4 incredible conference days in Paris have revealed where cultural engagement truly lies. Museums have become more humanist and more political than ever. They are playing an essential role in our modern society as citizen museums : they provide knowledge to fight ignorance, offer a place for expression and a platform for dialogue. They are the new temples of peace to re-build the connection between different cultures and teach tolerance. Like the Louvre, the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark, or S.M.A.K. in Belgium, they are committed to reaching out to different audiences such as refugees. During 4 days we heard many successful examples of outreach programmes in jails, hospitals and city suburbs such as the ‘ateliers nomades’ from the musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac.
However, most of us still face the most difficult task of all. How do we kick-start dialogue and approach audiences who are not coming to our organisations?
For The Getty in Los Angeles, artists’ involvement is one answer. For MBAM in Montreal, therapists and educators work together with curators to build many different programmes. For SESC in Brazil, education has been at the centre of all their activities since 1946. As western museums now follow suit, we look to SESC as a great model in understanding the value of education as the driving force to build a better world.
We also understand that collaboration between all departments is essential in successfully engaging audiences. As we now focus on emotion and fun to teach and learn we must ask ourselves: are educators the new curators of our museums? Perhaps a relevant topic to discuss during a future conference.
Thank you to all our partner venues for hosting this unique conference in Paris and for making 320 international delegates feel at home in our wonderful city.
See you soon in Melbourne and Los Angeles
Have a lovely summer
It was here in Paris that Communicating the Museum first started. In 2000 we invited several cultural institutions from the UK to come and discuss their branding and communications strategies with their counterparts in France. The conference took place at the Louvre and involved a select group of 50 museum professionals. Since then, Communicating the Museum has taken place in 14 different cities, including New York, Sydney, Stockholm, Venice, and Istanbul. Over 5,000 museum professionals from across the cultural sector have now attended the conference.
Founder of Communicating the Museum