Safe for all

I have long thought that museums are similar to journalists, maintaining an objective viewpoint. Over the last few days, my opinion has changed.

Now believe that museums need to actively advocate for civil society. When people forget the importance of civil society, it is museums that can remind people of the importance of “museum”.

“A museum is a non-profit, permanent institution in the service of society and its development, open to the public, which acquires, conserves, researches, communicates and exhibits the tangible and intangible heritage of humanity and its environment for the purposes of education, study and enjoyment.(1)

Museums need to protect and advocate for those that cannot protect themselves, advocate for freedom of speech and freedom of an individual’s vision. Artists and museums are inseparable, without museums protecting and advocating for artistic rights civil society will be compromised.

Museums need to remain safe places for all, within the walls of the museum all are treated with respect, equality and individual freedoms are protected.  Museums need to become evangelists for civil society and the importance of the Freedom of Religion, Speech, Press, Assembly, and Petition.(2)

-Mark Walhimer

Please read:

After the Election, US Museums Affirm Their Roles as Safe, Open Spaces by Allison Meier

The Japanese American National Museum’s – Statement Regarding the 2016 Presidential Election

Philbrook Museum’s – We Live in a Divided Nation

(1) ICOM Museum Definition

(2) National Constitution Center

About Mark Walhimer

Mark is Managing Partner of Museum Planning, LLC, a museum planning and exhibition project management firm of interactive educational environments for Science Centers, Children's Museums and Natural History Museums. You can reach Mark at mark@walhimer.com.

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