The National Museum Network for Minorities and Cultural Diversity
To coordinate and strengthen efforts to include minorities and enhance cultural diversity in museum exhibits, collections, staff and audiences.
The National Museum Network for Minorities and Cultural Diversity organises 24 museums all over Norway (2016) and operates primarily through 1-3-year projects. The number of museums participating in each project range from five to 15, and are recruited from a pool of member museums across Norway. Three projects have been carried out since 2012: a travelling exhibition involving five member museums that toured all over Norway, and the two projects described below.
The largest project to date was carried out in 2009-2012, and aimed at training people with minority backgrounds for recruitment in museums. The current project involves writing a book on strategies for inclusion in Norwegian museums, where the contributors reflect critically on recent exhibits, workshops, documentation projects or other activities designed to increase inclusion and involvement of minorities at their respective institutions. The anthology is due for publication in 2017.
This differs from project to project. The expected result of the current project is the publication of a book, thereby documenting and disseminating the important job that many museums are doing on diversity issues. The book will hopefully serve as inspiration to others, and as a tool for critical evaluation of related strategies and projects elsewhere.
The administration of the network is funded by the Oslo Museum, whereas the projects receive funding from Arts Council Norway. The Network's current project has received a total of NOK 600 000 from Arts Council Norway. The Oslo Museum receives its funding from the Norwegian Ministry of Culture and the City of Oslo.
Eight of 19 recruits are employed by museums today, others are in the process of applying for museum jobs, and others are studying museum-related disciplines. It is probable that these effects are due to the fact that people were recruited through the museums' own networks. Recruits enjoyed the social settings and were pleased with the professional development acquired through the project.