At International Council of Museums ICOM, we are already planning for next year’s International Museum Day and we are very excited about what the results will be. Keep your eyes peeled for International Museum Day events is your area and be sure to participate, with students, friends or family!
On May 18th museums and their visitors all around the world celebrated International Museum Day, an event established in 1977 by the International Council of Museums (ICOM) to encourage public awareness of the role of museums in the development of society.
ICOM is the world organization representing museums and museum professionals, with over 32,000 members in 135 countries. It is committed to the promotion and protection of natural and cultural heritage, present and future, tangible and intangible.
The theme for 2014 was “Museum collections make connections,” which aimed to remind us that museums are living institutions that help create bonds between visitors, generations and cultures around the world. It demonstrates how museum exhibitions have the ability not only to tell a story, but to also engage with the community through shared memory.
This event is a great opportunity for students, teachers and entire families to participate in fun, interactive activities at their local museums. One example of a successful International Museum Day event took place at Dunedin Historical Museum in Florida. On May 18th, the museum invited a local comic artist to answer questions on the exhibit, Comics: The Superpowered History and provided in-depth tours of the museum with its Director, explaining the history of the building, which had formerly been a railroad station.
This is just one of many events planned each year by museums on and around May 18. The number of museums participating in the event increases each year, with over 35,000 museums from 143 countries across five continents planning International Museum Day activities in 2014.
The 2015 theme for International Museum Day will be “Museums for a sustainable society,” focusing on the role of museums for communicating, transmitting and raising public awareness about the need for a society that is less wasteful, more cooperative and uses resources in a way that respects the living systems. It will be a wonderful opportunity to engage students with their local museums and teach them about the importance of creating a sustainable society.