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Day I: Impacts of the Museums on Society


Moira Stevenson, UK

pdf Moira Stevensson EMAC (4.49 MB) [PDF]


Head of Manchester City Galleries, she is responsible for collections, including the Gallery of Costume, and the development of the capital programme and the International Centre of Excellence for Fashion/Textiles, working with Manchester Metropolitan University and Creative Industries Development Service.  From 1998-2003 she was responsible for the internal project management for the £35m Art Gallery expansion project.  Prior to joining Manchester City Galleries in March 1998, she was Director of Macclesfield Museum and Heritage Centre, where she was responsible for the development of the silk museums.

Having graduated as a designer she did a postgraduate in Museum and Art Gallery Studies in Manchester and has spent her career working in national, local authority and independent museums.

Abstract: Museums and Their Social Value

The value of museums to society has always been acknowledged in respect of their role in preserving society's cultural heritage and as a curator of the collective memory. Although there are 19th century examples of museums developed to serve industry and higher education it is only more recently that the wider instrumental role of museums has been recognised in central and local government funding programmes.

In England the 'Renaissance in the Regions' programme for regional museums has increasingly required museums to contribute to educational attainment, health and well-being, and social cohesion in a multicultural context.

The presentation will outline policies in national and local government which have influenced museum activities and provide examples of projects and partnerships developed to facilitate delivery of the wider social and economic objectives.


Pirjo Hamari, Finland

pdf Pirjo Hamari EMAC (1.55 MB) [PDF]


Pirjo Hamari is currently Head of Development at the Museum development unit in the National Board of Antiquities in Finland. The Development unit keeps abreast of activities related to the field of cultural heritage and works to develop museums, is responsible for the proportionate state aid for municipal and private museums, organizes training, provides consultation, and encourages cooperation in the museum field.

Graduated with an MA in Archaeology from the University of Helsinki in 1996, she has since been working with archaeological research, data management questions and museum development and policy work at the National Board of Antiquities. Between 2001-2005 she was responsible for the development of the national sites and monuments register for archaeological sites in Finland as well as leading other IT development projects. She was engaged in organising two international cultural heritage conferences during the Finnish EU Presidency in 2006, and since 2008 she has been leading the Museum development unit at the Board. She has also been involved in several international projects as well as national and European cultural heritage policy issues.

Abstract: Recent discussion - Impacts of Museums in Finland

As museums elsewhere do, museums in Finland also struggle with the concept and context of the impact that museums have in society as well as how it should (or if it should) be followed and measured. In my presentation I will take a look at the new national goals for the impact of culture in Finland in general defined by the authorities and assess what they mean to the museum community. Secondly, I will present the way the Museum Assessment Framework, a self-assessment tool developed in Finland during a broad-based co-operation project with the museum community for the museums and addressing questions that are particularly relevant to museums, looks at impact, its indicators and how the museums using the tool have assessed their own activity in regard to impact through these indicators.


Christina Da Milano, Italy

pdf Christina Da Milano EMAC (2.74 MB) [PDF]


Educational history:

After the degree in Archaeology (University of Rome), she has obtained the Diploma of Fine and Decorative Arts from Antiquity to 1450 (Royal Society of Arts, London); the MA in Museum Studies (Department of Museum Studies, University of Leicester); the MA in Technological Instruments for the Economic Evaluation of Cultural and Environmental Heritage (University of Ferrara).

Employment history:

She is a research fellow in the field of museum education and communication, with specific regard to the issue of culture as a means of social integration, subject on which she has published several papers.

From 1996 she is member of ECCOM (European Centre for Cultural Organisation and Management) and from 2002 she lectures at the University of Rome Tor Vergata, as well as in many post-graduate courses and Masters.

As member of Eccom, she has been part of several research projects and has also actively participated to European projects such as “Collect & Share” (2003-2005), “Lifelong Museum Learning” (2005-2006), “Volunteers for Cultural Heritage” (2007-2009); “Museum education for young people” (2007-2009).

Abstract: The Inclusive Museum

In the last 15 years, the fight against social exclusion has become one of the main priorities of the Eropean Union and of national European governments. The specific relationship between culture and social exclusion – although in some countries it still represents a very debated issue – has been generally acknowledged as a consequence of the multidimensional and interrelated nature of social exclusion, which is meant to be produced by social, economic, political and cultural causes.

With specific reference to the cultural sector, it is widely recognised that cultural institutions – and particularly museums – have traditionally been a very powerful instrument of exclusion and differentiation among social groups, and can therefore become places where exclusion could be effectively tackled. According to scholars and researchers, there are three main aspects which characterise exclusion within museums: access (in the broad meaning of physical, economic and cultural access), participation and representation.

In this paper – based on a thorough research experience on this subject – I am going to present some case studies related to Italian museums which are currently undertaking an inclusive policy  aimed at widening the cultural access, participation and representation of different social groups.

At first, I will present a broad picture and a critical analysis of different policy models adopted in European countries in the last fifty years in the cultural field, namely the “access development” model, the “socio-economic development” model and the ”cultural inclusion” one.  The second key element of my presentation will be the importance of evaluation – both quantitative and qualitative - in this specific field of research.

After having set the framework, I will then focus on some case studies, whose analysis represents the core part of an extensive research work, funded by Fondazione Cariplo of Milan, which I have realised together with my collegues Simona Bodo and Silvia Mascheroni in 2009. The aim of the research – entitled “Peripheral areas, culture and social exclusion” – was to analyse experiences carried out by institutional subjects in Italy and abroad, such as libraries, theatres and museums, in order to combat social exclusion.

At the EMAC conference, I will present three case studies related to museums, explaining the selection criteria which led to this choice, namely: fostering actions related to real documented needs; adoption of coherent and effective strategies in relationship to the projects’ aims and objectives; implementation of partnership among different actors (cultural and social) and of institutional partnership; training of the involved professionals. Furthermore, the selected case studies demonstrated an attention to the learning processes (outputs and outcomes for participants); to the use of innovative tools and methodologies; to monitoring, documenting, evaluating and disseminating the projects themselves and their results. 

The final part of the research is devoted to present some recommendations aimed at avoiding the risk of isolation for these kinds of projects and at fostering co-operation among the different actors operating in this field through the implementation of new strategies and cultural policies aimed at promoting access and participation and at the same time at fighting social exclusion. 


Agnes Aljas, Estonia

pdf Agnes Aljas EMAC (1.16 MB) [PDF]


Aljas Agnes was born 1977. Her present position is a research secretary at Estonian National Museum. Previously she has worked at Estonian National Museum as a PR-secretary, project manager, marketing director and exhibition curator. She has also worked as an exhibition curator at Sami Museum Siida in Finland. She has studied Ethnology, History and Museology at the University of Tartu (Estonia), Aix-en-Provence (France), Jyväskylä (Finland) and Turku (Finland). Nowadays she is a doctoral student at the University of Tartu.

Abstract: Cultural citizenship and audience participation as the framework of activities for museums and heritage institutions

Viewing democracy through the larger interpretative framework shows that democratising heritage institutions by opening the collections to the general public, but even more specifically to the communities connected to the heritage institutions has several potentially positive outcomes.

Museums and heritage institutions can foster democracy through providing opportunities to challenge expert power of the heritage professionals themselves and give visitors, whose position as active interpreters is usually left unconsidered, more visible opportunities in interpreting their own heritage and cultural memory.

On the other hand, memory institutions have a potentially educating role for fostering cultural participation and thus also strengthening the notions of cultural citizenships and democracy in general.

This paper will look at how modern heritage institutions are moving with times and learning to incorporate new media in supporting their traditional roles of safeguarding, education and research.

The examples will come from the Estonian National Museum activity. Today, the museum feels the need to broaden the notion of Estonian culture, by large produced, intensified and communicated exhibitions. The museum provides to different groups possibilities to create, to be the curators of their own exhibitions, from museum collections and from their own objects and to choose what and how should be presented.

On the other hand museum has ambition to be the holder and reflector of the identities of different national and socio-cultural groups of Estonia, rather than Estonians. In recent years museum has started to collect materials by internet from different audiences and communities, who can produce themselves the materials which should preserve in museum.


Hildegarde von Genechten, Belgium

pdf Hildegarde von Genechten EMAC (1.22 MB) [PDF]

Abstract: When the public becames the partner: Building “heritage communities”

In Flanders, the new cultural heritage decree of 2008 focuses strongly on the importance of ‘heritage communities’.  A heritage community is a group of people who values cultural heritage and wishes to pass it on to the next generation. These communities can differ in style, form and in their kind of activities.
In fact, the existence of a heritage community also functions as an indicator: it indicates that a type of cultural heritage is considered as important, and/or (the work of) a certain heritage organisation has a relevance to people and to society.

That is exactly the reason why it is for museums in Flanders so important to build heritage communities: to reach out to people, organisations and networks outside the museum, and to make such connections that they become a real partner of the museum. But community building isn’t always the museums strength, nor it’s priority. How can advisors and support facilities help them with this task?

FARO has drawn some conclusions from different projects and initiatives during the past two years. We’d like to share these insights with the EMAC-participants.


Maria Koskijoki, Finland

pdf Maria Koskijoki EMAC (230 KB) [PDF]


Maria Koskijoki is the director of Helinä Rautavaara Museum since 2003. Her anthropological research has focused on collectors and modern material culture. She has worked at the National Consumer Research Centre and Medialab department of  University of Art and Design (Aalto University) as a researcher, teacher and project manager specializing on research and documentation of contemporary culture.

Abstract: To live a life of your own; notes in making an exhibition with transnational youngsters in Espoo

“Elä oma elämäsi” (To live a life of your own) exhibition in the Helinä Rautavaara Museum from 8/2008 to 2/2009 was about growing up and living in Espoo in the 2000's. The exhibition displayed videos and other materials made in collaboration with altogether 45 young people during 2007 and 2008 (in see for more detail in Finnish). Special attention was paid to make participation easy for transnational youngsters. In the presentation Koskijoki outlines the project structure, network of different stakeholders, aims and outcomes of the project. She also opens the discussion on the possibilities and ethics of projects with intended social impact conducted by museums.



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