Museum and Community. From visiting to participation

“Museum and Community. From visiting to participation” workshop conducted at COAF SMART Center in Debed, Lori Province from 13-15 June 2018.

The training program was initiated by the The British Museum’s International Training Program fellows Marine Mkrtchyan (ITP 2014), Hayk Mkrtchyan (ITP 2014, Senior Fellow 2017), Davit Poghosyan (ITP 2015) and Astghik Marabyan (ITP 2017) in order to implement the best of British museums experiences enagaging museum specialists from Armenia with special focus on provincial museums.

“Museum and Community. From visiting to participation” workshop is the second important initiative coordinated by the BM ITP Fellows in Armenia. First was International workshop Learning, Engagement and Museums in 2016 at the Cafesjian Center for the Arts. This workshop was implemented with finacial support from DVV International Country Office in Armenia in the frames of Museum Education Center annual activities.

The thematic and practical part of the workshop ran by the Head of Education and Engagement at Manchester Art Gallery Ronan Brindley.

“Museums across the world are at a key stage in their development. We are under pressure financially, we strive to maintain and develop our collections, and we seek to extend our audiences.  All this is against a background of uncertainty regarding universal and local politics, the distribution of wealth, and environmental sustainability. The new international political and social order seems to be based on division and dislocation.  Amidst all of this, cultural organization and museums in particular have a role to play – to use our collections to enrich debate and discussion, bring people together in inspirational and safe spaces, and to use the past to inform the present and enlighten the future.  Museum education is at the forefront of this.” said Ronan Brindley.

“The workshop aims to elaborate on the above by looking at how museum education has moved through phases of being didactic, to discovering, to constructivist, to social constructivist, to engagement and empowerment.  The latter fulfils the movement of the learner from passive recipient to active agent and constituent.  This journey can be meaningful for learners across the age range – babies, toddlers, school pupils, young people, students, families, older people” said Marine Mkrtchyan, Director, The Museum of Russian Art, (ITP 2014).

The workshop was organized with support from DVV International Country office in Armenia, Museum Education Center, The British Museum’s ITP, Manchester Art Gallery, COAF SMART Center in Lori and Association of Museum Workers and Friends.