Museums in an Intercultural Context

The result of a collaboration between the Department of Cultural Management at the Universiteit Antwerpen (Flanders, Belgium) and the Department of Museum Studies at the Université du Québec a Montréal (Quebec, Canada), an intercultural tool aimed at museums in urban context has recently been published. The grid was conceived as an analytical framework for a research project entitled The city museum in an intercultural context. Fostering dialogue in culturally diverse urban environments: perspectives from Montreal, Antwerp, Ghent and Rotterdam.

Inspired by the Council of Europe’s Intercultural Cities programme, collaboration between researchers and students at both universities involved an analysis of four city museums in Quebec, Flanders and the Netherlands and how they approached intercultural dialogue.

The analytical grid produced in the context of the research project can be used by all types of museums and heritage institutions wishing to reflect upon their engagement with diverse communities. Museums may find it useful for initiating brainstorming sessions and self-assessment exercises, supporting planning processes, conducting intercultural project evaluations or facilitating benchmarking and the exchange of strategic information. Researchers in the heritage and cultural management fields may also find it useful for collecting, analysing and comparing data on issues related to diversity and intercultural dialogue in the museum sector.

The grid addresses three levels of analysis:
*Environmental analysis, including the sociodemographic environment of the city, the policy environment of the museum, the institutional environment of the museum and the governance environment of the museum.
*Museum analysis, including an institutional overview of the museum and an intercultural audit of the museum.
*Project analysis, including an analysis of projects with intercultural components.

Museum professionals and researchers may use one or several of these sections, depending on their needs. Data can be collected using a variety of means, including interviews with museum staff, examination of strategic documents and field observation.

The intercultural tool for museums is available for free.

Original article published by Asia-Europe Museum Network.

Author: Center for Intercultural Dialogue

Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz, the Director of the Center for Intercultural Dialogue, manages this website.

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