International Museum Day 2019 will focus on the new roles of museums as active actors in their communities
The role of museums in society is changing. Once static institutions, museums are reinventing themselves to become more interactive, audience focused, community oriented, flexible, adaptable and mobile. They have become cultural hubs functioning as platforms where creativity combines with knowledge and where visitors can also co-create, share and interact. For this reason, the theme chosen for International Museum Day 2019 is “Museums as Cultural Hubs: The future of tradition”.
While preserving their primary missions – collecting, conservation, communication, research, exhibition – museums have transformed their practices to remain closer to the communities they serve. Today they look for innovative ways to tackle contemporary social issues and conflict. By acting locally, museums can also advocate and mitigate global problems, striving to meet the challenges of today’s society proactively. As institutions at the heart of society, they have the power to establish dialogue between cultures, to build bridges for a peaceful world and to define a sustainable future.
As museums increasingly grow into their roles as cultural hubs, they are also finding new ways to honour their collections, their histories and their legacies, creating traditions that will have new meanings for future generations and relevance for an increasingly diverse contemporary audience at a global level. This transformation, which will have a profound impact on museum theory and practice, also forces museum professionals to rethink the value of museums and to question the ethical boundaries that define the very nature of their work.
At once a focal point for the community and an integral part of a global network, museums offer a platform for translating the needs and views of local communities into a global context.
The objective of International Museum Day (IMD) is to raise awareness of the fact that museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among peoples. Every 18th of May since 1977, ICOM has organised International Museum Day, promoting events and activities around the world. In 2018, thousands of museum from 158 countries and territories participated in this unique celebration.
THE FUTURE OF TRADITION CONTINUES IN ICOM KYOTO 2019
International Museum Day, which will tackle the same theme as the ICOM General Conference Kyoto 2019, will kick off the global conversation on the role of museums as cultural hubs and the future of tradition. This triannual event has become a worldwide reputed hub for exchange about the topical issues museums tackle today, as well as the most innovative solutions. Early bird registrations are available until April 30th.