The Happy Museum held an annual Symposium each year between 2012 and 2014 and a further gathering in 2018.  These events brought together members of the growing Happy Museum Community of Practice with key thinkers from museums, galleries, economics, wellbeing and the wider cultural sector to help think through the challenges and potential for museums and galleries in a ‘transition’ to a high well-being, sustainable future.   To find out more read the summary reports of the events:

Symposium 1 – January 2012, East Anglia

Symposium 2 – February 2013, Cheshire

Symposium 3 – March 2014, Lincolnshire

Symposium 4 – April 2018, Lincolnshire

Links to a blogs and reports from the events can also be found below:


Report of the 2018 Happy Museum Symposium

      Between 24 and 26 April over 60 members of the Happy Museum community of practice gathered with the HM team, trustees, partners and supporters in the beautiful setting of Stoke Rochford Hall in Grantham.  The Happy Museum fourth symposium was a chance to bring together our growing Community of Practice, share learning from our seven year journey so ...

Say it in Clay

SAY IT IN CLAY was a session led by Lucy Neal and Michael Martin from Encounters at the Happy Museum’s 4th Symposium.  The session’s genesis lay in previous collaborations between Happy Museum and Clayground Collective – and in particular a 2015 session where a small group of museum practitioners gathered on a canal boat in Kings ...

Museums and the Wellbeing of People, Place and Planet

Happy Museum Director, Hilary Jennings looks at developments in the programme in the context of a changing sector and a changing world. Since 2011 Happy Museum (HM) has stimulated and supported museum practice that places wellbeing within an environmental and future-facing frame, rethinking the role that museums can play in supporting the wellbeing of people, places ...

Third Symposium 2014

Between 27th-28th March 2014, more than 60 participants gathered in the spectacular setting of Stoke Rochford Hall in Grantham to review the experiences, learning and impact achieved since the Happy Museum Project was launched in 2011 – and to set the direction for the next phase of the Project in 2014 and beyond. Rupert Widdicombe’s report, ...

Second Symposium 2013

Between 6-8th February, 45 attendees made their way to the beautiful Trafford Hall in Chester for the second Happy Museum symposium. Commissioned projects, speakers, and guests from across the museum, culture and environment sectors came together to discuss issues including related to how museums can foster individual wellbeing, resilience, stronger communities and environmental sustainability. Sian Thurgood and Ailsa ...