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:


First Symposium 2012

The first Happy Museum Symposium  was held in Suffolk in January 2012 see here for the full Happy Museum Symposium Report and a Storify of tweets from the event here. In addition the following piece by Tony Butler was published shortly afterwards on Guardian Cultural Professionals and the various blogs referenced within are a good starting point to ...

Stewardship, Equity, Flow – the Happy Museum report by Tony Butler Symposium 2014

At our Symposium (2014), Founder Director Tony Butler presented a paper – Stewardship, Equity, Flow – reviewing the first three years of the Happy Museum project. ‘As it completes its third iteration, Happy Museum will keep asking people in museums how prepared they are to place themselves alongside the rest of civil society to work towards ...

Happiness is…? Report by Frances Reed – Symposium 2014

Share aggressively, steal with pride and none is as smart as all of us. It was under the guidance of these messages that the Happy Museum Project held its 2 day conference at Stoke Rochford Hall, Grantham. The Happy Museum Project (HMP) re-imagines what museums can be and prompts both museum professionals and audiences to rethink the ...

My Happy Museum Journey by Afsheen Butt – Symposium 2014

Afsheen Butt is a member of Aik Saath, a Slough-based charity that empowers and supports young people to lead and deliver change in their community. Aik Saath worked in close partnership with Slough Museum on the recent Happy Museum project, Community Conversations. To find out more about this project click HERE. The three days spent at Rochford Hall have all ...

Symposium 2013 – blog by Tony Butler

In the first of a series of blogs from our recent Symposium – Tony Butler, Happy Museum Director, talks about what we’ve learnt so far…. The Happy Museum was designed as a creative enquiry. Beginning with the Happy Museum- A Tale of How it Might Turn Out Alright it offered a proposition that museums had inherent ...