Communicating the Museum Brussels Museum Participation

The theme of Communicating the Museum’s 20th edition is Are you ready to participate?”. 

Today’s museums are working towards being more inclusive, encouraging participation and a greater diversity of audiences, ideas and perspectives. For visitors to feel empowered, cultural institutions must be safe spaces to meet and engage with the art but also with the community.

From community-oriented small museums to large-scale ‘hands-on’ exhibitions in larger institutions, we are witnessing a heightened importance in active engagement with audiences. Challenges remain as museums strive to meet with their audiences in genuinely participatory ways. The pressure is on museums to be more representative and to embrace community involvement.

Download the detailed programme here 



Pre-conference day (optional)

01.00 pm

Visit of the Musée des Arts Contemporains

Discover le Musée des Arts Contemporains, a cultural projects dedicated to contemporary creation. Bus departs from the Novotel Off Grand Place at 1pm Learn more
04.00 pm

Private encounters with collectors

Join a very intimate and exclusive tour of the personal collection of contemporary and modern art patrons, Bruno & Gael van Lierde and Alain Servais. Learn more
07.15 pm

Friends and VIP Reception at Villa Empain - Fondation Boghossian

Join us at Brussels' Art Deco masterpiece for the Friends reception and meet fellow participants over a lovey glass of wine and appetizers. Learn more

Are you ready to participate ?

02.00 pm

Welcome to Communicating the Museum Brussels

Corinne Estrada, founder of Communicating the Museum welcomes you to Brussels for the 20th edition of the conference. Learn more
Speakers : Corinne Estrada Agenda

Welcome to Brussels

Rudi Vervoort, Minister-President of the Government of the Brussels-Capital Region welcomes you to Brussels. Learn more
Speakers : Rudi Vervoort Brussels-Capital Region

Welcome to BOZAR

Paul Dujardin,  Artistic Director of BOZAR will open the conference by sharing the Centre's mission and vision. Learn more
Speakers : Paul Dujardin BOZAR

Adopting a new attitude

Artistic director, curator and professor, Jan Boelen has been encouraging visitors to look at everyday objects in a novel manner. At CTM BRU, he will encourage museums to become unique laboratories for experiment and innovation and meeting places. Learn more
Speakers : Jan Boelen Z33 House for Contemporary Art & Atelier LUMA
04.00 pm

Encouraging a greater diversity of audiences, ideas and perspectives

A panel of experts from newly opened or soon-to-open institutions debate the changing role of museums in our society and communities. With Daphne Blouet, Louvre Abu Dhabi, UAE, Yves Goldstein KANAL Centre Pompidou, Belgium, & Raphael Cruyt MIMA, Belgium Learn more
Speakers : Daphné Blouet Louvre Abu Dhabi, Mia Heil Rasmussen DANISH ARCHITECTURE CENTRE, Yves Goldstein KANAL Centre Pompidou, Raphael Cruyt MIMA
04.30 pm

The BOZAR experience

Creativity, quality, and artistic diversity are at the heart of BOZAR’s mission since its foundation. Learn more
Speakers : Johan Van Roy BOZAR, Sophie Lauwers BOZAR
Face to Face

Welcome Reception at the Maison du Roi

08.00 pm

Visit of the Maison du Roi on the Grand-Place

Discover the neo-Gothic style Maison du Roi. Participants will be welcomed by Karine Lalieux, Alderwoman for Culture, Tourism, Big Events Learn more

Encouraging Community Participation

09.00 am

How can cultural institutions create meaningful participation within the city?

Learn how to be an active member of your community with examples of city and museums collaborations. Learn more
Speakers : Munira Mirza HENI Talks, Xavier Roland Pôle Muséal de la Ville de Mons, Gloria Gerace Culture Projects
10.00 am

1.1 - I Can Create

Learn about the "I Can Create" programme aimed at asylum-seeking children from primary and lower secondary school. Find out how the project gives children the chance to step outside their role as marginalized voices in society. Learn more
Speakers : Kirsten Lassen Design Museum Denmark, Nikolina Olsen-Rule Designmuseum Denmark
Case Study

1.2 - Meet, connect, discover, learn, create – Art Lab gets young people involved with art

How do young people get engaged with art? Two years ago the Fondation Beyeler launched “Art Lab”, a participative art-mediation project, designed for young people between the ages of 15 and 25. Learn more
Speakers : Flavia Mayer Fondation Beyeler, Janine Schmutz Fondation Beyeler
Case Study

2.1 - Migration and the Changing Role of Museums

This session will explore how collaborative practice helps build relevant programs that broaden educational opportunities and participation when working with immigrant communities. Learn more
Speakers : Marianna Pegno Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block
Case Study

2.2 Brussels: Welcome Land? Brussels has Safe Haven

Learn how Dialogue, audience participation and cocreation play a central part in the museum's latest exhibition "Bruxelles : Terre d’Accueil ?" Learn more
Speakers : Chouna Lomponda Jewish Museum Belgium
Case Study

3.1 - Engaging LGBTQ communities

2017 was the 50th anniversary since the partial decriminalisation of Homosexuality in the UK. This case study will explore the Tate response. Learn more
Speakers : James Brandon TATE, Sacha Coward Royal Museums Greenwich
Case Study

3.2 - Celebrating LGBT history

Learn how Royal Museums Greenwich celebrated LGBT History Month with a series of exciting events and lectures, from drag performances at the Queen's House to a family flag-making workshop. Learn more
Speakers : Sacha Coward Royal Museums Greenwich, James Brandon TATE
Case Study

4 - Thriving in the New Culture Ecology (workshop)

This learning session will focus on ways that museums can build fruitful, lasting community partnerships and develop creative experiential, participatory programming. Learn more
Speakers : Maureen McGuigan Lackawanna County Arts and Culture Department

Creating deeper experiences for young audiences

11.30 am

Innovation in Scandinavian Education

Learn new engagement and learning initiatives and strategies from education experts.  Learn more
Speakers : Hans Renman LS Group
12.00 pm

1 - Youth involvement, Key for the future museum?

Learn about the MAS in Young Hands (MiYH) initiative and meet the youngsters crew of the MAS Learn more
Speakers : Liene Conard Museum aan de Stroom in Antwerp
Case Study

2 - Training the next generation of heritage enthusiasts

Learn how the National Heritage Board of Singapore is engaging young children via heritage programmes and community led initiatives.  Learn more
Speakers : Asmah Alias Singapore National heritage Board
Case Study

3 - Sisters Academy, poetic attentiveness and sensuous learning

Find out about the visionary exhibition project ‘Sisters Academy – The Boarding School’, which is based on radical principles of immersive and participatory audience engagement. Learn more
Speakers : Nikolaj Friis Rasmussen Den Frie Centre of Contemporary Art, Gry Worre Hallberg Sisters Academy
Case Study

4 - Schools as Advocates for Museum Programmes

Learn why it is essential for museum educators to cultivate long-term relationships with schools that are keen on conducting in-depth programmes that layers the students’ experience. Learn more
Speakers : Melissa Viswani Asian Civilisations Museum
Case Study

5 - Practicing what you Preach - Next Generation, Please!

Learn about Next Generation, Please! a Festival where young people are invited to write a new chapter in the European story, alongside artists, politicians and scientists. Learn more
Speakers : Melat Gebeyaw Nigussie BOZAR, Raphael Miles BOZAR
Case Study

Transforming Online Participation

02.30 pm

Connecting the physical and digital experience

International experts will discuss the latest online participation trends and discuss engagement strategies for online users and physical visitors.  Learn more
Speakers : Ryan Dodge Royal Ontario Museum, Kajsa Hartig Nordiska museet, Lauren Hesse The Metropolitan Museum of Art
03.20 pm

1 - Accessibility and The Met: How Facebook Live Provides Inclusivity

This session looks at case studies of how The Met organized, executed and assessed three different Facebook Live events Learn more
Speakers : Lauren Hesse The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Case Study

2 - - Inquiry-based learning everywhere

Learn about an educational project in partnership with Google that aims to develop a tit nesting observation network across Belgium. It also seeks to familiarise school pupils with data collection and Internet data transfer techniques. Learn more
Speakers : Wendy Massart Project Leader XperiBIRD.BE, Kristina Articus Lepage International German School of Brussels
Case Study

3 - Lucky Vibes a playful app to create a dialogue and share your experience

The Fondation Louis Vuitton will present "Lucky Vibes" a playful app with a high sense of participation outside the Museum. Learn more
Speakers : Candice Chenu Fondation Louis Vuitton
Case Study

4 - Bruegel. Unseen Masterpieces

Drawing on a wide spectrum of virtual and on-site experiences, learn about a unique initiative offering everyone the chance to immerse themselves in Bruegel’s works Learn more
Speakers : Isabelle Vanhoonacker Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium
Case Study

5 - Young voices of the Louvre

'Les Jeunes ont la Parole' events are special late openings during which 300+ students express their knowledge and creativity. Find out how they are using social media to take over the museum and promote the events. Learn more
Case Study
04.30 pm

Civic engagement made easy

Civic engagement made easy: Reach more citizens, manage your participation projects, and make better decisions. Learn more
Speakers : Wietse Van Ransbeeck CitizenLab

Your communication department? Time to reset!

Base and La Monnaie Opera will show you on how they decided to question everything, from time allocation to content, roles or internal processes to dynamically redesign and refocus their communication department on what really matters. Learn more
Speakers : Thierry Brunfaut Base Design, Lore Van de Meutter La Monnaie
Face to Face

Explore MIMA

06.15 pm

After hours visit of the Millennium Iconoclast Museum of Art

The MIMA presents the most significant art of its time, and explores a history of culture 2.0. Learn more

Gala Evening at KANAL

07.30 pm

Welcome to KANAL - Centre Pompidou

Yves Goldstein, Government coordinator for the Citroën Cultural Centre will present the new cultural centre and its missions.  Learn more
Speakers : Yves Goldstein KANAL Centre Pompidou

The Art of Collaboration

09.30 am

Welcome to the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium

Isabelle VANHOONACKER, Managing Director to the Public services Department, will welcome you to the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium and introduce the exhibitions on show.  Learn more
Speakers : Isabelle Vanhoonacker Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium

1 - Changing the way we work to enhance participation Lessons learned at the Van Gogh Museum

Learn how The Van Gogh Museum changed its way of working to improve participation Learn more
Speakers : Marthe De Vet Van Gogh Museum
Case Study

2 - From Barriers to Bridges: Understanding Exclusion, Practicing Inclusion in Museums (Workshop)

How can museum staff work more effectively to make their institutions spaces of inclusion as a prerequisite for increasing museum participation among diverse community members? Learn more
Speakers : Laura Evans University of North Texas, Amelia M Kraehe University of North Texas

3 - Developing strategic approaches to content, conversation and audience engagement and a digital first user experience

Kajsa Hartig will share the experiences and outcomes from a pilot initiative that aimed at engaging a younger audience with the museum’s archives and collections. Learn more
Speakers : Kajsa Hartig Nordiska museet
Case Study

4 - Exploring the world, discovering ourselves – collections, communities and collaboration

Mike will be profiling the museum’s work with communities to unlock the full potential of the Museum’s rich collections, profiling a range of innovative projects that have led to new perspectives surrounding our themes and collections. Learn more
Speakers : Mike Sarna Royal Museums Greenwich
Case Study
10.45 am

Visit The Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium

Discover the Museums’ collections that trace the history of the visual arts – painting, sculpture and drawing – from the 15th to the 21st centuries.  Learn more
12.00 pm

Welcome to the House of European History

Constanze ITZEL, Head of Unit, will present the House of European History, its exhibition and mission.  Learn more
Speakers : Constanze Itzel House of European History

Adapting to your audience's needs

02.30 pm

Dreams of Resting Spaces

Theater maker Raquel Meseguer will share her research and keys to recognise and address invisible needs. Learn more
Speakers : Raquel Meseguer
03.00 pm

Disability and Inclusion

A panel of cultural experts will share their thoughts on how to be more inclusive and accessible. Learn more
Speakers : Trish Wheatley Disability Arts Online, Thomas Bastien Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Abigail Hirsch Independent

A museum accessible for all

Recent winner of the prize "Osez le Musée", the Palais des Beaux Arts de Lille will share its visitor-focus strategy.  Learn more
Speakers : Juliette Barthélémy Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille, Anne-Françoise Lemaître Palais de Beaux Arts de Lille, Guergana Guintcheva EDHEC Business School in Lille
Case Study

Presenting European history with multiple perspectives

Learn about the House of European History, a meeting point where visitors become involved in their learning about the history of Europe. Learn more
Speakers : Ewa Goodman House of European History, Andrea Mork House of European History
Case Study
04.30 pm

Is the Museum a Democratic Institution?

Explore the idea of Cultural Democracy during the closing keynote of the conference. Learn more
Speakers : Steven Hadley The Audience Agency/Universities of Leeds/ Sheffield and Leuphana

Farewell Evening

07.30 pm

Welcome to WIELS

Dirk Snauwaert, Artistic director, welcomes you to WIELS. Reception sponsored by Learn more

Private Visit

Free visits of the temporary exhibitions Unexchangeable and Hana Miletic: Dependencies Learn more

"The journey of my life" WIELS x Thalys, Education Partners

Learn about the unique collaboration between WIELS and Thalys.  Learn more


09.30 am

Join the Plateoteam : from crowdfunding to a participation and communication project

From crowdfunding to participation and brand loyalty Learn more
Speakers : Kareen Godfelder Museum of Natural Sciences Brussels
Case Study

Behind The Scene Visit

Visit the Museum Permanent Collection and Paleontology Labs Learn more
11.30 am

Welcome to the Art & History Museum

Step inside this historic building, one of the biggest museums in Belgium and erected by former Belgian King Leopold II. Learn more

MUZETTE singing | wellbeing |diversity

Visit the museum while singing! Experience how traditional songs from all over the world help to establish firm and personal connections with the objects on display - and with each other! Learn more
Speakers : Karen Vanhercke Art and History Museum
Case Study

Behind The Scene Tour

Explore the recreation of the Wolfers Frères jewellery store as designed by Horta in 1912.   Learn more
03.00 pm

Welcome to Brussels City Hall

Explore the masterpiece of Gothic civil architecture Learn more

Workshop : Renew the educational approach!

During this workshop we will present the various recent and particularly innovative mediation projects: a sound experience, a giant game, a visit by flashlight, the making of a scarf, among others. A different way to see museums! Learn more
05.00 pm

Discover the ING Collection

Discover the ING Belgium contemporary art collection and famous Marnix Building. Learn more