International Museum Day
Each year since 1977, ICOM has organised International Museum Day, which represents a unique moment for the international museum community.
The objective of International Museum Day (IMD) is to raise awareness of the fact that, “Museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among peoples.” Organised on 18 May each year or around this date, the events and activities planned to celebrate International Museum Day can last a day, a weekend or an entire week. IMD was celebrated for the first time 40 years ago. All around the world, more and more museums participate in International Museum Day. Last year, more than 37,000 museums participated in the event in about 158 countries and territories.
International Museum Day 2020: “Museums for Equality: Diversity and Inclusion 2020″
Empowering diversity and inclusion in our cultural institutions
The potential of museums to create meaningful experiences for peoples of all origins and backgrounds is central to their social value. As agents of change and trusted institutions, there is no time like the present for museums to demonstrate their relevance by engaging constructively in the political, social, and cultural realities of modern society.
The challenges of inclusion and diversity and the difficulty of navigating complex social issues in increasingly polarised environments, while not unique to museums and cultural institutions, are important ones, due the high regard in which museums are held by society.
An increasing public expectation for social change has catalysed a conversation around museums’ potential for social good in the form of exhibitions, conferences, performances, education programmes, and initiatives created. However, there remains much to do to overcome conscious and subconscious power dynamics that can create disparities within museums, and between museums and their visitors.
These disparities can relate to many topics, including ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and identity, socioeconomic background, education level, physical ability, political affiliation and religious beliefs.
With the theme “Museums for Equality: Diversity and Inclusion”, International Museum Day 2020 aims at becoming a rallying point to both celebrate the diversity of perspectives that make up the communities and personnel of museums, and champion tools for identifying and overcoming bias in what they display and the stories they tell.