Art, Australia


Located on one of the world’s most spectacular sites on the edge of Sydney Harbour, the Museum of Contemporary Art was established in 1991 through a bequest by Australian expatriate artist John Power (1881-1943). The MCA is dedicated to being a world class leader in exhibiting, collecting and interpreting contemporary art, with artists at the heart of the museum. In 2012, the MCA reopened after a period of redevelopment which included the addition of the National Centre for Creative Learning, a dynamic and innovative space for learning in the Museum.

We believe in the power of contemporary art to transform lives and to inspire new ways of thinking about art, life and the world we live in. By bringing together artists, audiences and artwork through creative learning programs we inspire risk-taking, experimentation, and new ways of thinking all of which build creative capacity – vital for tackling the big challenges of the 21st century. We believe learning is a life-long process, and offer programs for audiences at every stage of life. A program we are particularly proud of is Bella, which engages audiences with specific needs through engagement with a dedicated artist commission.

As artists are at the heart of everything we do, we are passionate about working with artists at every development stage in our creative learning programs. To support this, we are currently developing a fellowship program for our National Centre for Creative Learning. Working with the Creative Learning team (encompassing Public Engagement and Student and Teacher Engagement) an artist will be invited to pursue a creative research project and contribute to Creative Learning programs by initiating events, performances, tours, workshops and/or other interventions in and around the MCA.

"Networks such as engage strengthen the sector, by providing a context for critical discussion, news, and the sharing of ideas. As many of organisations that we consider our peers are geographically distant from us – engage makes them feel closer." 

Georgie Meagher, Public Engagement Manager, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia 

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