18 May 2003, museums all over the world will be celebrating
International Museum Day. This year's theme is "Museums
are these "friends"? Some are voluntary workers, whilst
others are partners or benefactors, but "museum friends"
are essentially people who love museums. They may assist
a museum in its daily work, enable it to add to its collection,
help build bridges between the museum and the public,
or intercede with government bodies on its behalf, acting
either as individuals or as members of an association
or friends' group.
has decided to dedicate International Museum Day 2003
to museum friends, to pay homage to the valuable and little-publicised
role they play and to strengthen links between museums
and their friends.
Jacques Perot, President of ICOM, has put it, "Museums
must place themselves at the heart of society and ensure
that they are open to the communities around them. The
development of our institutions depends in large part
on the support of the public, and we must offer that public
opportunities to support our aims and involve themselves
in our activities. So it is important that museums and
their friends work together in a spirit of creativity
World Federation of Friends of Museums (WFFM), which comprises
over a million friends, volunteers and donors from all
parts of the world and works closely with ICOM and with
museums, is joining forces with ICOM to celebrate International
Museum Day 2003, when it will be offering
advice on how to set up a friends' group if your museum
does not already have one.
Museum Day was launched by ICOM in 1977. The aim of this
annual event is to raise public awareness of the vital
role museums play in society, and every year, museums
all over the world mark the occasion with open days, guided
tours and public events and workshops.
May 2003 will be a celebration of museum friends as well
as of museums.
further information, see:
ICOM News N°4/2002
The WFFM website: http://www.museumsfriends.org