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.