Thank you for joining the 23rd Communicating the Arts conference in Montreal last week.
Each of you contributed to what was a fantastic event. I was amazed to meet so many professionals engaged in well-being and mental health from all over the world. The diversity of the talks was very rich. It shows that the topic of art therapy has become global and that it is urgent to actively engage our institutions in this direction.
Thank you to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, MAC Montreal, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens and Concordia University, Faculty of Fine Arts for hosting this 23rd conference. Thank you to our global partners Tessitura and Plateforme 10 for their support and Moleskine for the lovely notebooks.
Meilleurs souvenirs de Sydney
Founder and CEO, Communicating the Arts
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At a time of global uncertainty and social division, how can the arts play a positive role in our society? How can they challenge their organisation to be more people-centred? How can they encourage empathy and improve well-being?
During 3 days, participants were challenged to rethink their organisation, public engagement models and communication strategies in order to maximize their positive and powerful impact. Download the full conference Programme
Come pick up your badge and meet fellow delegates. Registration is open from 9.30am to 5pm at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
Pick up you badge at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts – Musée des Beaux Arts de Montreal
1379 Rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Montréal, QC H3G 1J5, Canada
Located in downtown Montreal, the Quartier des spectacles is the city’s cultural heart.
Located in downtown Montreal, the Quartier des spectacles is the city’s cultural heart. Within its boundaries, you will find the highest concentration and the greatest diversity of cultural venues in North America.
The Quartier des spectacles covers an area of 1 km2, encompassing eight public spaces with activities throughout the year, some 40 performance halls and bar venues with a collective seating capacity of more than 28,000, approximately 40 exhibition spaces and several cinemas. A plethora of locations where both young and old come to discover the work of emerging and established artists.
Head out on a discovery of the major events that have shaped the urban fabric and spirit of the Quartier des Spectacles, from the Red Light era to its recent transformation into a vast outdoor theatre. You will visit iconic cultural venues, its ambitious Luminous Pathway and recent architectural achievements.
Guided tours start at Place des Festivals, 1499 Jeanne Mance St, Montreal.
Pre-registration is mandatory. Sign up now.
Discover the MMFA's permanent collection.
The Museum’s rich collections are divided into six major sections distributed among the five pavilions of the Museum complex, each of which focusses on a particularly strong aspect of the holdings.
More info on mbam.qc.ca
Start of the tour: Main entrance of the museum, 1379 Rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Montréal, QC H3G 1J5, Canada
Corinne Estrada, founder of Communicating the Arts welcomes you to Montreal for the 23rd edition of the conference.
Nathalie Bondil, Director and Chief Curator, will welcome the participants to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.
Nathalie Bondil will tell us about her Manifesto for a Humanist Museum and will introduce us to invaluable collaborators from the field of public health who study the health benefits of art.
The MMFA is recognized in Canada and across the world as a pioneer and a leading player in the fields of education and well-being through art. Of the million visitors who enter its galleries every year, over 300,000 people participate in its educational, cultural, and community-based and art therapy programs: an attendance record among Canadian museums.
Under the leadership of its Director General and Chief Curator Nathalie Bondil, the MMFA stands out as a humanist and socially committed institution with projects promoting education, inclusion, accessibility and well-being. It collaborates with more than 450 schools, community and health organizations to counter school drop-out rates and combat stigmatization, violence, discrimination, poverty, illiteracy, radicalization, racism, homophobia, homelessness, the obsession with the one-size-fits-all model, social isolation, disabilities and suicide. The Museum aims to be a vector for social cohesion and individual well-being by favouring a holistic approach based on co-creation and establishing new partnerships, particularly in the field of clinical research.
In her master-class Communicating the Arts, Nathalie Bondil will tell us about her Manifesto for a Humanist Museum and will introduce us to invaluable collaborators from the field of public health who study the health benefits of art. Dr. Remi Quirion, Chief Scientist of Quebec, chairs the Museum’s Art and Well-being Committee, Dr. Olivier Beauchet directs a major research project on the impact of art on the health of seniors and Dr. Hélène Boyer collaborated on the launch of Museum Prescriptions, a world first. Lucie Morisset represented Canada on the joint study by the ICOM and the OECD on Culture for local development: Maximising the impact in which the citizens’ initiatives of the MMFA were presented as best practices.
Thomas Bastien and Stephen Legari will conclude the master class by presenting the full scope of projects developed at the Museum with over 450 community organizations.
5 case studies will take place simultaneously
1.1 Creating environment: A decade of Art and Dementia Programming
1.2 STROKESTRA®: Holistic Stroke Rehabilitation through Creative Music-making
This presentation will explore health and the environment through initiatives which have created social bonds with specific communities. In 2007 the NGA established an Art and Dementia program which supports the value of open-ended engagement with works of art in an inclusive environment. The program has developed a network of galleries across Australia delivering site specific programs for people with dementia; engagement strategies which model inclusion and empathy; as well as informing a new programme for people recovering their mental health. The presentation will touch on the relationship of the environment to health and examine whether works of art can refine our experience of well-being.
This presentation will explore the ways in which orchestral outreach programmes can partner with health providers to design meaningful interventions that maximise health and wellbeing outcomes in communities.
As part of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra’s Community & Education programme, RPO Resound, the Orchestra run a number of projects aimed at improving health and wellbeing outcomes in its residency communities. This case study will focus on STROKESTRA®, the Orchestra’s pioneering stroke rehabilitation programme developed with Hull & East Riding Community Stroke Services (part of City Health Care Partnership CIC) in Hull, UK, to harness the power of group creative music-making to drive patient-led recovery in stroke patients and their caregivers. The programme employs a range of specially-adapted musical techniques supporting participants to work holistically towards rehabilitation – tackling issues relating to physical, emotional, social, cognitive and communicative recovery – whilst composing and performing original pieces of music.
The session will look at the development, techniques and outcomes of STROKESTRA®, focusing on how the programme emerged out of a particular approach to cross-disciplinary design and delivery, and presenting a ‘blueprint’ for arts-based interventions with stroke survivors.
2.1 A(n)esthetics and the Analgesic Museum
2.2 Combining clinical research, training and therapy
Join us as at the intersection of pain research and the philosophy of aesthetics as Ian Koebner, PhD explores the potential role of museums as public health partners. Koebner will focus on his latest research examining the potential of museum engagement to reduce pain and social isolation among individuals with chronic pain.
The National Centre for Dance Therapy was created in 2013 within Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal, a dance company, wishing to expand its vision to better promote the benefits that dance can bring for well-being. The Centre encourages research by collaborating with researchers from interdisciplinary and complementary fields, in order to provide innovative and timely new evidence for this unique form of intervention. Prof. Bartlett-Esquilant, from McGill University’s Family Medicine Department, collaborated on the Centre’s research development and is a strongproponent of the importance of arts in research, health and well-being.
3.1 The museum will see you now: Group therapy at the Frye Art Museum
3.2 Don’t call it a museum: Creating a participatory hub to foster local pride
This presentation highlights current and recent programs at the Frye Art Museum of Seattle, Washington, which advance an expansive notion of museum-as-community-hub, culminating with the presentation of Group Therapy (September 15, 2018–January 6, 2019), an exhibition centered on interactive projects by twelve international contemporary artists that transformed the Museum into a unique kind of free “clinic” in which visitors engaged in therapeutic processes in the experimental context afforded by art.
The Mississippi Arts + Entertainment Experience (The MAX) was envisioned to provide a new model for how a cultural institution can reinvigorate a struggling community and build hope and engagement through the lens of artists stories, their life experiences and the art they created. From the inside-out, The MAX was designed, planned and programmed to become an inclusive arts experience. By celebrating the artistic process over the finished product, creativity becomes accessible to all—and there is purpose found in the act of making.
This case study will show how The MAX’s design approach and experiential programming inspires participation, makes art accessible to all, and brings people together to support the overall wellbeing of the state and local community.
4.1 Changing our future: mental health in the performing arts
4.2 What has Van Gogh taught Tate about Mental Health?
In 2016, Victoria University released a report into the mental health of entertainment industry workers that put numbers to what many of us anecdotally knew to be true – our industry was in distress. In response, Claire Spencer, CEO of Arts Centre Melbourne, reached out to mental health professionals, arts and cultural organisations, and peak bodies to trial the Arts Wellbeing Collective, a consortium of arts and cultural organisations whose shared vision is to effect better mental health and wellbeing for performing arts workers. Now in its third year, the Arts Wellbeing Collective is exploring what meaningful systemic and cultural change might look like for the mental health of performing arts workers now and into the future.
2019 has seen Tate Britain host a major exhibition that brought together over 50 works by Vincent van Gogh to reveal how he was inspired by Britain and how he inspired British artists. ‘Van Gogh and Britain’ offered a unique opportunity to discuss mental health across Tate, with audiences, sponsors and most importantly with the workforce. Van Gogh’s own words were the catalyst for a two year initiative that created a step change in how Tate considers and thinks about mental health, with surprising consequences.
5.1 Museums as medicine? Exploring the healing potential of cultural spaces.
5.2 The Art Hive, for participants to meet, discuss, perform and exhibit
Can cultural spaces contribute to people’s health and well-being? Are we overreaching to think so? Are they already doing it..?
Join us as we grapple with these questions (and more) by exploring the findings of a social prescribing initiative helmed by the Royal Ontario Museum, and delivered in partnership with the Alliance for Healthier Communities.
The MMFA Art Hive serves as a place where all of the Museum’s clienteles — school and community groups, families and the general public — can come together to share ideas. It is a creative community studio supervised by an art therapist, with art materials provided free of charge.
A wide range of activities can be expected at the Art Hive, from unravelling old wool sweaters in order to knit something new, building a sculpture from recycled materials, drawing, sewing and painting. This welcoming, intergenerational space is also a place where participants can meet to discuss, perform or exhibit. The Art Hive is a user-friendly place that participants can re-organize to meet their needs.
4 experts from the performing and visual arts will discuss how to create the environment for wellbeing inside and outside the institution.
Share your key learnings of the day and ask your pending questions
Participants will have the opportunity to visit the Temporary Exhibition "EGYPTIAN MUMMIES, EXPLORING ANCIENT LIVES"
The CTA MTL Welcome Reception will take place in the MMFA Hall of Bronzes. With its majestic Norton staircase and elegant light fixtures, this gallery reflects the Beaux-Arts style of the Museum’s first pavilion on Sherbrooke Street. It features striking bronze sculptures from the Museum’s collection.
Participants will have the opportunity to visit the Temporary Exhibition « EGYPTIAN MUMMIES, EXPLORING ANCIENT LIVES »
A North-American premiere, this exhibition of the British Museum reconstructs the lives of six individuals who lived along the Nile from about 900 BC to AD 180. Non-invasive techniques have enabled researchers to build a profile of each individual, painting a picture of who they were. Age, beliefs and the diseases they suffered from – each mummy has a story to tell.
Digital visualizations will present new discoveries that, when viewed alongside over 200 objects from the British Museum’s renowned Egyptian collection, provide unique insights into how people lived and died in ancient Egypt. The exhibition will explore a number of themes such as mummification, health, food and diet, priesthood, music, adornment and childhood in ancient Egypt.
Come pick up your badge and meet fellow delegates.
Elder Kawennotas Sedalia Fazio will open the second day of the conference with a traditional acknowledgment. She will then share her thoughts on how cultural institutions could better preserve, present and celebrate First Nations heritage and involve young Aboriginal audiences.
This session will explore how BCM created its plan, resources and support needed for a successful process, challenges along the way and how BCM's plan is implemented through daily operations
In service to providing rich and engaging cultural experiences, museums need to build organizations that create a sense of belonging for visitors and employees, reflecting the diversity of their communities in exhibits, on Boards, and in recruiting and human resources. How do cultural institutions — many with long and complicated histories – do this work with authenticity? Brooklyn Children’s Museum, founded as the world’s first children’s museum in 1899, launched an institutional diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) process starting in 2018, including Board, staff, and community members. The result was the Museum’s first DEI Plan, featuring a series of 6-year goals and metrics.
A panel conversation on the true meaning, challenges and impact of diversity.
5 Case Studies will take place simultaneously
1.1 Inclusivity: Beyond the Buzzword
1.2 Celebrating the powerful role of LGBTQ+ arts and culture
Three friends were tired of the roles we were being offered, so in 2013 we came together to form Ivy Theatre Company. Our passion was, and is, inclusivity, but our journey to get there has been rockier than expected. Congratulatory pats on the back, nominations, and our identity as a marginalized group disguised our work as revolutionary, when really, we were just doing our best, and at the time, our best was what we now know is the bare minimum.
James Brandon, Diversity and Inclusion Manager, will share with us the legacy of the Queer British Art exhibition on Tate‘s programming, engagement strategy and human resources.
2.1 Furthering Accessibility: Lessons Learned Through a Curatorial Process
2.2 How the emotional and multi-sensory approach can enrich the experience of all visitors and contribute to the evolution of the institution.
In December of 2017, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum organized an exhibition featuring contemporary products designed for individuals with disabilities. The curation and mounting of Access + Ability centralized messages of disability experience to general audiences and aimed to amplify dialogues on the role of design in creating a more inclusive world. Leveraging the curatorial process and communication efforts of the exhibition, Cooper Hewitt has integrated cross-departmental lessons learned to inform resulting policy changes, more developed initiatives and change to internal practices.
This presentation will show how universal design can help institutions make their exhibition more accessible to all visitors.
To provide visitors with a new experience, we developed a multisensory approach allowing everyone, including those with special needs, to participate. Through examples of projects carried out in the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto and the Musée de l’Homme in Paris, the presentation will detail the singularity of the sensory and emotional approach as a means of developing a more inclusive exhibition.
3.1 A state of belonging
3.2 Celebrating Inuit storytelling
As the Art Gallery of New South Wales embarks upon its major transformation project called ‘Sydney Modern’, we asked communities how such an expansion could be relevant and meaningful for the people of Greater Sydney and the wider state of New South Wales. From remote border communities to those living locally, isolated through inequality, ill health, disability or social barriers to participation; communities challenged us to explore new ways of creating social relevance and impact through art. To empower new, emerging and diverse communities across the state to feel a sense of belonging; the Gallery centralised its community engagement agenda and amplified its social impact initiatives through local and regional engagement and diversity and inclusion programming. This presentation will explore case studies of this agenda in action.
Colonial cultural institutions in Quebec and Canada have historically denied Inuit artists the agency to self-represent. The mainstream colonial narrative has not granted Inuit the authority to frame how their stories are told, presented or contextualized. This has resulted in misrepresentation, exploitation and fictionalization perpetuating negative stereotypes and justifying the systemic discrimination of a marginalized people. In early 2016, Inuk artist Stephen Puskas, and Concordia’s Faculty of Fine Arts Gallery Director Jennifer Dorner, worked together to create a space within the university to discuss and dismantle these systems. They worked with Inuit academics, artists and curators and founded the Tillitarniit Festival, a festival that celebrates Inuit art, film and culture, the first Inuit film festival led by Inuit in southern Canada.
4.1 Three Year Olds Are Humans Too! Making a Mobile Tour for Preschoolers
4.2 Valuing the Voices of Teens
The National Museum of American History and Antenna International partnered to produce a mobile tour for families with preschoolers (aged 3-5), which launched in 2018. Over eight months, we ideated, engaged families for brainstorming, tested a prototype, iterated, marketed, and launched the tour.
In a series of firsts, we honed a process for making an authentic, engaging experience for this young audience as they first encountered a museum. Our case study will identify the various challenges we confronted in the production process as well as post-launch best practices. We will explore several topics for cultural institutions interested in appealing to this audience.
The Summer Teen Intensive fully immerses high school students in the RISD Museum, art and the creative experience. Participants spend two weeks surrounded by artists, designers and fellow creative thinkers as they examine works of art and design from across time and cultures and respond through art-making, writing and discussion.
Teens explore the museum’s collection and reflect on what matters most to them. The 2017 intensive demonstrated how their values of inclusivity and representation are present in the museum, but not always visible to the public. For their culminating project, the teens explored polychromy and its relationship to colonial legacies and racial erasure.
5.1 Riding the Beyonce wave: attracting new demographics
5.2 Young audiences are signalling a way forward
How can we make the old palace of the french Kings, the world’s largest museum, a cool brand? Over the past few years, the Louvre Museum has developed a real strategy towards millenials. The challenge was both to address this new public directly, but also to give it a different image of the museum and to invite it to participate more in the museum’s life. Through bold partnerships, the creation of the Saturday Nocturnes (Saturday night openings), the performance of the artist JR, or the video of Beyoncé and Jay-Z, the Louvre created the event: the museum teams reached out the young adults public to propose another Louvre, another way to visit it, another way to engage. A new tone; a new image; a new Louvre.
In 2015, the New York Philharmonic embarked on a multi-year audience development program targeted to Millennials. The purpose was to grow this segment from 17% to 25% of total audiences in 4 years. During the program, we tested new presentation formats, new marketing strategies, and a collaborative approach to developing the offerings. While the organization ultimately engaged with more Millennials, one important takeaway was the positive response to the program across all age groups.
Enjoy a lovely lunch, network with your peers and explore the MMFA collection
4 Case Studies will take place simultaneously
1.1 Shaping a Corporate Sponsorship to impact well-being: Raising public awareness of how engaging with art delivers healthy outcomes
1.2 FRESHbark: A fresh perspective on collaboration.
At Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA), we are driven by the belief that art and creativity are essential to healthy lives and communities. We have announced a new multi-year partnership with Blue Shield of California, a not-for-profit health plan and champion of lifestyle medicine. In seeking a naming rights partnership for our namesake theater, we chose a partner that would further our ability to communicate the healthy outcomes seen from engaging with art. At a time when the arts community faces decreases in funding, we look forward to sharing how we will reimagine a naming rights sponsorship to raise public awareness of the relationship between art in delivering healthy outcomes.
Broken Hill Regional Art Galleries’ FRESHbark is a mentorship program for emerging Indigenous artists. It developed in the absence of a functioning Indigenous art-centre and questioned what the gallery as an institutional ‘centre’, could offer.
A new, people centred methodology insisted on non-outcome based engagement to funding sources that allowed the Indigenous community to run a self-directed program.The forming of a collective saw the gallery open its centre to assist the forming of a new centre, or more accurately centres- as the self- agency of each participant developed.Relationships between centres and groups seen to be peripheral will be contemplated in my conference discussion.
2.1 From Awareness to Action: #5WomenArtists Campaign for Gender Equity
2.2 Qatar’s 21st Century Library: Tradition and Transition
In 2016, the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) launched a social media campaign asking, “Can you name five women artists?” This seemingly simple question proved difficult to answer, even for those who consider themselves well versed in the arts. By encouraging cultural organizations to share the contributions of women artists on social media with #5WomenArtists, NMWA provided a challenge and sparked conversations around gender equity in the arts. This award-winning initiative has galvanized more than 1,000 cultural institutions from seven continents and 48 countries. We’ll discuss campaign planning and implementation, including lessons learned.
Qatar National Library opened in April 2018, with a unique triple identity as a national, public and research library. As the first such institution in Qatar, there was a need to demonstrate what a library of the 21st century can offer to a country with a diverse, multicultural population, but without a strong library tradition.
This case study will discuss the challenges faced by a new institution trying to overcome traditional stereotypes of libraries to appeal to Qatar’s highly digitally connected population. It will also discuss the opportunities presented by this digital engagement and how the Library capitalized on them by providing new ways of driving cultural interest through the media most suited to its audience.
3.1 Achieving Inclusive Philanthropy
3.2 Beyoncé the Arts- Building Authentic and Sustainable DEI Strategies in the Arts
The Abbe Museum is recognized as a world leader in decolonizing museum practices. As the education and collection teams work tirelessly to introduce inclusive voice into Museum’s spaces and programs, the Abbe has begun a dialogue around what a decolonized lens means for both marketing and philanthropy. Stefanie Joy Muscat, Abbe’s Director of Advancement, will lead a conversation and hands-on workshop on how identity, exclusion, and privilege have shaped museum giving, and what work is being done to engage new audiences and decolonize traditional beliefs around wealth and philanthropy. How do we adjust marketing and giving language to reflect this, while still meeting our goals?
An immense chasm exists between the visible and invisible diversities in terms of the configuration of Dancers, Choreographers, Artistic Directors, Leadership, Students, Staff, Patrons, Donors and Board Members in the Arts, and more specifically, in the classical ballet artform. There is a stark contrast between the homogenous stories that are told in fancy opera houses, museums, theaters and other prominent venues throughout the world, and the true reality of who in fact makes up our societies; our communities; our neighbors; all those whose stories just may be more compelling to share. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) are key success factors for the Arts to survive, to thrive and to inspire. While DEI is clearly not only the right thing for companies to live, it also has proven success factors for economic growth for businesses. However, how exactly an arts organization fully embraces diversity and makes it a core pillar, an imperative and an organizational trait that is deeply engrained in the fabric of the organization is the true troublesome issue.
From a classical ballet company to contemporary times, SF Ballet has become one of the world’s most well-known and celebrated ballet companies. This case study will explore SF Ballet’s DEI journey, the good, the bad and the incredibly complex. It will answer the four main questions:
4.1 Building Community-Based Decisions to Generate Civic Dialogue
4.2 Our Stories – Our Voices: Indigenous Curators working with a unique Indigenous Collection and their communities.
Opera Theatre of Saint Louis realized that grounding its local community impact primarily in its annual six-week festival was neither as feasible as it once had been (as a result of growing festival season activity) nor generating sustainable engagement. With changes in executive leadership, it sought to address this challenge – committing to commissioning new main stage operas that were resonant with contemporary concerns while building its civic practice in its off-season. Through the creation of a new Engagement + Inclusion Task Force, a group of volunteer community leaders, OTSL began to program events year-round to connect its community with its key artists. Leading to sold-out, social media buzz-worthy events, these community tours began to shape not only the company’s perception in the community but also its perception of itself. Plus, audiences of color grew by 46% and Gen X and Millennial audience grew by 57%. None of this would have been possible without OTSL taking the leap to include its community at the table to make decisions about how it would proceed. This case study examines the process through which that happened and what was learned along the way.
The Australian National Maritime Museum is a keeping place for one of the nation’s most significant Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Freshwater and Saltwater cultural collections. The unique cultural diversity of Australia’s First Peoples brings a dynamic and ongoing landscape of Indigenous Knowledge systems that have been present since time in memorial.
The Indigenous Curator will share some insight into best practice frameworks when working with the Indigenous Collections in particular one of the country’s largest collections of historic and legal Aboriginal bark paintings known as the ‘Saltwater Collection’. The study will highlight areas of opportunity for dialogue situated around guiding cultural principles, which in turn open up pathways for change, interpretation, understanding, authenticity and engagement for this particular Aboriginal community, their works and, also for museum’s visitors and staff. This case study will develop through a series of three areas, pre-development, exhibition display and post-development.
The 2019 Museums and Heritage Awards in London awarded ‘Gapu-Monuk Saltwater’ as wining Project of the Year (less that £1m). The Curator will share the honour in the process and importance of putting the Aboriginal voices first when telling their stories and in doing so, the benefit it has for all Australians in creating spaces for meaningful dialogue.
Creating art with others to transform places, individuals, communities and institutions.
For over 30 years, Mural Arts has united artists and communities through a collaborative process, rooted in the traditions of mural-making, to create art that transforms public spaces and individual lives. Mural Arts engages communities in 60–100 public art projects each year, and maintains its growing collection through a restoration initiative.
Share your key learnings of the day and ask your pending questions
Enjoy great conversation and lovely wine
Participants will have the opportunity to take part in practical Art Therapy and Well-Being workshops.
Participants are invited to choose one.
Art Therapy Workshop by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
Dance Therapy by the Grands Ballets Canadiens
Dance/Movement therapy is a psychotherapeutic process that further promotes the integration of the physical, emotional, cognitive and social aspects of the individual.
This movement experiential will be based on the creative process expressive components (creativity and improvisation) of dance therapy to explore, to create, and to connect the body and mind in order to further promote the well-being of the individual.
In this introductory dance/movement therapy workshop, participants will experience different techniques and exercises that highlight self-expression and creativity through the use of movement and dance.
Come ready to move and have fun…!
The Workshop will be faciliated by Andrea de Almeida, M.A., Registered Dance/Movement Therapist (R–DMT).
Cultivating Communication for Collaboration and Community Well-Being
Arts organizations are becoming more integral to the health and wellness of communities and visitors. The skills needed for this shift require that people working in the arts and culture sector, institutions and even whole systems develop empathy, become more mindful, cultivate self-awareness so may effectively collaborate and create platforms that allow diverse groups to have a voice. Relationship building and trust are at the heart of this transformative work which begins with being present and really listening to others. In this workshop participants will walk away with techniques rooted in mindful practice that can create more effective communication and deeper connection.
4 case studies will take place simultaneously
1.1 Leveraging Collaboration
1.2 Changing the way we work to enhance inclusion
In this Case Study, Noelia will explore an area of high tension but high potential: the relationship between the curatorial and marketing & communications teams within art museums. While the two departments might be intellectually aware of the benefits of collaboration, they rarely set time aside to examine shared priorities, to problem solve in ways that leverage the value of differing perspectives, and to cultivate a practice of professional empathy. As a consequence, this interdepartmental relationship is unnecessarily conflict-ridden. Yet these conflicts and tensions are often a manifestation of an accidental adversaries dynamic—the product of a system flaw rather than one of intent. This dynamic undermines interdepartmental trust and, in doing so, hampers overall organizational performance.
The essence of a museum is offering relevance to its audiences through its collections. If you can’t offer relevance, nobody will participate. But, the world around us is changing rapidly. How to stay relevant? At the Van Gogh Museum we asked ourselves: how adaptive is our internal organization to keep up speed with this changing world?
Like most museums the Van Gogh Museum has a departmental organization and a hierarchal structure. This works well in participation of people who are already curious and who we know well. The Van Gogh Museum has a growing attendance (over 2 million visitors in 2017) and worldwide reputation. But insight grew that we needed another way of working to enhance participation for those audiences who have inclusion barriers. Audiences that are small in participation percentage of museums, but big in societies.
In 2017 the Van Gogh Museum changed its way of working to improve participation and become more inclusive. Marthe de Vet, Head of Education & Interpretation of the Van Gogh Museum will share the lessons learned.
2.1 An arts district open to everybody
2.2 Photovoice at the MACM
Bringing together in a single location, the Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts <https://www.mcba.ch/> (MCBA), the Musée de l’Elysée <https://www.elysee.ch/> (Cantonal Photography Museum), and the mudac <https://www.mudac.ch/> (Museum of Contemporary Design and Applied Arts) will create PLATFORME 10, a unique space entirely devoted to culture on the site of the former locomotive sheds in Lausanne, Switzerland. Site accessibility and integration into the city are fundamental to the project.
With the much anticipated opening of the arts district during the first week of October 2019, the three museums will welcome and interact with a variety of communities, – local residents, domestic and international tourists, etc. – and offer a program of collaboration between the visitors and young migrants.
Photovoice is a community-based participatory research method of documenting reality, especially for people whose voices are not heard as part of the traditional narrative within society. It is an empowering and flexible process that combines photography with social action. As part of the Inclusion in Action Program of the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, a photovoice will be taking place at the museum. This case study will show how a Photovoice can empower people living with aphasia (an acquired communication disorder) when interacting with the museum, thus helping us to build a better relationship between the museum and its various audiences.
3.1 The Museum as a space for ceremony, reflection and dialogue
3.2 How to foster participation and inclusivity within and beyond a museum’s walls
In December of 2018, Indigenous leader Derek Nepinak undertook a ceremonial fast in the eight-foot by seven-foot replica of Nelson Mandela’s jail cell in the CMHR’s Mandela: Struggle for Freedom exhibition. Nepinak spent 27 hours in the cell – one hour for every year Mandela spent in prison.
For Nepinak, fasting is an opportunity for introspection in the pursuit of personal guidance and greater clarity of purpose; he wanted to reflect on parallels between the experience of Indigenous peoples in Canada and of non-white South Africans during apartheid. For the Museum, the action was a welcome opportunity to foster dialogue about essential human rights issues from different perspectives.
In keeping with its newly developed educational policy, the McCord Stewart Museum is committed to its role as a participatory and community-oriented institution. Working from this perspective, the Museum recently created the program Welcome! Want to Play?, linked to its annual kids’ exhibition. Montrealers were encouraged to donate beloved toys and include written memories about their gifts, which were then offered to newcomer families. By using objects to tell stories and share experiences, the Museum believes it can help residents of all backgrounds to better understand their city and the world around them. What are the rules of the game of participation and engagement?
4.1 ‘To Be Changed By Community’: The Power of Listening & Building Community-Centered Practices in Museums
4.2 Les Jardins Gamelin, a living space for all
Cultivating relationships among museums and local communities opens up the potential to make change happen within museums in ways that build empathy and a long-term sense of belonging and shared ownership. This has been a core strategic intent for the Department of Learning & Community Partnerships at the Portland Art Museum, and staff across the institution are actively making a stronger commitment to building community-centered practices of listening, valuing community participation, and co-creating with communities. In this session, Murawski will focus on their “Building Community-Centered Practices” project that is part of the Institute of Museum & Library Services (IMLS) Community Catalyst initiative. Begun during the past year, this project has aimed to bring community participation into the museum in new and meaningful ways. Connecting with the words of social activist and author bell hooks, this project deeply explores what would it mean for museums and cultural organizations “to be in community, to work in community, and to be changed by community.”
In just five years, Les Jardins Gamelin have emerged as a model for the revitalization and animation of public space. The human-scaled design, its inclusive values and programming have made an exceptional shared space out of a previously abandoned one. The Quartier des Spectacles Partnership works closely with local stakeholders running social outreach, public health and urban agriculture projects involving members of marginalized groups who frequent the square. The cultural and citizen-focused programming plays an essential role in the rehabilitation, encouraging use of the space by a broad social mix and making it a lively gathering place.
Enjoy a lovely lunch, network with your peers and explore Concordia University's Faculty of Fine Arts
Enjoy a lovely lunch, network with your peers.
1515 St. Catherine W. on the Sir George Williams Campus.
If you arrive from MMFA:
If you arrive from the Grand Ballets Canadien:
Choose one of the guided tours to explore Concordia University’s Faculty of Fine Arts
1. Milieux Research clusters1 (Digital arts) – TAG, Hexagram, AbTEC Topological Media Lab
2. Milieux 2 – Textiles, Intelligent/Digital fabrics, Photography, Printmaking
3. 4th Space, Visualization studio (library) – different approaches to curation and making/learning stations
4. Gallery visits – FOFA, VAV and Leonard and Ellen Bina Galleries
5. Core Technical Centres – Digital design and maquette labs, metal and woodworking shops etc
The qualities of 21st century art institutions are impossible without an inner core of institutional empathy: the intention of the museum to be, and be perceived as, deeply connected with its community.
How can we measure the impact of our programming, outreach and education initiatives? How can we demonstrate the value of our work? 2 panelists will share their tips and tools to measure impact.
Laura Hassler looks at the phenomenon of activist musicians, a new breed of social change advocates and practitioners. How can musicians position themselves in the world of the arts, development, humanitarianism, and political activism?
Since 1999, Musicians Without Borders has brought music to some of the world’s most intransigent conflict regions– Bosnia, Kosovo, Rwanda, Uganda, Palestine, Northern Ireland, El Salvador—working with local musicians and organizations on reconciliation, community building and healing the wounds of war.
Since 2015, Musicians Without Borders also applies lessons learned in war-torn areas to Europe, bringing solidarity and hope to people driven from their homes by war, only to meet walls, fences and a climate of fear and exclusion. Working with other arts organizations, MWB co-founded art27, a platform for European arts organizations working for a humane, open Europe.
Neither a development nor a humanitarian NGO, Musicians Without Borders identifies as an arts organization, an international network of musicians, using the power of music for social change and a culture of nonviolence. MWB explores the role of artists in building community, strengthening empathy and bringing a practical grass-roots arts methodology to peacebuilding.
Laura Hassler, founder and director of MWB, looks at the phenomenon of activist musicians, a new breed of social change advocates and practitioners. How can musicians position themselves in the world of the arts, development, humanitarianism, and political activism? What is the special and unique offering that music brings to the complicated global issues of war and peace, refugees, political and social exclusion or inclusion?
Laura shares stories of an organization that straddles questions of evidence and ideology, research and (sometimes) the inexplicable working of art on humans and their communities.
In this speech, Gideon talk about the empathy deficit we are facing today and how the arts, and the National Theatre School in particular, have a responsibility to help equip our world with the tools we need to deal with our most complicated problems
Global warming, radical politics, shifting gender norms , the internet, the global economy… we live in an increasingly complex world, in ever closer contact with forces beyond our control, too big to fully comprehend. We need new tools to allow us to navigate these issues and place ourselves within the enormity of the global forces affecting our lives. Without those tools, our social fabric is in danger as we turn inwards, protecting ourselves rather than the common good.
The performing arts equip us to understand complexity, to use our most human qualities – thinking abstractly and feeling something for someone else – to find solutions, solace, community and inspiration. In this speech, I talk about the empathy deficit we are facing today and how the arts, and the National Theatre School in particular, have a responsibility to help equip our world with the tools we need to deal with our most complicated problems.
Join Margi Brown Ash during this performative reenactment of the conference. Turn your takeaways into To Dos and practical conversations.
Great conversation over a lovely glass of wine
Our partner and host venue Les Grands Ballets Canadiens is offering you a 30% discount on Carmina Burana & Stabat MATER by Edward Clug.
The opening show of the 2019-2020 season will be performed from October 3 to 19.
More than 150 artists will be on stage to offer you an exceptional performance: 40 dancers, 70 musicians of Les Grands Ballets Orchestra, 40 chorists and 3 renowned vocal soloists with soprano Aline Kutan, tenor Spencer Britten and bass-baritone Alexandre Sylvestre.
Book your ticket today and enter the code CTAMTL to benefit from the preferred rate.
50+ communication experts, leaders, educators, artists and activists shared their expertise at Communicating the Arts Montreal.
Rhode Island School of Design Museum, United States
Ivy Theatre Company, USA
Australian National Maritime Museum, Australia
National Theatre School of Canada (NTS), Canada
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Canada
Musée du Louvre, France
RUIS McGill Centre of Excellence on Longevity and the Jewish General Hospital, Canada
Royal Ontario Museum, Canada
National Gallery of Australia, Australia
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Canada
Association des médecins francophones du Québec, Canada
TATE, United Kingdom
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, USA
Facilitate Movement, USA
Canadian Museum for Human Rights, Canada
San Francisco Ballet, United States
Van Gogh Museum, Netherlands
McCord Stewart Museum, Canada
Concordia University, Canada
Antenna International, United States
Tactile Studio Montreal, Canada
Moderna Museet, Sweden
Sid Lee, Canada
Metro Theater Company, USA
Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery, Australia
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts , Canada
University of California, Davis, United States
Frye Art Museum, United States
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Canada
National Museum of Women in the Arts, USA
Lackawanna County Arts and Culture Department, USA
National Museum of Women in the Arts, USA
ESG UQAM / Urban Heritage, Canada
Portland Art Museum, United States
Acadia Family Center, United States
Canada Government , Canada
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, United Kingdom
Smithsonian National Museum of American History, United States
Arts Centre Melbourne, Australia
Rhode Island School of Design Museum, United States
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, United States
Canadian Museum for Human Rights, Canada
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Australia
Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal, Canada
Qatar National Library, Qatar
Mural Arts Institute, USA
McGill University, Canada
New York Philharmonic, USA
Gallagher & Associates, USA
Mississippi Arts + Entertainment Experience , USA
Canton de Vaud, Switzerland
Musicians Without Borders, Netherlands
TRONVIG , USA
Brooklyn Children’s Museum, USA, Speaker at Communicating the Arts Montreal 2019 & Masterclass 2020
Mural Arts Philadelphia, USA
Quartier des Spectacles Partnership, Canada
Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (MACM), Canada
148 international culture professionals gathered to network, engage in stimulating conversations and rethink their institution’s model and communications.
Delegates came from international arts organisations alongside businesses and public organisations.
Senior Project Manager
Tel +49 30 26 03 03 81