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Courtesy of CTM
Courtesy of CTM

Communicating The Museum 2016: Generating 'Dialogue' In Berlin

Picture of Julianne Cordray
Updated: 27 October 2016
International cultural communication agency Agenda is holding its 2016 Communicating the Museum (CTM) summer conference in Berlin. Over the course of four days, from July 12 to 15, CTM will comprise keynote speeches, panel discussions, workshops and social events lead and attended by international museum professionals. Providing a platform for exchange, covering topics surrounding social media, digital resources and new modes of audience engagement, the conference will initiate productive and creative dialogue amongst its participants, while considering the ways museums can foster dialogue between different cultures and communities.

 

Courtesy of CTM

Courtesy of CTM

CTM comes to Berlin

Organized in a different city each year, CTM16, the theme of which is ‘Dialogue’, comes to Berlin as a cultural landscape rife with art and innovation. Drawing on this dynamism, held within the Deutsches Historisches Museum, the conference will set the stage for collaboratively rethinking the role of the museum in the present, while looking toward the future. Among over 400 international experts that will participate, 50 high profile speakers—including Chris Dercon, Director of the Tate Modern, Kim McKay, Director of the Australian Museum, Gordon Montgomery, Vice President of Marketing and Public Affairs at The Art Institute of Chicago and many more—will initiate discussion with presentations, keynotes and workshops throughout the conference.

Though engaging in dialogue on an international scope, CTM will also place a special focus on events and challenges faced in the context of its host city as a point of entry into broader conversation about pervasive issues arising in the 21st century. One such discussion will center around the initiative taken by several Berlin museums, wherein training is provided for refugees to become museum guides and facilitate visits for fellow refugees through tours conducted in their native language. This program represents one mode of initiating cross-cultural engagement through communicative structures within the museum.

Courtesy of CTM

Courtesy of CTM

Kicking off CTM16

On July 12, the conference will begin by addressing issues relating to philanthropy, fundraising and sponsorship—navigating the challenges and potentials for arts organizations in the current financial climate. Taking funding as an essential starting point leading into further consideration of museum communications and outreach, the full day’s program will cover topics such as current fundraising trends both within and outside the art world, stewardship strategies, creating dialogue with donors, and achieving greater effectivity through constituent data. A keynote speech by Scott Tennent, Director of Advancement Communications at the Smithsonian Institution, will discuss how the divergent concerns of museum communications professionals and fundraising professionals can be reconciled, working toward tandem strategies of communication and cultivation.

Courtesy of CTM

Courtesy of CTM

Creating a Space for Exchange 

From July 13 to 15, CTM’s focus will be directed toward strategies of knowledge-sharing and exchange, facilitated by a rich program of group sessions and interactive workshops. These open, collaborative sessions also invite professionals from organizations outside of the museum sector to participate in discussion surrounding effective marketing and communications within an increasingly digitized world. Best practices for managing a press campaign, making the most of Instagram, museum branding, and building stronger connections both within and outside the museum, will be addressed during Wednesday’s lineup of keynotes and workshops.

On Thursday, the program will begin with a World Café—a brainstorming roundtable that will initiate collaborative efforts in thinking through strategies and potential courses of action—stimulating an environment that encourages and values all viewpoints towards building a comprehensive knowledge base. An assortment of workshops will continue this mode of collective knowledge-building and sharing, delving into interpersonal relations and digital audience engagement methods. A keynote by the Biomuseo Panama‘s Communications Coordinator, Margot López, will expound on the integrative approach to the museum’s architecture, which both houses and actively participates in the history and narrative of the collection, while technologies serve an essential role in expanding beyond the physical location of the site.

Courtesy of CTM

Courtesy of CTM

Tracing Communicative Networks in the City

CTM’s final program will center around the necessity of sustainability and humanism in evolving the museum in the 21st century, as well as potential strategies for progressing toward this realization. A Learning Safari will also take conference delegates to site-specific workshops in locations throughout Berlin, further manifesting a connection between CTM and its host city through direct engagement with its museums and arts organizations. Sites such as the Berlin Wall Memorial, the Berlinische Galerie and the me Collector’s Room will contextualize methods of communication, staging interactions and generating community within the culturally rich setting of Berlin, while facilitating broader consideration and application of such concepts.

Interspersed with the conference’s scheduled discussions and workshops are also several social opportunities for continuing the dialogue and engaging with peers over lunch, dinner or cocktails. As an additional event, CTM16 participants have the opportunity to join a Berlin excursion organized by Agenda. On Saturday, July 16, three excursions, each six hours long, will take place across different areas of Berlin and will have diverse focuses. These tours, conducted by bike, foot or shuttle, will reveal unique characteristics of Berlin’s districts—embarking on a discovery of architectural highlights, sustainable neighborhoods, street art and new concept stores that combine fresh food products, architecture and design into a uniquely integrative experience.

For more information on the full program and how to register, please visit the CTM website.