The Society makes grants both to individuals and to organisations in support of cultural and scientific activities which increase innovation, outreach and diversity in Leeds and its immediate area. It also supports local museums and galleries and publications relating to the city.

About the Society

The Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society, founded in 1819, is a charity that promotes interest in science, literature and the arts – in the city of Leeds and beyond. We have meetings, lectures, entertainments, publications and visits.

Thinking ahead about presenting the past

Deepening Connections, Widening Impact: Leeds Museums & Galleries 2022-27

– Dr David Hopes

Building on Leeds Museums & Galleries’ hugely successful expansion and development over the past decade, and responding to the more recent experience of the pandemic, in March 2022 the service published an ambitious new five-year strategic plan: ‘Deepening Connections, Widening Impact: Leeds Museums & Galleries 2022-27’.

Head of Service David Hopes outlined what makes this strategy different and where he hopes it will take the city’s cultural offer, particularly during 2023, Leeds’ Year of Culture. David included reflections on the process of forming the strategy, and on how his own background has helped shape the service’s vision.

Here’s the recording of the talk (which starts at 4 minutes in and runs for just under half an hour). The Q & A after the talk includes some really interesting additional detail about plans and possibilities.

Dr David Hopes is Head of Service for Leeds Museums & Galleries. David was formerly Head of Interiors and Collections for the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) from 2016-2021 and, previous to this, Director of the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Alloway (also part of the NTS).

He has over 20 years’ experience as a curator working on a range of initiatives from the Open Museum’s Pollok Kist Project to new-build capital projects such as MUSA (now the Wardlaw Museum, University of St Andrews) and Robert Burns Birthplace Museum (shortlisted for the Museum of the Year Prize, 2011). David is a member of the Recognition Committee and the UK Accreditation Committee, and a trustee of Robert Burns Ellisland Trust and the Leeds Art Fund.

Research interests include digital humanities, the subject of a research fellowship with the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and The Shakespeare Institute (University of Birmingham). He is also interested in how historic house museums can be made relevant to contemporary audiences.


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