Museums as a Vehicle for Cultural Diplomacy
Natalia Grincheva, a lecturer at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada and a CPD author and former Visiting Scholar, has written a new article about the intersection of museums, cultural diplomacy and community engagement in the April 2015 issue of Curator: The Museum Journal. Her piece, Democracy for Export: Museums Connect Program as a Vehicle of American Cultural Diplomacy, looks specifically at a cross-cultural exchange program organized by the Museum of History and Holocaust Education (MHHE) at Kennesaw State University in Georgia, USA and the Ben M’sik Community Museum at Hassan II University in Casablanca, Morocco. The resulting program, Identities: Understanding Islam in a Cross-Cultural Context, which ran from 2009 – 2010, combined a crowd-sourced online exhibition about the life experiences of Muslims living in the U.S. and Morocco with an in-person youth exchange. As the author notes, “by employing the power of museums to encourage changes to foreign communities and even to inspire local leaders and advocates for social progress,” museums can be cultural ambassadors for change, dispel stereotypes and deepen cross-cultural understanding.
The full article is available here.