Happy International Museum Day!
Today, May 18, the worldwide community of museums will celebrate International Museum Day. The theme for this year’s festivities is “Hyperconnected museums: New approaches, new publics.” In 2017 International Museum Day garnered record-breaking participation with more than 36,000 museums hosting events in 157
countries and territories.
Here’s the official press release from the International Council of Museums (ICOM):
Hyperconnectivity is a term invented in 2001 to design the multiple means of
communication we have today, such as face-to-face contact, email, instant
messaging, telephone or the Internet. This global network of connections
becomes each day more complex, diverse and integrated. In the hyperconnected
world of today, museums join the trend. This is the reason why the International
Council of Museums has chosen the theme “Hyperconnected museums:
New approaches, new publics” for the International Museum Day 2018.
It is impossible to understand the role of museums without taking into account all
the connections they make. They are an inherent part of their local communities,
their cultural landscape and their natural environment. Thanks to technology,
museums can now reach way beyond their core audience and find new publics
when approaching their collections in a different way: it can be the digitization
of their collections, adding multimedia elements to the exhibition or something
as simple as a hashtag that allows visitors to share their experience in social
However, not all these new connections are due to technology. As museums
strive to maintain their relevance in society, they shift their attention to the local
community and the diverse groups that make it up. As a result, these past
years we have witnessed the birth of countless common projects organised
by museums with the collaboration of minorities, indigenous peoples and local
institutions. To engage these new publics and strengthen their connections
with them, museums must find new ways of interpreting and presenting their
We invite cultural institutions of all types around the world to join in this celebration
and shift their approach to their collections by exploring all the connections that
tie them to their communities, cultural landscape and natural environment.