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Creative Museums Summit


Voiced: Empowering our community

How can we drive creativity through the voices of our community? At Louvre Abu Dhabi, we direct our energy to giving agency and empowering our participants by offering the museum as a platform and an experimental ground.

While reaching to different ages, professions, and interests, we listen to our community and in turn provide tools and information that allow for a rich and an engaging experience with the museum and its collection.

This talk focuses on aspects of programming in creative learning, collaboration and community engagement that tune in and turn up the volume on the voices of our diverse community in the UAE.

Disrupting the museum with the Detour Guides

Design for insects with Esmée, dance through an expo with Giovanni or find yourself DJ-ing about architecture with Nathalie: at Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam (the national museum for design, architecture and digital culture) the guided tours have turned into detours. The Detour Guides are a team of diverse creatives, who are given carte blanche. This not only results in creativity driven experiences for the audiences, but also in an infiltration of the institute itself. Turning the museum into a more inclusive, impactful and adventurous place. Join us in this talk for a sneak peak of the detour experience.

A creative learning field for aesthetically talented youths

One year can change anything in the life of young people: Our project addresses 12 boys and girls with special artistic talents who often experience little appreciation in the school context. For one year, ART TALENTS promotes their skills individually and prepares them for artistic professions. How do their talents develop? What makes the project stand out from school lessons? And how does the project benefit from the location of the museum? Since 2006 this project has successfully supported young people on their way to becoming artists.

Co-Curating an Art Exhibition with Children

Our brand-new exhibition, ‘A Voyage of Discovery’, is the result of on an in-depth schools project which saw us work with pupils aged 5 to 16 from 3 local schools. Because of the direct involvement of these young people, the exhibition is like nothing we’ve ever shown before. The students have given us a show that has an ambitions design and takes the visitor on an adventure into their imaginations. This talk will set out how the project was delivered, the challenges faced and overcome, and explain why we are so proud of what these children and young people have achieved.

Sustainable Steam

Are we going to survive the pandemic only to fall off the cliff of Carbon? How does a small, independent, industrial working museum tackle its carbon footprint while holding true to its values of being collaborative, inclusive and fun? It starts by getting a group of young people together with industry experts, volunteers and Museum staff to hack the future!

From Curative to Creative

Museum programs for disabled people are commonly viewed through a therapeutic lens, a perspective rooted in the medical model of disability emphasising the curative aspects of skill-building and socialisation. However, The Met’s approach centres on creativity. While developing skills and connecting with others are important programmatic goals, we design experiences to foster individual creative expression, not to “correct” disability. This philosophy subverts the typical expectations that non-disabled people have about how people with disabilities can and want to engage with art in museums, and values the experience of disability as a generative force rather than as a hindrance to creativity.

Building Opportunities for Students in the Museum

How are museums encouraging young people to consider creative careers? The Guggenheim shares back findings from collaborative student projects led in partnership with the City University of New York and Rutgers University. Through academic partnerships, a virtual student cohort created an audio series that launched on the Guggenheim’s Digital Guide on the Bloomberg Connects app. Students designed and printed an activity booklet which was distributed to over 500 museum visitors at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. The Guggenheim Education Department welcomes collaboration, innovation, and offers ways for young adults to cultivate deeper relationships with the museum community.

The Making of Awesome

Make art and memories with each other. At Vizcaya, being a community resource means including the community in the creation of Awesome. Awesome art, awesome stories, awesome experiences. With the help of artists, we created a model that guides the community through the process of making and performing art. It is highly collaborative. We all know where it starts, but the community decides where it ends. It means handing over the story, the control and handing over agency to the community. The result: the art becomes the community’s; the story becomes the community’s; Vizcaya becomes the community’s. And it’s awesome.

Leveraging Creativity to Expand Museum's Impact

Museums are at a tipping point. Attendance, on average, is trending downward as options for experiences in the ever changing 21st century grow exponentially. Either museums leverage creativity and adapt, or they risk going the way of the dinosaurs – necessitating a museum for museums.

Not another pony: Building an online creative community

Over a thousand children and young people, hundreds of artworks and writing projects and three excited educators. Two online after-school clubs, Art Club and Young Writers Club, have revolutionised the way in which the State Library engages with children and young people. By using a playful approach, we connect our members with Library collection items to inspire creative thinking that extends well beyond the hour we spend with them. Experience some of the meaningful activities that our members have enjoyed and find out why these programs are not just another pony. We will share with you what we did, what we learned and how you can apply these lessons to any cultural institution.

Creative Methods of mapping your “glocal” connections

The WELTSTUDIO is a place for workshops and education, for participation, and for alliances with various groups. In a 500sqm area, you will be encouraged to exchange ideas about Berlin in the world and the world in Berlin, and to become active together in a surprising and unconventional way. The WELTSTUDIO features three cartographers specially designed for this space. Visitors experience various methods of making maps in a new and creative way, and can critically question those methods. The three cartographers; the weaving cartographer, the body cartographer and the rolling cartographer, focus on your individual and shared connections with Berlin and the world.

Teenagers, Community & Creativity

At the Slovak National Gallery we launched a course for teenagers (13-16 years old) called Meetup SNG in 2017. The aim of the course is to present a gallery as a place for spending valuable time with peers and art. We focus on supporting creativity, critical thinking, current events and expressing one’s own opinions. Since the beginning the course has undergone several adjustments in which we had to take into account specifics of the target group. The most significant one is enabling meetings with young contemporary Slovak artists, which we see as very effective and unique for this age group. During the workshops being led by the artists the participants gain inspiration for empowering their own creativity.

Co-creating for an inclusive museum culture

The Museum for Communication in Bern has the strategic goals of being more responsive to the diversity of the community and contributing to a more inclusive society. Participation means that we do not work and decide for our visitors (actual and future), but rather seek dialogue and innovative ways to create with them. Pilot projects such as the “Minilabor” set up in a day-care, or the multilingual, multimedia “Sketchbook”, which documents a participatory process, emerge from this attitude, and put co-creation at its core. Co-creation helps make diversity and inclusion “visible”, and not just empty words or “sales pitch.”

Where we do things differently

The top floor is a space in Manchester Museum for people to come together to learn, share ideas, build community and make plans. You’ll find education groups, charities, artists, writers, social enterprises, staff and students co-working and collaborating here, with a shared commitment to social and environmental justice. It will include a teaching studio, greenhouse, therapy room, artist studios, pop-up exhibition and events space and co-working hub. Providing young people with unique spaces to learn, explore and take action. Making sure they have paid opportunities, including apprenticeships, internships and paid work placements, across all departments. They are changing museums for the future.

Young people, co-production and creative careers

How can museums involve young people’s creativity in their decision-making processes? Join Catherine O’Donnell and Oisín Kenny from the National Gallery of Ireland as they share learning from the first three years of the Apollo Project, an innovative programme created by young people, for young people. Creativity, wellbeing, and education are at the heart of the Apollo Project, with a focus on Creative Careers. Catherine speaks on the impact of connecting young people and creative professionals. Oisín reflects on the significance of including young people in the decision-making process and his own journey from co-producing programmes as a young participant, to full-time employee of the Gallery.

Nurturing Inspiration in Creative Teams

As art museum professionals, we aim to inspire wonder, creativity, and connection for all visitors. Questions we ask ourselves often though are: How are we taking care of our own creativity? How are we helping to inspire each other and stay inspired ourselves? If we as individuals aren’t feeling excited or energized in our practice, we can’t possibly expect those feelings to translate effectively into our programming. In this discussion, hear about how the Learning & Engagement team at the CMA are tackling questions surrounding creative care in the workplace, and how that extends to their audiences through programming.

Pictures of People: Activating Your Creative Community

Alice Neel referred to her paintings as “pictures of people,” rather than portraits, emphasizing the humanity of her sitters. In our Pictures of People digital activation, we invited our community to submit their own creative “pictures of people” to engage with our Alice Neel: People Come First retrospective at the de Young museum. Taking Pictures of People as a case study, we’ll look at the work and collaboration that went into putting the activation together, the reasons for its success, and key takeaways around engaging and collaborating with your creative community.

Finding Creativity through Strategic Partnerships and Funders

Corporations are the driving force behind funding programs and access at San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum (SDCDM). When seeking out new funders, it behooves museums to think creatively about corporations who will not just fund one-time programs but become valued partners and supporters. Through strategic partners like Dr. Bronner’s, SDCDM has found new ways to bring exciting programs to life through mission alignment and a valued partnership with a local organization.

Creativity, Curiosity and Discovery: Shaping a new museum in India

Join Sarmaya, a digital museum from Mumbai, India, in exploring the creative ways in which we use digital platforms to tell stories and create memorable experiences around our collection. Through examples of our Re-Imagine series created for Instagram, educational outreach to over 60,000 children across the country and creative storytelling, we will illustrate how we communicate ideas of the past, artistic genius in the language of now, advocating for museums as stimulating sites of creativity.

Kids as Collaborators

Kids are engines for creativity. By embracing them as a critical audience and collaborating with them in community-driven design, they can help drive meaningful content and interactives, adjust messaging so it resonates across age groups, and inspire new ways of sharing core exhibit themes. In order to connect with children as audiences and collaborators, museums and design agencies can partner with local schools. This discussion will share a case study where collaboration with local elementary schools inspired creativity in students, drove museum content, and improved the design of museum interactive displays.

Commissioning Creatives to Bring the Past to Life

The heritage sector is full of amazing stories, but sometimes we need a bit of help telling them. Since 2019, the Dig It! project has commissioned designers, illustrators, a tattoo artist, a storyteller, a spoken word artist and photographers to ignite the public’s imagination and foster enthusiasm for archaeology. Find out how this approach can help you reach new audiences through festivals, campaigns and celebrations, allow you to connect with creatives from underrepresented communities who can bring fresh approaches to how the past is depicted, enable you to develop and deepen relationships within and outside of the sector, and more.

License to Play: Integrating space for families in exhibitions

A far cry from the plastic and primary colours of children’s play spaces, the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House’s new signature permanent gallery, ‘Democracy DNA: the People, the Prime Ministers and the World’, incorporates opportunities for visitors of all ages to touch, interrogate and play. By working collaboratively with artists, designers and craftspeople, the project team pushed the boundaries of museum engagement in a heritage space to create 18 interactives that reflect the quality and bespoke nature of the exhibition’s objects and context. Setting a new standard for engagement-driven exhibition design, the ‘Democracy DNA’ interactives foster respect for the capability of each visitor, regardless of age, to draw their own conclusions and ask their own questions.

Encouraging creativity throughout the life cycle of a museum

Childhood is known as a time for play, imagination and creativity. These are three important concepts that can help museums in any phase of their lifecycle. Join this talk to hear how the Cape Town Museum of Childhood used them in setting up their museum and exhibits, how they use them now in daily operations and how they plan to use them into the future to offer exhibits, experiences and programmes that inspire visitors.

How to Use Immersive Storytelling to Bring Your Collection to Life

Museums naturally lend themselves to storytelling as collections can be viewed from multiple lenses (e.g. material culture, human connections, etc.). This coupled with the visitors want of an experience gives us the opportunity to create unique and immersive offerings. In this session we will look at a case study of how the Aga Khan Museum created a whodunnit mystery and explore the process used to create it.

Collaboration + Creativity = Change

We will share experiences of creative, layered approaches to breaking down barriers and opening up processes, an evolving approach to shifting the perceptions of the museum to increase participation and ownership of communities, including schools. By transferring ownership and power to communities, case studies will showcase the importance of shaping spaces and developing relationships to enable creativity to thrive.

Creative Approaches to Decolonising the David Livingstone Birthplace

The David Livingstone Birthplace reopened in July 2021 after a 4.5 year refurbishment. This presentation will show how the museum has challenged and reframed the accepted narratives behind Livingstone, recontextualised his story to dispel the myths of him as a lone explorer and show how his achievements would not have been possible without the help of his primarily Southern and Central African crew members, friends and family. Creative responses, a little imagination, and a lot of research, were essential to highlighting the scale of the contribution of these hidden figures who, we think, deserve just as much notoriety as Livingstone.