A day of discussion among Italian professionals on the social impact of museums
The first Italian event as part of the MOI! Museums of Impact project, supported by the European Union through the Creative Europe programme, was held on 22 February 2021. The online initiative was organised by BAM! Strategie Culturali in partnership with the Cultural Heritage department of the Regione Emilia-Romagna and the Istituzione Bologna Musei of the Comune di Bologna.
The day represented an opportunity for discussion and sharing with regard to the strategies and tools museums can use to maximise their impact on society, taking into particular account the unique period in history they are experiencing today.
“Institutions have reacted to the collapse of tourism and to social distancing by focusing on their online potential, rediscovering local residents and their role in social inclusion” reads the subheading of the article published in the Nòva del Sole 24 Ore by Alessia Maccaferri, who interviewed Federico Borreani from BAM! and other leading figures in the event, asking them all about it and the MOI project.
The morning opened with more than 600 participants in live streaming on Facebook with Mauro Felicori, Councillor for Culture at the Regione Emilia-Romagna, and Matteo Lepore, Councillor for Culture at the Comune di Bologna. We asked the councillors to reflect upon the motivations and opportunities that could lead museums to adopt a strategy oriented towards social impact.
The day continued by placing the subject within the international context, with a focus on the prospects created by the launch of the Sistema Museale Nazionale (National Museum Network). This was discussed by Valentina Galloni, development manager for the Sistema Museale Regionale (Regional Museum Network) at the Regione Emilia-Romagna, and Erminia Sciacchitano, an official working directly with the Italian Ministry of Culture.
Next came two contributions to place the day into context within the MOI! Museums of Impact project. Pirjo Hamari, from the Museovirasto (Finnish Heritage Agency) and a project leader within the European project, illustrated the structure and use of the strategic self-assessment model adopted by Finnish museums. The Finnish model acts as a starting point for the creation of a framework on a European level. Federico Borreani, chair of BAM! Strategie Culturali, highlighted the objectives of MOI and talked about the project phases, partners and future activities.
The morning concluded with a round table featuring the following guests: Martina Bagnoli, director of the Gallerie Estensi in Modena, Ferrara and Sassuolo; Serena Bertolucci, director of the Fondazione Palazzo Ducale in Genoa; Daniela Dalla, cultural mediation and education services manager for the Istituzione Bologna Musei and Stefano Karadjov, director of the Fondazione Brescia Musei. The guests illustrated the strategies and projects by means of which they are attempting to develop, maximise and assess their social impact.
This was followed by eight discussion panels for museum professionals, held at the same time and in parallel. Almost 100 museum workers from all over Italy took part in the afternoon discussion panels, selected from among the numerous applications to take part and put different points of view across. Feedback from all the participants was essential. All the data collected has been reported back to the European partners and will play an important role in the development of the MOI framework.
Click here to see what emerged during the eight discussion tables
A final plenary session hosted the concluding speech by Roberto Grandi, chair of the Istituzione Bologna Museum, who underscored not only the prospects and opportunities for museums of the future, but also the utility of the model developed by the MOI project as a tool for museum accountability. Following his conclusions, Federico Borreani and Francesca Lambertini from BAM! Strategie Culturali shared the initial findings from the discussion tables.
What purpose did this event serve?
“Musei: quale impatto sociale? Strategie e strumenti” was the second stakeholder forum (meetings with national professional communities) in the MOI Museums of Impact project. The first of these events was held in Berlin in November 2020, organised by the partner Institute for Museum Research, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, which is part of the German foundation that also manages Berlin’s most important state museums, including: Pergamonmuseum, Altes Museum and Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart. Read the report on the first stakeholder forum in Berlin.
The feedback from the national museum communities that took part in the Italian stakeholder forum will help to develop a strategic mentoring tool for museums, which is the primary objective of the MOI Museums of Impact project. Over the next few weeks, the comprehensive report on the Bologna stakeholder forum will be completed and made available among the further reading materials.