Translocal: Museum as a Toolbox is a cooperation project coordinated by Kunsthaus Graz – Universalmuseum Joanneum from Austria, which took place between October 2015 and September 2017. It received € 200,000 EU support from the Creative Europe programme of the European Union. By exploring new ways of communication for museums, the project allowed young people aged between 15 and 25 years old to engage with the museum and raise their interest in contemporary art. Ms. Alexandra Trost, who is currently working as a curatorial assistant at Kunsthaus Graz – Universalmuseum Joanneum was one of the project coordinators and evoked the key aspects of the project implementation.
Challenges of international cooperation
When taking part in a European project, one of the main challenges is the successful collaboration with international partners. Indeed, communication between several organisations located in different countries can be challenging, not only due to cultural differences but also to technical difficulties, which may occur. The key of a fruitful international collaboration is to find an efficient communication tool, which is suitable for every partner. In the case of Translocal: Museum as a Toolbox, the tool chosen initially had to be adapted to the partners’ preferences. It is indeed necessary to find a common ground between the partners when it comes to the choice of the tool, to make sure that the coordinating organisation is able to provide the partners with the same level of information simultaneously. Ms. Trost stressed out the importance of flexibility: the coordinating organisation should be ready to make the necessary changes when required by the partners in order to ensure a successful international collaboration. The cooperation between partners from different countries also implies that some of them might face financial difficulties in regards to covering the whole budget, as the EU support for Creative Europe – Culture Cooperation projects covers only up to 50-60% of the costs. Concerning Translocal: Museum as a Toolbox, some of the partners had to request financial support from the national government, which they managed to obtain.
Time management also plays an important part in the successful implementation of a European project. The main objective of Translocal: Museum as a Toolbox was to involve a group of young people at several stages of the project, which implied to deal with the teenagers’ availability and school obligations and therefore tightened the time available to carry out the various activities. As a result, some activities could not be implemented due to the workload that they represented. Nevertheless, this did not affect the success of the project and the results showed that the young people were delighted with the outcomes and that they were thankful for being given the opportunity to be involved.
Benefits of international partnerships
In the end, the international partnership is undoubtedly the main benefit, which resulted from the project. Indeed, the five participating museums were able to find similarities between each other share their knowledge and exchange experiences throughout the project. Translocal: Museum as a Toolbox enabled them to build a long-term relationship, which constitutes an opportunity for potential future projects.
Project: Translocal: Museum as a Toolbox
Partners: Universalmuseum Joanneum gmbh (AT, coordinator), Muzej suvremene umjetnosti (HR), Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź (PL), Eesti kunstimuuseum (EE), Fondazione Museion. Museo di arte moderna e contemporanea (IT)
Project duration: 1/10/2015–30/9/2017
Programme: Creative Europe / Culture / Cooperation projects
EU grant: 200.000 EUR
Ms. Alexandra Trost was a guest speaker at the Creative Synergy+ event for networking good practices and creative ideas with programs Europe for Citizens, Creative Europe and Erasmus+ that took place on April 17, 2008, in Ljubljana. Motovila and CMEPIUS organized the event in cooperation with the Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture (CED AT), the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia (CED HR), and Land Steiermark – Amt der Steiermärkischen Landesregierung. The event was part of the activities of the European Year of Cultural Heritage.