Conference: Museums & Municipalities in Europe: Working relationships, perspectives and management
The policy analysis group, “Museums and Municipalities” held its final conference in Brussels on December 9-10, 2010. This international conference aimed to present and discuss with museum managers and curators, local authorities, researchers and experts the results of one year of activity focused on the analysis of the relations between museums and municipalities, the benefits derived from this relationship; the existing partnerships between museums and local municipalities; the mechanisms required to make these relations more efficient (among others: objectives, indicators, institutional relationships).
This event was one of the outcomes of the “European Policy Grouping “Museums and Municipalities” [the core group is made of the University Paris I Sorbonne, the Louvre Museum, the Manchester Museum (The University of Manchester), the municipality of Split and ENCATC], who, throughout 2010 has been organising meetings, research studies and an important enquiry, with more than 200 museums and 50 municipalities having been so far consulted.
The Conference also had the ambition to identify concrete proposals and best practices as well as to collect as many contributions as possible for the White paper on “Museums and Local Authorities” to be published by the policy group at the beginning of next year. Having this in mind, it was organised as an interactive dialogue which brought together 100 representatives from museums and local authorities in Europe and beyond. Four plenary sessions were successively organised: Why the relations between museums and municipalities should be analysed; The challenge from the museums’ perspective; The challenge from the municipalities’ perspective; What can be the most relevant relations between museums and municipalities. Each session began with the results of the enquiry and case studies, and opened the discussion with museum managers and curators, local authorities and the audience participants. This approach aimed to give each participant the opportunity to contribute to the final recommendations. The participants were introduced to additional input on the issues under discussion provided by experts.
The policy analysis group’s activities which began in May 2010 aims to show how museums can contribute to local development and which benefits derive from this relationship. The group also strives to shed light on existing partnerships between museums and local municipalities. Based on the variety of possible contributions made by museums to the development of their territories, the policy group’s approach is centred on the nature and implementation of the mechanisms needed (contributions, partner and institutional relationships, governance). During the summer of 2010, the group launched two online questionnaires on ENCATC’s website intended for museums and municipalities. The results from these inquiries were presented in Brussels during the final conference where the group engaged with audience participants to gage their reactions and feedback.
E= MU2<//font> is a policy analysis group created by members from the European Network of Cultural Administration Training Centres, ENCATC, and is financed by the European Union under the Culture Programme. Coordinated by the University of Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne and the Louvre, E= MU2<//font> is relying on the unique experiences of the Manchester Museum (the University of Manchester), the City of Split and the ENCATC network. In the long term, this policy analysis group aims to become a meeting place for research and for encouraging discussion between European museums, galleries, municipalities and regions.