May 22-24 the AEJM museum education study visit to Riga (Latvia) for its network of museum educators took place. The programme looked into community engagement for museums and also explored Jewish heritage in the city. The third – optional – day was a field trip outside Riga, with a visit to the Green Synagogue project in Rezekne. The study visit was organized in cooperation with Think Thank Creative Museum and has been awarded the label of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018.
“The awareness for certain tools, methods and frameworks to further develop existing concepts of co-creative programs is what I took with me to the Jewish Museum Frankfurt. Participating at the AEJM Study Visit was inspiring and motivating and a great opportunity to get to know a network of aspiring and creative colleagues from all over Europe.”
Kathrin Schön, Head of Education – Jewish Museum Frankfurt
What is Community Engagement?
According to the British Museums Association “working with non-museums partners is essential for reaching wider audiences and offering new experiences.” On its Collections Learning Hub, the Museums Association mainly refers to projects focused on improving accessibility of collections, making them “more usable and more accessible to the public, giving communities a stake in collections”.
In The Participatory Museum museologist Nina Simon refers to a broader approach. According to Simon “co-creative projects originate in partnership with participants rather than based solely on institutional goals. […] The result is a project that is truly co-owned by institutional and community partners. She defines 3 main reasons why cultural institutions could start or engage in co-creative projects:
- To give voice and be responsive to the needs and interests of local community members
- To provide a place for community engagement and dialogue
- To help participants develop skills that will support their own individual and community goals
Read up on The Participatory Museum here!