In the final session of this event, the organizers proposed to the assistants that the task of putting together the conclusions on the many different issues we had been discussed should be a participatory one.
We parted in four groups and each one defined the 4 or 5 main ideas that they were taking home with, which were in turn shared and put together.
After 2 intense days of debating and sharing proposals on the social role of museums in social inclusion, we would like to share the main conclusions we came up with, with the hopes that any of you that wants to expand on these ideas, or feels that important ones were left out, will post his/her thoughts on the blog.
IT’S NOT ABOUT DEVELOPING AUDIENCES: IT’S ABOUT DEVELOPING INSTITUTIONS. Let’s start with a two-sided conclusion 🙂 One the one hand, it refers to the learning process all institution workers have gone through while putting their proposal into practice, when most of them started out thinking they were the ones to “teach”. But on the other hand, it also reflects on the need for cultural institutions to integrate their social role and inclusion programs in its structure.
HOW DO YOU MEASURE EMOTION? The results and impact of most of the projects are intangible and long term, so it’s difficult to establish effective evaluation methods. Sharing your proposals and reflections will be as welcome as sharing your projects!
PRIORITIZE CONSTRUCTION OF MEANING! Content should always be the meeting point from which build and develop the relationship. Always keeping art and people at the center of the project ensures results.
BE WILLING TO BE USED in ways you maybe didn’t plan on, but that are meaningful to the community you are addressing, and likely they’ll be meaningful to you. Being generous and responding to their needs with those resources that are specific to your institution will build trust and significant experiences.
BUILD BRIDGES among institutions, among audiences, among sponsors, among fields of expertise… Search for synergy, resources and knowledge you need in others than can also build from your expertise. It will allow your project to grow.
BE AWARE OF THE TRANSFORMATIVE, PROPAGATIVE POWER OF YOUR PROJECT! Inclusion leads to inclusion, which in turn leads to inclusion, and so on… repeat and grow, maybe by little steps, but always adding on.
NO LAWS AND NO DEBATES WILL EVER BE AS IMPORTANT AS BEING PRESENT. Presenting the results not only to the immediate environment of the social group you are working with, but to the society at large, will give groups at risk of social exclusion visibility, pride and respect: making public their potential empowers them.
YES, THAT’S GREAT, BUT WE’RE PENNILESS! Most proposals are developed bottom-up, and usually the main budget available is illusion and commitment. To make them sustainable, think of low cost projects that use the already available in-house resources; involve the top of your institution and search for partners. And also be aware that working in social inclusion may open the door to financing that was not available before.