ICOM-ICTOP 14 October 2015 Workshop: Applying Global Theory to Local Practice

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14 October 2015, Barbados

Workshop: Applying global theory to local practice

Led by Csilla Ariese-Vandemeulebroucke, Eldris Con Aguilar & Angus Martin

Activity 1: Word association

Participants were asked to associate three words with the term MUSEUM TRAINING. These were the replies (in no particular order):

Growth Transmission Educate

“Training” – yuk

We are prof development Collections management Conservation

Curation/education Capacity

Create professionalism Multidisciplinarity Theory

Interpretation Value/ethics Fun

Capacity building Skills

Body of knowledge

Understanding of their mission Future

Museology + museography Dynamic

Creative Intuitive Necessary “A MUST”

Word association; photo Csilla Ariese-Vandemeulebroucke


Activity 2: Worksheet

Participants were asked, in three groups, to apply one of the discussed theories to a museum visited during the site visits. They were given a worksheet to write down their proposed project for this museum. Participants were asked to take on the role of students of a museum studies course.

Annette, Jacqueline, Nerys, Verena & Lynne picked the Nidhe Israel Synagogue & Museum to apply both constructivism and community engagement. Their target audience was pre-school to grade 5 children. The plan was to sing songs from several religions as well as read in different languages. This would be introduced online. The goal is to create awareness of exchange. This would take a couple weeks, requiring online support, a buy in by Mr Altman, school support and the development of an education project.

Lee, Oystein, Lydia & Kevin picked the Exchange to apply community engagement by co-curation and incorporating interactive displays. Their target audience was anyone aged 9-40. The plan was to educate persons on the reasons for Masonic growth in Barbados and to inform them on why people join the Masonic lodge. The goal is to portray a day in the life of a Mason. This would take 3 months, requiring personnel, a blog or vlog and a budget of $5000.

Hilda, Darko, Simone, Alissandra & Jane picked Mount Gay to apply community engagement by incorporating interactive displays. Their target audience was the Muslim community. The plan was to develop a model for tasting without alcohol. The goal is to address opportunities for employment, to offer something to a marginalized population, to explain why people do/do not drink alcohol. This would take a year, requiring consulting with stakeholders, staff, mosque, workers. In addition: trust, herbs, sugar cane, travel funds to visit distilleries and a partnership with tea company/bakery.

Groups are planning their projects; photo Csilla Ariese-Vandemeulebroucke


Activity 3: Discussion

Participants were asked to discuss around the following core question: how do you translate a museum studies program to the region? They were also prompted to think about these issues: how do we create better access to the program? Is there a demand for this? Are there jobs available for graduates? These are the notes taken during the discussion.

• If you bring courses, don’t compromise and bring a basic or cut down version. • In Oklahoma educators meet once a year on a topic.

• This region would be served by short term weekend workshops that travel through the region and draw on practices from the people in each place.

• How does training look like?

• Maybe you don’t need a museum studies course but something else.

• ICOM Barbados does education outreach such as workshops & lectures for cultural practitioners and students.

• Which is the sustainable model? Professionals getting together? A Master?

• Are there jobs? Women in Buenas Aires for instance do the job with little pay and support from rich husbands.

• What does such a trained person do if you can’t work in a museum?

• Expanding museum studies to heritage management & tourism could be a way to find a position in cultural tourism.

• There is only value in a higher education if you get a job on that degree level (oversimplified). But they might end in other jobs that they can do as a person who has grown. If you do a master it has to be of value.

• Most people go for modules. • MOOCS are free.

• Yes, there is a need for a program to be grown & exported along the region. • Example: Junior curator program. People tend to do this for 4 summers.

• Can we turn this program into a National Vocation Qualification? As a foundation for a BA and MA.

• Our political directorate has not grasped the value of our culture. We need to convince them & remind them of international conventions they have signed.

• UWI needs to get its act together.

• Mona & Cave Hill have programs that need to be revamped.

• There is only a handful of Caribbean trained conservators, and even fewer who work & live here.

• Museums combined with heritage management -> we need to raise awareness before we deliver the training.

• Typically the phenomenon of museum management has been a one-man-show.


• The reality is that we cannot train managers to come into a frame of separate roles (educator, designer, curator etc). • Persons trained have to learn that they

might have to do everything related to heritage or else the whole country falls behind museologically.

• MAC’s success has been that once a year there is communication with others in some situations. So ongoing communication is the key.

• Most people here have had to take our loans to get educated, never mind if they get a job.

• Directors need to be educated to know the value of such conferences to send out their staff & pay their visit.

• In Barbados we do training in house before we apply for funding to get that person to get a degree in museum studies.

• Perhaps ICTOP could always deliver a workshop at each MAC AGM?

• There has to be a sharing of expertise & not neo-colonialism of foreign experts coming in. • What matters is the attitude of the expert who comes in and wants to share.

• The keyword is partnership & sustainability. Those already working here have to carry on & carry out the project.

• ICOM as a structure has been helpful & has worked in certain places, but not elsewhere. • There is a need for partnerships & to work with regional committees.

• There needs to be a network within MAC.

• The one-man-band issues is often only averted by a client stepping forth with funds. • Networking is another solution, knowing who you can reach out to for help.

• And this might be outside the region -> people you can contact to help with various problems.

• Spending a day a month to search for funding opportunities is a good strategy. It takes hard work.

• Training people while you know there are no opportunities to give them jobs is immoral. • When people know you have no funding they may be willing to donate time (consultation).

And if you ask them you have a chance for a yes or a no. • ICTOP has to learn how to work more with regionals.

Presenting the group project; photo Csilla Ariese-Vandemeulebroucke


• From ICTOP there is always an option for a project at the end of the year.

• Perhaps someone could get funding for next year or make it multiyear to do trainings/workshops in the region.

• ICTOP welcomes feedback on the

business part of what it could or should be doing.

• Perhaps submit a joint application (together with ICTOP) to have support on funding applications.

• There are also ICOM grants.

• Perhaps the idea of a silent auction by conference participants to fund other participants.

• Everything you get from people as expertise you will end up giving to someone else (the visitor) so don’t feel guilty asking for help.

• Perhaps set up the mentor-adoption system to connect people around the world.

• ICTOP can be a partner in projects (or an associated partner without a budget).

Group discussion; photo Csilla Ariese-Vandemeulebroucke





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