Dhikshana Pering

Head of Engagement and Skills, Somerset House

Biography

Dhikshana fell into this world of museums, changing her life personally and professionally. Not wanting where you grew up, your education opportunities or who you know to dictate whether you connect to or work in a museum. With a focus and passion on making the sector representative of the society we live in, connecting to the issues of today and exploring the challenges of the future, she wants to go beyond making collections or content accessible, but making this sector for and by everyone.

Dhikshana has been the Head of Engagement & Skills at Somerset House, London since January 2020, just as a pandemic engulfed the world. In her initial months, she focused on a new strategy for the team, with a stronger importance on young people’s engagement and skills development, coproduction with their onsite creative community and content development around their cultural programme. During 2020 she led on what a post Covid-19 engagement programme would look like and the organisation’s Anti-racism Pledge.

Dhikshana’s career has been built in London over 14 years, working in learning and engagement across the Science Museum, London Transport Museum, and Brent 2020 – London Borough of Culture. She has led teams and worked with different audiences, but has found her interest lies with young adults, skills development and coproduction, and exploring the use of digital mediums and public space in a cultural context.

Dhikshana holds two master’s degrees in History and Art History from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland and in Museum and Gallery Education from UCL Institute of Education, London.

She has lectured and given talks on master’s courses, and at national and international conferences, looking to share and learn from best practice, and actively be part of the change she desires to see.

Dhikshana is an active member and finds great solidarity, solace, and support in the Museum Detox network. Dhikshana has been an elected Trustee of the Museums Association since 2016, actively working on sector-wide workforce developments and most recently co-led and launched their Learning & Engagement Manifesto.