18 May - International Museum Day

  • Museums and Cultural Landscapes

  • Each year’s International Museum Day theme is proposed by ICOM’s network and aims to promote museum issues within society.  
    The theme of the 2016 event is Museums and Cultural Landscapes.  
    A combination of both nature and history, a cultural landscape is a changing and constantly evolving territory, the product of a specific geological identity and transformations made by time and people. Both individuals and communities are responsible for protecting and enhancing these landscapes.  
    These tasks also fall under the duty of museums, which hold objects and items that serve as both material and intangible legacies of territories both large and small.  
    The theme Museums and Cultural Landscapes makes museums responsible for their landscapes, asking them to contribute knowledge and expertise and take an active role in their management and upkeep. The primary mission of museums is to oversee heritage, whether it be inside or outside their walls. Their natural vocation is to expand their mission and implement their own activities in the open field of cultural landscape and heritage that surrounds them and for which they can assume varying degrees of responsibility.  
    The vision of a museum engaged primarily in conserving, exhibiting and communicating about its own collections is being replaced by another that is more respectful of the nature of an institution that also conducts research and produces, acquires, develops and shares knowledge of the surrounding territory and provides the communities who live there with a different way of looking at their landscape. By assuming responsibilities that are not limited to their collections, they are also encouraged to expand, enhance and increase their collections and their heritage of knowledge and expertise.  
    Highlighting the link between museums and cultural heritage enhances the idea of museums as territorial centres involved in actively protecting the cultural landscape.
    Because they are responsible for the surrounding landscape, museums' missions also include the protection and conservation of the environmental heritage, in order to promote the respectful development of its identity, working jointly and in collaboration with all entities – both public and private – that hold a variety of interests in that heritage. At the same time, a museum that is responsible for its landscape assumes its role as a centre for interpreting the surrounding heritage and territory, by promoting its knowledge and making residents and visitors aware of the values on which they are built and by asking them to participate in their conservation, promotion and enhancement.  

    By their very nature, landscapes are constantly evolving and cannot be frozen or made into museums. Protecting and conserving them prevents these transformations from destroying, deforming or degrading their identity. Museums can make a significant contribution to the administration of a territory that respects the value of its landscape, in the form of knowledge about the territory, its heritage and its landscape, through the protection, conservation and interpretation of cultural heritage both inside and outside their walls, through active participation in public and urban policies, and through the definition and implementation of landscape policies. 

    Museums, get organised!
    To ensure International Museum Day fulfils its ambitions, we need your help!  
    You are the ambassadors of International Museum Day. Thanks to the activities that you organise and the strong connections you develop with your public, this event continues to be a success year after year.  
    In addition to the activities you plan, your participation in International Museum Day is an opportunity for you to:      
    • Implement partnerships with schools, associations, other museums, etc. to promote the event as a moment of sharing and collaboration;      
    • Use and disseminate the graphic materials of the event, in order to spread the news of your activities efficiently throughout the world;      
    • Spread information about International Museum Day to the public via your web spaces (website, social media, etc.);      
    • Send a press release about International Museum Day or organising a press conference as a means to ensure the visibility of your museum and of the event;      
    • Gain international visibility about your activities before and after the event: by sharing information about your International Museum Day activities with ICOM, allowing us to spread the news throughout our network and beyond through social networks and our website dedicated to the event. It also allows us to enrich our archives with International Museum Day activities from each year’s celebration.
    International Museum Day draws the attention of both the general public and museum professionals around the world.
    We hope that you will plan your own activities for the 2016 edition of the event, following the general principles of International Museum Day and that the examples of past International Museum Day activities, be they original or conventional, with limited budget or broad‐based activities, will provide inspiration for your own preparations.  
    We recommend that you follow eight important steps:
    1. Target a specific public 
    Regular visitors? A new public? Socially‐disadvantaged persons? Specific public: children, teenagers, senior citizens, handicapped persons, etc.? Check here  examples of activities that target different publics. 
    2. Define your objectives
    To reach a new public? To attract various types of visitors? To enhance the museum’s visibility? To highlight your participation in the community? To be heard by public authorities? To make your institution known to potential partners? 
    3. Position your museum
    The objectives you set can also be related to the positioning of your museum. International Museum Day helps to show the importance of museums in society and to highlight their different aspects. You need therefore to find the positioning that best suits your institution. Is it an innovative museum? A museum that listens to social issues? A dynamic museum? A museum in contact with the public? A museum that generates tourism? 
    4. Forge institutional partnerships and sponsorships 
    International Museum Day is an opportunity to create local, national or international partnerships, regarding anything from collections, to mediation or financing. Collaboration can be implemented with other museum professionals, other museums, associations, private companies, and more. 
    5. Develop a precise budget 
    International Museum Day’s activities can be organised in large structures as well as small institutions. The necessary human and financial resources will also depend on the visibility you choose to give to the event. 
    6. Create an unexpected programme  
    Check here some ideas with examples of successful International Museum Day activities in the past. An unexpected activity programme is key to your success! 
    7. Develop a communications and promotion strategy 
    We have developed a set of communications tools  to help you implement your strategy. ICOM and its network can also be one of your communication channels. 
    8. Make a post‐event evaluation 
    It is important for you to analyse the success of your International Museum Day and its effective impact. It is therefore essential to define criteria of success depending on your objectives. Some examples of good performance indicators include: attendance, creation of long-term partnerships and the number of media sources that diffused information about the event.

    International Museum Day Poster 2016

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    Ministry of Culture and Monuments Protection of Georgia, ICOM National Committee in Georgia, Georgian Museums Association, Culturological Research Association