The month of february was fully devoted to the search of good practice examples that consider diversity in art mediation.
What we did.
Our first so-called intellectual output was meant to be a collection of “best practice” examples on art and inclusion in museums and public space art activities.
Stand 129 was leading the activity and was therefore responsible for the first draft of working materials. Therefore, they developed a template and a set of indicators so that all of us would have a guideline for the research.
During the (àlink) kick-off meeting in Paris, we had a chance to discuss and enhance them according to the input of all the partner organizations. The personal discussion in the group was very important to all of us, as we had the chance to talk about some key issues for the practices. This means, we discussed about the importance of having an “innovative” form of art mediation as good practice examples. We also talked about what notions that would imply. We agreed upon a broad definition of this term: For us, an innovative practice does not mean that it has to deal with new forms of art mediation, such as new media, but it includes the reinvention of traditional methods and its adaption to contemporary needs. We also discussed about the terms of participation and ownership and agreed that not every kind of participation necessarily means that the participants feel ownership over the outcome. It is this kind of involvement though that we are looking for.
Following that, every partner was invited to look for good practice examples according to what we had agreed upon in our meeting. Some of the partners included their own experiences and practices of their institutions as a good practice example to share their knowledge with all the other partners. This has the advantage of having real insights into the projects and not just seeing them from an outsider´s perspective.
Why we did it.
The aim of this study was to gain an overview on existing practices and examples of museum and art pedagogy that deal with diversity both inside and outside of museums. It was important to us to see this collection of good practices as a spring of inspiration for the tasks that lie ahead of us. We consider it important to call these collected practices “good” rather than “best practices” because we find that it´s not our tasks to judge or rank those activities in such a way. We rather appreciate initiatives that deal with such topics. We see this compilation as a collection that also reflects the variety of ways in which institutions work with the concept of diversity in art mediation. We therefore invite everyone to read it as such. We are sure that there are plenty of other examples that would fit in our collection. It´s not our aim to provide a full encyclopedia in this area. That is why we see this compilation of good practices as a beginning to our work and a fruitful discussion on the topic of art and inclusion inside and outside of institutions.
What came out of it.
The collection of good practices gives an overview of existing educational programs that address diversity in the museum or through art. This means that we were looking for programs of adult education that engage audiences that are typically excluded from museums and other cultural institutions due to financial conditions and geography, as well as due to an impression that “Art” and “Culture” is not for them. Also, the collection includes programs that address the issues of cultural diversity through thematic pedagogical programs.
Part of the practices take place inside museums, others might be outreach programs that go beyond the walls of the institution and take place in the public spaces of the city. Many of these practices represent very innovative, creative solutions for engaging new audiences in museums and art institutions, as well as addressing and valorizing cultural diversity. It is an aim of this collection of good practice examples to give those initiatives the visibility they deserve, as many of them are not well known to the general public. At the same time we want to provide attractive examples for institutions that have not yet adopted such programs.
The collection covers practices of big institutions such as national museums and their attempts to include a broad public in their programs and to open their spaces to people that are not their main target group or are usually not embracing their offer out of different reasons. Furthermore, it includes practices of cultural institutions that work in the public space and use techniques of art and education to mobilize people in deprived areas and give impulses for seeing those areas from a different angle than their usual one.
Due to the broad range of focuses, the selection of good practices covers a great variety of techniques. We embrace this plurality as it shows that there are many possibilities of how to address subjects of diversity in museums and art mediation. We want this collection of good practices to inspire not only ourselves but institutions that work with this subject or plan on implementing such strategies as well. Therefore we invite you to browse through our compilation and get inspired!
The summary of the Collection of Good Practices