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2005 "Museums bridging Cultures"

Suggested Activities for International Museum Day, 18 May 2005

The Theme: "Museums Bridging Cultures"

This year's theme can be developed in several areas by considering activities involving connections, linkages, partnerships, exchanges, and gatherings bringing together different cultures, age groups, ethnic origins, as well as different traditions, countries, regions, and languages.

As understanding cultural diversity encourages innovative approaches, we can see that possible activities for International Museum Day can become sharing experiences aimed at building new awareness of the "other".

 

VIRTUAL TIME BRIDGES

Whichever activities you decide to organise, we suggest to develop them with a virtual component through your museum's website. One idea is to travel through time on a "virtual bridge" by experiencing the preparations for International Museum Day in advance of the real activity. Another idea is to use the "time bridge" to continue activities after International Museum Day. In addition, the virtual visit component could also be used to establish long-term contact with the public and development of future activities. Publications and museum shop objects related to International Museum Day might be featured.

PARTNER BRIDGES

Twinning programmes can be organised between museums dealing with the same kind of issues from different towns, regions, or countries. The goal is to create a dialogue between collections from different places or historical periods.

Museums can, for example, virtually swap collections on their websites and present the objects to a new public. The same swapping activity can be organized as an event in the two museums using slides.

INTERDISCIPLINARY BRIDGES

A similar twinning programme can be organised between museums from different disciplines to present parts of collections in a different context, thus allowing for a different "reading" of the works. For instance, a scientific explanation could be given of a work of art, an ethnic or historical object, etc..

In a given city, for International Museum Day, two very different types of museums can "twin up" to offer a double visit and develop the possibilities of comparing, contrasting and evaluating different approaches in distinct disciplines.

GENERATIONAL BRIDGES

An activity envisioning exchanges between age groups (children and senior citizens, adults and adolescents) would also be pertinent to the theme of International Museum Day. One idea would be to let children freely develop their own vision of the exhibited objects and express their interpretations and feelings about what they see, acting as tour guides for the adults. Suitable props such as guide hats, museum personnel badges, etc. should be provided for the event.

LINGUISTIC BRIDGES

Many activities can be devised to bridge the language gap between visitors of different nationalities, or visitors who speak different languages residing in the same country. Activities such as multilingual group tours, story reading in different languages, multilingual performances within the museum, and encounters around a given object or work in a collection would be interesting.

MOST CREATIVE INTERNATIONAL MUSEUM DAY ACTIVITY AWARD, 2005

The most creative, innovative and inspiring activity will receive a special mention and be featured on our website. The "General Report on International Museum Day" will inform you of activities in museums all over the world.

So, please do keep us informed and let us know what you do at your museum for International Museum Day!

 
 
   
Updated: 7 October 2005