MPR Conference 2024: A call to catalyze social change

House Museums at the Crossroads:
How Do We Empower Social Change?

MPR Annual Conference 2024 – Call for Proposals
A joint conference from DEMHIST, ICOM MPR,
Tbilisi Museums Union, and ICOM Georgia.
25-29 September 2024, Tbilisi, Georgia

This is our opportunity to share how museum and cultural heritage communications, marketing, branding, membership, audience research, social media, public relations, and community outreach and engagement around the globe are critical to empowering social change and how those lessons and examples can be applied to historic house museums in our communities.  You don’t need to work for a house museum to participate! 

Historic House Museums are everywhere! They are guardians of historical and cultural legacies, local stories, and memories. We envision such institutions evolving and partnering to also play a vital role in catalyzing social change in our rapidly changing world. Key questions:

  • How can house museums respond to the task of engaging with their communities?
  • How do we partner and collaborate to drive transformative progress?
  • What opportunities and threats do we face in forging common bonds and interests to empower social change and how do we respond?

We define social change as the transformation of cultural and social institutions through shifts in human interactions and relationships. As these alterations unfold, they frequently yield profound and enduring impacts on society. Social change involves modifying elements within the social structure, marked by changes in cultural symbols, behavioral norms, social organizations, or value systems.

What does this mean in practice? This is what we plan to explore within the context of historic house museums. Communication skills and tools are critical to facing this challenge by opening a dialog with local communities through storytelling, community engagement, social media, educational programs, branding, fundraising, and membership.

That is why ICOM’s International Committee for Historic House Museums has teamed up with the International Committee for Marketing and Public Relations in the conference House Museums at the Crossroads: How Do We Empower Social Change? Hosted by the Tbilisi Museums Union and ICOM Georgia, this event will present an exciting program of keynote speeches, presentations, panels, roundtable discussions, workshops, expert sessions, off-site visits, and posters focusing on best practice strategies to promote outreach and generate relevance and public value.

This call for proposals is now closed.

Proposals will be evaluated based on relevance to the conference themes and feasibility within the specified format and time allocation.


Key Dates:

April 25: Submission deadline, midnight (Paris time, GMT +1)

May 31: Acceptance notification of proposals

May 31: Early Bird bookings open

June 16: Submission deadline for conference grants (see important notes)

July 15: Early Bird booking ends

July 15: Ordinary booking rate opens

Sept 15: Registration for in-person attendance ends

Sept 25-29: ICOM Georgia, DEMHIST, ICOM MPR 2024 Conference

Sept 24: Daytime: Pre-conference visits and workshop

Evening: Meet & Greet (optional)

Sept 25-29: Opening ceremony, Conference sessions, Off-site visits

DEMHIST General Assembly

Sept 29: Post-conference tours (optional)

Important Notes:

● We can accommodate a limited number of live-streamed or recorded video presentations for speakers unable to travel. However, preference will be given to in-person presentations to foster active participation.

● All proposals must be submitted in English. While the primary language is English, we may consider presentations in other languages, such as pre-recorded videos with English subtitles, if explicitly requested by speakers in their proposals.

● Proposers selected for the conference program are expected to attend the entire conference, whether virtual or in person, ensuring active participation in the full spectrum of conversations sparked by other presentations.

● The decision of the program committee is final.

Registration Information:

The conference will take place in a hybrid format to accommodate all participants. There is no separate registration fee for either in-person or virtual attendance.

Registration for the conference will open on May 31, 2024. Please follow announcements on the ICOM MPR and DEMHIST websites and social media for further information.

Important notes:

● All presenters are required to register for the conference; unfortunately, we cannot provide financial compensation or waive the registration fee.

● Speakers can apply for a limited number of travel grants, to be announced: Both DEMHIST and ICOM MPR offer the ICOM Young Professional Travel Grant; DEMHIST offers the Jeanne Watson Bursary for its members; and ICOM MPR also has Travel Grants for its members.

● Note that a person getting the ICOM Young Professional Travel Grant will not be able to apply for DEMHIST’s Jeanne Watson Bursary.
Calls for applications will be sent during the paper selection process.

● Suggested hotels and general information will be updated on the conference website: (Link to follow)

Any related questions may be sent to the ICOM MPR at:
Anastassia Belessioti, MPR Secretary