Dr Laura Allan has been appointed as community curator of Ripon Museum Trust, which runs the city’s three museums.
Her role will involve working with local organisations, community groups and residents to increase engagement, promote creativity and generate a sense of place and improved mental health and wellbeing.
Dr Allan joins from Severndroog Castle in Shooter’s Hill, London, where she was employed as heritage manager. The castle is a community-run organisation and she was hired to reopen the building to the public after being closed for 30 years.
She has also worked and volunteered at various museums, including the Durham Light Infantry Museum, Leeds Museums and Galleries, the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich and Whitehall (a Tudor house) in London
Dr Allan will increase community engagement with Ripon’s museums
Helen Thornton, director at Ripon Museum Trust, said:
“We’re delighted to welcome Laura to our team. She brings a wealth of experience and ideas to her new role.
“Her skills in community engagement will be a huge asset to us at the trust, and to Ripon generally, as we work together with local people and organisations to recover from the pandemic.”
Dr. Allan said:
“I grew up in County Durham and have been looking forward to moving back up north to be closer to my family.
“I can’t wait to explore the North Yorkshire countryside through walking and other outdoor activities. Combining this love of nature and the arts is really important to my work, promoting positive wellbeing in our local community.”
Dr Allan studied for a BA in history at Sunderland University, a MA in art gallery and museum studies at Leeds University and completed her PhD in the public history of the criminal justice system with the Open University.
She has presented at conferences in New Zealand, Vienna and Scotland, discussing the differences between academic and museum interpretations of criminal justice history.
Ripon’s Workhouse, Prison and Police and Old Courthouse museums are open from Tuesday to Sunday.