Oonagh Murphy

Associate Professor of Visual Arts Management

About me

Dr Oonagh Murphy is an arts manager, writer and lecturer, her research has taken her around the world to explore international best practice on the scalability of emerging technologies for cultural organisations. Alongside writing for The Guardian, Arts Professional and Culture Sync she has presented at key international conferences including Museums and The Web (Portland, OR), and Museum Next (Amsterdam) and spent summer 2012 in New York researching digital engagement as a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellow. In 2013 she was named on the SyncList ‘ a showcase of people who are doing remarkable things in the space where technology meets the arts’; and in 2014 she was awarded a PhD from the University of Ulster for her research on the impact of digital technologies on the cultural sector. Oonagh works with a wide range of clients on both a short term and ongoing basis in an arts management and consultancy capacity including The Frieze Art Fair, Blick studios, Ulster Association of Youth Drama, University of Ulster, Queen’s University, Museums Computer Group, Culture Night, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Audiences NI, Irish Museums Association, CultureTech, Arts & Business NI and Young at Art. In 2015 she joined Richmond the American International University in London as Associate Professor of Visual Arts Management and curating, and Convenor of the MA in Visual Arts Management and Curating. New clients and interesting projects are always welcome. If you have an opportunity you’d like to discuss get in touch: @OonaghTweets | http://www.oonaghmurphy.com | hello@oonaghmurphy.com


  • Events
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  • Excel
  • Reviews
  • Innovation and Business Improvement
  • Blogging Skills
  • Teaching Facilitation
  • Digital Content Management
  • Culture Writing
  • Art Writing
  • Journalism Copywriting Skills
  • Journalism Writing
  • Lifestyle Journalism
  • Digital Content Creation

Work history


Associate Professor of Visual Arts Management

Richmond the American International University in London

May 2015
  • • Course Convenor: MA in Visual Arts Management and Curating. • Module leader: Arts Management and Marketing, Professional Practice, Professional Research Project, Professional Placement. • Recruiting and managing adjunct staff. • Marking student work, chairing moderating panels, appointing external assessors. • Developing a network of industry contacts and translating these into guest speakers and placement opportunities for students. • Developing my own research around entrepreneurial thinking and digital transformation in the cultural sector. Publishing, and speaking at conferences.


PHD Researcher

University of Ulster

Sep 2011 - Apr 2014
  • Responsibilities: • Successfully project managing a three-year, international, and multi stakeholder research project: “Increasing the digital literacy of museum professionals: Digital innovation and the museum sector in Northern Ireland”. 2014. Available from ethos.bl.uk • Developing partnerships and influencing policy and practice through publication and events. • Delivering lectures, and mentoring students. Achievements: • Developed and delivered an interdisciplinary teaching programme that brought students from Media Studies and Heritage Studies together to participate in a Hack Day at the Ulster Museum. The resulting research publication was presented at Museums and the Web (Portland, OR) and the design-thinking model I used received praise from professors at Stanford D.School. • Established a digital Meetup for the arts sector, and created the #ArtsNI hashtag to facilitate cross sector knowledge exchange. Mentored museum studies students to create a social network for emerging museum professionals in Ireland. This group now has 507 members. • Carried out first sector wide audit of digital practice in Northern Ireland. • Brought the director of the Metropolitan Museum of Arts, Digital Lab to Northern Ireland where we spoke at a number of events, and visited museums looking at how Makerspaces could be developed in a scalable manner.


Admin & Project Assistant

Craft NI

Dec 2009 - Aug 2010
  • Responsibilities: • Designing and distributing programme application forms, and scoring returned applications for funding and training opportunities. • Database Management: Setting up a new client database system. • Event Management: Developed events concepts, marketed and delivered successful events. • Curating in house gallery space, installing work alongside makers, writing exhibition copy. Achievements: • Developed a contemporary collecting programme, selected 12 leading designer-makers, developed a partnership with Northern Bank to gain access to high net worth individuals, hosted a gala evening at The Ulster Museum to bring makers and potential collectors together. Held subsequent VIP events. • Programmed professional development workshops with speakers from Habitat and Tatler.


Arts Management Consultant

Self Employed

Aug 2009 - Dec 2015
  • Responsibilities: • Client Management: Meeting new clients and discussing project aims, scoping out a consultancy brief and negotiating budgets, timelines and project outputs. • Time Management: Managing multiple client projects and ensuring all deadlines were met. • Decision Making: Ability to lead projects, delegate tasks, problem solve and take a strategic view to successfully lead multi stakeholder projects. Achievements: • Developed a successful consultancy practice, with clients, including: Frieze Art Fair, Young at Art, Arts & Business NI, Belfast Circus School, Irish Museums Association, University of Ulster, Arts Council NI, Audiences NI, Belfast City Council, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Culture Night Belfast, Crescent Arts Centre, Oh Yeah! Music Centre, The Art Cart, Belfast Festival at Queen’s. • Commissioned by Blick Studios Belfast and 8081 Ebrington Creative Hub to programme creative industry events. This includes concept development, speaker booking, event management and evaluation. (March 2014 – June 2015) • Commissioned by Arts & Business NI to develop Amplify: A Crowdfunding Mentoring Programme for the Arts. This included researching, writing and designing a Crowdfunding Toolkit, delivering a Crowdfunding Masterclass, and mentoring 4 organisations from concept to launch. This project is on target to generate a 500% ROI. (September 2014 – March 2015). • Commissioned by University of Ulster and Young at Art to create a family focused audience development initiative. Managed from concept to creation a research and development workshop and prototype “Family Friendly Galleries” pilot project. Established a steering committee that consists of staff from 13 galleries who now actively share skills and resources to test new ways to engage family audiences. (January 2014 – September 2014). • Commissioned by Irish Museums Association to deliver a digital strategy workshop for senior managers. Taking the concept of “digital fear” designed a workshop that focused on digital culture rather than digital platforms. The workshop “Cats are your Competition” allowed senior managers to explore concepts such as designing for interactivity, digital content and digital culture in a fun and informal way. 90% of participants rated this workshop as excellent.




University of Ulster

Aug 2010 - Apr 2014
  • Digital Innovation in the Cultural Sector


Masters of Research

University of Ulster

Aug 2009 - Aug 2010
  • Museum Studies


Arts Management

De Montfort University

Aug 2005 - May 2008
  • Arts Management



SyncList: a showcase of people who are doing remarkable things in the space where technology meets the arts

  • Culture Sync Scotland


Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship

  • In 2012 I was awarded a prestigious Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship. This fellowship provided me with funding to spend 5 weeks researching museums and digital engagement in New York. The aim of this project was to research international best practice, with a view to develop new models to scale digital practice in big museums, so that small museums could adopt and adapt these practices and become more digitally innovative. During my time in New York I visited museums, interviewed key staff, attended events, conferences and meetups. As a result of this fellowship I published


International Young Curator

  • British Council NI