Study Visit in Frankfurt am Main, Germany

From 10-11 October 2018, the NEMO Working Group Museums and Creative Industries met in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. The group started their visit by attending THE ARTS+ Innovation Summit and later made sure to visit the Historical Museum Frankfurt to learn how the museum collaborates with creative industries.

THE ARTS+ Innovaion Summit

On October 10th, 100 participants joined THE ARTS+ Innovation Summit: The Bigger Picture - How can the cultural and creative sectors bride the innovation gap? to discuss barriers standing between the creative and cultural sector and innovation. As a partner of THE ARTS+, NEMO took part in developing the programme and the preparatory document that was discussed at the summit. The document was developed during the spring and summer of 2018 alongside discussions between NEMO and 13 other partners from the culture and cultural sector. The document describes six barriers and offers six possible solutions encouraging innovation within the sector. The task at the summit was to discuss these, find consensus among the participants, and discern the main barrier as well as the most probable solution to overcome it.

The Innovation Summit consisted of three break-out sessions; one on cultural heritage, one on book publishing and the last one focused on the “bigger picture”. Discussions in the first break-out session began with a key-note speech by Pier Luigi Sacco, Advisor to the European Commission for Culture and Education (Italy). Four impulse speeches on sector insights followed before the participants gathered into small groups to discuss the points made in greater depth. NEMO had invited Paul Klimpel, PhD, (Germany), to give a sector-insight on necessary expertise for long-term innovation. Raivis Simansons, Think Tank Creative Museum (Latvia) and member of the Working Group Museums and Creative Industries, moderated the round-table discussion that followed on the topic. The moderators of each round-table discussion got to present their group’s opinions and suggestions before breaking for lunch. The same format followed for the second Break-out session and the third break-out session set out to compile all views expressed in the previous two sessions. Additionally, the European Manifesto on Supporting Innovation for Cultural and Creative Sectors was presented.

The Manifesto is the result of months of preparation between the 14 sector partners and intense discussion at THE ARTS+ Innovation Summit. The manifesto calls for the recognition of the cultural and creative sectors when it comes to innovation policies and public funding. The Manifesto was presented to the public the next day at a press conference. At the press conference, David Vuillaume, NEMO chair, stressed that museums can act as innovation incubators and that support is needed to innovate and make the most of the economic, education, social and collection values found in the museum.

Read the European Manifesto on Supporting Innovation for Cultural and Creative Sectors here

Study Visit at the Historiches Museum Frankfurt

Before the press conference, the Working Group members visited the Historical Museum in Frankfurt where they got to learn more about the museum’s collaboration with creative industries. Curator Katharina Böttger introduced the participants to the Frankfurt Now! exhibition and to the City Labs. Katharina started the tour with the Frankfurt Model, which shows the city as it was described by its inhabitants in 2015. The Historisches Museum asked 1,166 Frankfurters for their views on the city and artist Herman Helle built a model that is full of life accordingly. Visitors can still contribute to the current history of Frankfurt by uploading pictures and short films that will be displayed in the Frankfurt Now! exhibition hall.

The City Labs were developed when the new museum venue was being built and the staff was forced to find new ways of working creatively and in participation with the audience and the collection. The City Lab allows the museum to research Frankfurt together with its inhabitants. To begin with, the City Lab was displayed in urban environments and once the new museum was finalized it gained a permanent space and became a permanent lab. The current City Lab deals with legalised theft and looted objects. The museum is taking a look at their own collection and invited Frankfurters to bring in objects which might have a questionable past in order to research and later exhibit them at the museum.

The first City Lab was initiated by the museum and subsequent topics have been suggested by the people of Frankfurt. The Historical Museum Frankfurt’s goal is to engage the public in their own history; both past and current. They also involve actors from the creative industries in the project from time to time and hope for more involvement in the future. Usually two City Labs are organised per year and one curator is in charge of each City Lab.

This event was awarded with the European Year of Cultural Heritage Label, showing that the event supports the role of Europe’s cultural heritage and its importance to cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue. Learn more about obtaining the label from NEMO here.