NEMO Working Group met to discuss advocacy, funding and international cooperation

 This photograph shows a group of people standing in front of a large ship on a pier. They are smiling into the camera. The sky is blue.

On 4 July 2022, 6 NEMO members met for a Working Group session on Advocacy and Public Affairs. The session was hosted by the Het Scheepvaartmuseum (National Maritime Museum) in Amsterdam and led by working group leader Lodewijk Kuiper of the Netherlands Museums Association.

Participants shared updates on ongoing initiatives and priorities for the museum sector in their respective region. Representatives from Germany, Georgia, Lithuania, Belgium, Finland and the Netherlands, contributed to a well-rounded European update.   

Following the national updates, Eefje Valkema of the National Maritime Museum Amsterdam  gave a presentation about the museum’s international cooperation experience. Valkema detailed an ongoing project between the National Maritime Museum Amsterdam, Royal Museums Greenwich, and Mystic Seaport Museum which focuses on a cross-institutional webinar series which will undertake a variety of themes for 2022, including unusual artifacts in the collections, climate change, and maritime social history. Valkema discussed learnings from this and other cooperation projects, the lasting effects of the COVID19 pandemic on such cooperation projects and ambitious plans for the future.

Valkema’s example was particularly relevant considering the Working Group Advocacy and Public Affair’s most recent toolkit on EU cooperation and funding. Her presentation was followed by a short review led by Working Group Leader Lodewijk Kuiper and a discussion about the ongoing impact of the 2021 publication, including remaining challenges for usage, dissemination, and potential for updates.   

The final presentation of the day was given by Creative Europe Desk Netherlands advisor Albert Meijer. Meijer’s presentation provided deeper context to the most current European funding programmes (which have changed slightly since the 2021 Working group publication). Meijer discussed the variety of opportunities for museum focusing on European Cooperation Projects and the presentation was followed by an open conversation about barriers that remain and a consideration of what national museum associations could do to better facilitate access for their members. 

The final discussion filtered common goals among the participants, which will form the short-term strategic focus of the working group, and which will be revisited at the next working group meeting coinciding with NEMO’s European Museum Conference in Loulé, Portugal!  

The end of meeting was followed by an intimate tour of the permanent exhibition at the Het Scheepvaartmuseum. “The Maritime Museum preserves one of the largest and most prominent maritime collections in the world and includes paintings, ship models, navigation instruments and nautical charts. Discover 500 years of Dutch maritime history and the connection with society now and in the future.”

NEMO’s Working Groups provide an opportunity for members of NEMO to get connected, learn and share experiences through organised study visits and events. The groups also inform the wider museum sector by publishing studies, recommendations and reports. At the moment NEMO has three active Working Groups: