Day 2: Underserved/Under-represented Communities

Wednesday, November 10th, 2021

Part II: Explorations in Practice (Simultaneous Break-Out-Sessions)

How museums can collaborate with community to develop greater engagement in cultural among people with Alzheimer‘s – Cristina Bucci

Break-Out-Session ‘Explorations in Practice’

Tuscan museums have been offering programmes dedicated to people living with Alzheimer‘s for years. In August 2020, 21 institutions representing more than 50 museums came together as the Museums of Tuscany for Alzheimer‘s Network to coordinate and intensify their action. The Network supports insights for museum directors and continuous learning for educators and coordinates communication initiatives to promote social change and a community response to the issue of dementia. In the last year we have defined the accreditation process for museums with the National Health Service, so museum programmes can be prescribed by practitioners. The network has also worked to keep in touch remotely, experimenting with innovative ways and promoting digital literacy for older people. The case of Tuscan museums encourages discussion on the social role of museums and their potential as catalysts for inclusion and social justice.

Cristina Bucci is an art historian and founding member of L‘immaginario, a cultural association that designs and develops educational initiatives for Italian artistic heritage. In the last ten years she has been particularly committed to museum programmes aimed at making art accessible to people with dementia and their caregivers, people with autism and social anxiety, individuals with sensory disabilities. She has also disseminated these museum programmes as a trainer. As Project Manager of Museums Art & Alzheimer’s EU Erasmus+, she is currently part of the coordination team of the network Museums of Tuscany for Alzheimer’s.

So close and yet so far – attracting museums’ neighbours – Adriana Mortara Almeida

Break-Out-Session ‘Explorations in Practice’

What do a large downtown art museum, an on-campus university museum, and a health institute museum have in common? All of them are in the city of São Paulo and are not visited by their neighbours. The art museum attracts people from all over the city and region, but not the workers and nearby residents; the university museum receives many school groups and tourists, but not the university community; similarly, the health institute museum is visited by school groups, but not by institute workers. How can these museums become attractive to local communities? How to create interest for these people to go in and see what’s inside the museum’s walls?

Adriana Mortara Almeida is an ICOM Brazil board member and professor at the Federal University of Minas Gerais. Previously, she was the Director of the History Museum of Butantan Institute. She holds a PhD in Communication and Information Science (University of São Paulo) and she also attained a post-doctorate degree in Museology from the University of Campinas. As a museum educator in the 1990s, she became concerned about the quality of visitor experiences and coordinated several audience studies in Brazilian museums, contributing significantly to the development of the field. She has also been able to integrate theory and practice in the field of museum education.

Nature Explorers – Alexandra Moormann

Break-Out-Session ‘Explorations in Practice’

Currently many millions of people worldwide are fleeing from war, persecution, poverty or violence. In order to help recent refugee groups in Berlin, educators at the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin partnered with artists, teachers, science educators, and Arabic-speaking students to develop an interdisciplinary programme for Welcome Classes – special classes for non-native students. The programme focused on children, helping them to explore Berlin and its urban nature via excursions by canoe and on foot. This session presents and reflects the project from various points of view.

Alexandra Moormann holds a diploma in biology and taught biology and physics in elementary schools. During her studies, she also worked as an educator in a botanical garden. Alexandra completed her doctorate in biology education at the Humboldt-Universität Berlin on the topic of students’ attitudes towards science subjects after the transition to secondary school. In parallel, she worked as a museum guide at the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin. Since 2015, she has been responsible for the area of educational research at the Museum.

Museums, memory, armed conflict, transitional justice – Cristina Lleras

Break-Out-Session ‘Explorations in Practice’

The Museum of Memory of Colombia was created by the Law for Victims and Land Restitution in 2011. Since then, different directors and administrations have tried to answer the question of what a museum´s role should be in the context of the ongoing armed conflict in Colombia. From 2016 and 2018, Cristina Lleras had the privilege of working for the Museum of Memory, heading a team of people who put together an exhibition in two major Colombian cities. Such an event was the first iteration of the narrative created for the Museum as well as a means to conceive the project as the necessary result of thinking about the integrality of programming, commemoration, education, and exhibitions. Visitor research completed at these events showed that many Colombians were surprised to learn about the dynamics of armed conflict and that much work is needed to transform the cultural impact of living amongst systemic violence for decades. In this session Cristina Lleras shares some of her personal lessons on the relationship between museums, transitional justice, education and culture.

Cristina Lleras is currently the head curator of the Museo de Bogotá in Colombia. Previous to this post she worked as a curator in art, memory and history museum exhibitions that bring to the present silences and meanings about the forgotten past. Her academic research has focused on reflexive writing on her own practice, national museums, symbolic reparation and activism.

Bringing museums and classrooms together – Ovie Oghenejobo

Break-Out-Session ‘Explorations in Practice’

The Heartland Learning Collaborative has taken steps to start to heal the divided Kansas City community and find a path to the future through intense engagement with history and culture. The Collaborative connects local cultural institutions to schools and districts with diverse student populations. Teachers are concerned that textbooks aren’t up to date on significant political issues and that lessons are only meant to prepare students for a test. Local museums, however, can offer teachers and students resources that are relevant for their lives. The Collaborative has worked with the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, and the American Jazz Museum, among others.

Ovie Oghenejobo has been a high school assistant principal in a suburb slightly outside of Kansas City for the last two years. His parents were born and raised in Nigeria and immigrated to the United States during the 80s. He holds a bachelor‘s degree in Social Studies Education and a minor in Sociology; and his Master’s is in Secondary School Administration. Prior to his current administrative position, he taught World History, Sociology, and IB Social and Cultural Anthropology for 7 years.

How can the museum be for all? A case study in data collection – Suy Lan Hopmann

Break-Out-Session ‘Explorations in Practice’

German museums are public institutions, financed by society. However, they are used only by a rather small and privileged group of people, mostly with academic degrees, rather older than younger, rather wealthy – and white. “Open the museums!”, “Broaden the audience!” is what more and more people demand and more and more museums want. But how do we do this? Most German museums don’t know much about their visitors, even less so about their non-visitors. The Museum am Rothenbaum and the Stiftung Historische Museen (SHMH) in Hamburg, therefore decided to conduct a two-year visitor research project. Starting in summer 2021, the museums have started to analyse existing audience structure, conduct qualitative surveys of target groups and experts, and examine the visitor experience with a special focus on equality data. This session discusses the process, the development of the questionnaire and shares some preliminary results.

Suy Lan Hopmann studied Chinese Studies, Sociology and Gender Studies in Hamburg, Beijing and Bristol (UK) with a focus on gender, migration and intersectionality. She spent several research stays in Singapore as well as China and was a research fellow in the Collaborative Research Center 700 „Governance in Areas of Limited Statehood“ and at the East Asia Seminar of Freie Universität Berlin from 2014 to 2018. As part of the German Federal Cultural Foundation‘s „360° – Fund for New City Cultures“ programme, she has been Curator for Special Projects and Diversity at the Museum am Rothenbaum since 2018. She recently curated the exhibition „Hey Hamburg, do you know Duala Manga Bell?“.

[Sorry for the inconvenience, the video of Suy Lan Hopmann is no longer available.]

Intangible cultural heritage, digital formats and audience development – Julie Piesbergen and Patricia Rahemipour

Break-Out-Session ‘Explorations in Practice’

In a new project titled “Materialising the Immaterial”, the Institute for Museum Research in Berlin is exploring intangible cultural heritage and the role of the digital in communicating this heritage to audiences. What might new digital formats contribute to preserving and conveying intangible cultural heritage in museum contexts, and how can they further develop or creatively transform it? This session highlights current work on how users perceive of digital formats, paying particular attention to the questions: Does the role of intangible cultural heritage in society change through its digital expression? Can the format of the digital contribute to keeping intangible cultural heritage alive and developing it in society? What social and communicative dynamics can it generate? How does it relate, for example, to the affectivity and attractiveness of such offerings? How can these aspects be investigated in terms of user and reception research?

Julie Piesbergen studied clinical psychology at the International Psychoanalytic University Berlin (IPU). During her studies she gained first practical experience at the Tavistock Institute in London as a research assistant. She also completed a second master‘s degree in social and business communication at the Universität der Künste Berlin (UDK) with a focus on communication psychology. Since April 2021, she has been working as a research assistant in the field of media psychology of the museum4punkt0 sub-project „Materialization of the Immaterial?“ at the Institute for Museum Research at the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.

Patricia Rahemipour studied Prehistory/Early History, Classical Archaeology, Philosophy. She gained first experiences as head of the teaching collection at the Department of Prehistory at the University of Leipzig. Later, she worked as project manager and senior curator for the German Archaeological Institute and Excellence Cluster Topoi. After working for two years at the Roman-Germanic Commission and Jewish Museum Frankfurt, she changed to the Botanical Garden Berlin in 2014, where she became director of the Botanical Museum and the Knowledge Communication Department in 2016. Since 2019, she has been Director of the Institute for Museum Research at the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.