Museums join forces to tackle shared challenges

On November 29, 2018, representatives from museums and other cultural organizations from the U.S., the UK, Germany, and Greece gathered at the Benaki Museum in Athens to share ideas for synergies and coalitions between cultural partners, and the central role cultural institutions can play in tackling today’s most pressing issues. The Co-Museum Conference—organized by the U.S. Embassy in Athens, the Benaki Museum, and the British Council in partnership with the Goethe Institute in Athens—focused on better collaboration to increase success and impact for cultural organizations.

This issue is extremely topical for Athens, where it is widely recognized that in spite of (or perhaps because of) the intense economic crisis in recent years, the City’s cultural scene expanded rapidly, strengthening the City’s resilience and revitalization efforts.

co museum conference Alexandros Kambouroglou

Joining a host of distinguished speakers, including the Minister of Culture, Myrsini Zorba, the Athens Partnership’s Executive Director, Alexandros Kambouroglou, presented on how partnerships with local government can open up new opportunities for cultural institutions. He highlighted that these collaborations can help organizations connect with new audiences, arrange programming in public spaces, connect with other cultural institutions, and access new, more collaborative technologies.

The Athens Partnership (AP) has been a catalyst for connecting museums and cultural institutions, helping to arrange public programming, new kinds of collaborative events, and reaching out to more diverse or overlooked Athens neighborhoods. AP championed the creation of Athens Culture Net (ACN), which with founding support by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, connects 54 of the City’s most prominent cultural organizations.

Mr. Kambourolgou also presented on other Athens Partnership-coordinated programs, including Athens Open Schools and Designed for Better Learning, which promote synergy between the educational sector, local communities, cultural institutions, and technology providers.

Art At All Hours -- Bringing Athens’ Cultural Institutions Together

Athens, a city long known for its history of philosophy, art, and literature, is now gearing up to host its first Culture Night.  The free, after-dark series of cultural events and activities produced by Athens Culture Net, will take place throughout the City this Friday, October 5. 

This celebration highlights the relationship between art and narration in partnership with the 2018 Athens World Book Capital. Events are planned at dozens of cultural institutions and more than 26 galleries across Athens with exhibitions, live music, theatrical performances, poetry readings, mystery games, cultural treasure hunts and movie screenings. For a full listing of all of the events, activities, and participating cultural institutions, visit this link.

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Over the past two years, the Athens Partnership has been proud to support Athens Culture Net (ACN) and promote Athens’ multitude of cultural assets - ancient and contemporary alike.  ACN, whose founding donor is the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, is a network of cultural organizations operating in partnership with the Municipality of Athens. ACN promotes collaboration, idea exchange, use of public space, and shares best practices to elevate Athens as a destination for creativity. With 52 of the most prominent cultural institutions in Athens as members and growing, ACN has supported over 35 events since its creation including:

·        Documenta 14: ACN supported the coordination of the documenta14 art fair, which hosted art exhibitions and installations in 40 sites across Athens including major squares like Syntagma, Kontzia and Victoria. This was the first time that Kassel, Germany co-hosted the fair with another city.

Documenta14 art fair attracted international attention

Documenta14 art fair attracted international attention

·        Athens World Book Capital: A year-long celebration of literature with events happening across the city aimed at fostering a culture of reading in Athens.

Author Jeffrey Eugenidis at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center

Author Jeffrey Eugenidis at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center

·        Cultural programming at the Theotokopoulou Building: ACN undertook the planning and coordination for programming at this historic building, transforming it into an education, innovation, and cultural facility for Athens.  Theotokopoulou has already hosted a number of creative groups and workshops in its first few months of operation.

·        Open Schools Programming:  Through ACN, the National Theatre, Museum of Cycladic Art, and the Music Library of Greece provided free workshops for students of all ages as part of the Athens Partnership Open Schools program.  Open Schools is a municipal program offering free recreational and educational activities at 25 public schools during evenings and weekends.

Open Schools programming: theater for children

Open Schools programming: theater for children

·        ACN Social: More than 100 attendees from 50 different cultural groups participated in an event to enhance social media skills and communication strategies at cultural organizations. This is the first in a series of workshops that ACN is producing.

For more information on the Athens Culture Net, visit www.athensculturenet.com

Event hashtag: #culturenightathens