Keywords: Germany, museums, vocational training, cross-sectoral collaboration, awareness-raising

New Ways to Art

Capito, an Austrian/German NGO group and the State Museum of the City of Schwerin in Germany have joined forces to develop a training course for people with disabilities to conduct art tours in museums. The project creates various outcomes, from job opportunities to improved accessibility and awareness raising for staff in museums and art collections. Currently in an early stage of development, it can be scaled and replicated in numerous ways.

About the practice at a glance
Name of Organisationcapito Mecklenburg Vorpommern
Type of organisationNGO
Country
of Implementation
Germany
Year started2017
Funding modelThe project has so far benefited from the strong commitment of all participants and has not yet received any funding. It was awarded a prize of 1.000 euros and was accepted as an Excellent Landmark in the Land of Ideas. The museum educator worked about two days a month in the project, the employees of capito Mecklenburg-Vorpommern about four days a month. The project participants gave monetary lectures and seminars on the project idea in tandem.

IMPACT

The participating people with disabilities have declared that they want to offer guided tours to the museum. The project participants themselves determine the desired and necessary training modules, e.g. the use of digital media in art education. The museum guides themselves have expressed a desire for vocational training in the museum sector, and we are pursuing this goal as a joint project group. 

THEORY OF CHANGE

We asked projects to outline their impact model (also called Theory of Change) – their main target groups, the key activities they offer these target groups, and what impact they want to achieve:

Target GroupActivityImpact
People with disabilitiesDevelop inclusive education as a museum guide and give the opportunity to practise and work in a museum
People with special needs have a job choice as a museum guide in museums. They can work inclusively.
Museums Give them the knowledge and the frame to employ people with special needs Museums employ people with special needs and transfer inclusion in every day routine.
Funding organisations Application for fundraising and inform about their fundraising aims. Transfer their fundraising aim into society with great impact.

REPLICATION EXPERIENCE

We have not replicated our innovation yet, but we have a clear idea about what to replicate, where and with which partner. The project has received requests from other museums for the training curriculum. Next year it will be transferred to other European locations at at least 4 locations in Germany and in cooperation with Inclusion Europe in Brussels.  

At present, funding is being sought for the project in order to develop a job profile for people with disabilities in museums in cooperation with the Federal Academy for Cultural Education and the German Museum Association. In this project, barrier-free (easy language and reading aloud function) training materials are to be developed, which will then also be translated into other languages. After the training, people with disabilities should work in the museum. 

Our partners that we found are: Staatliches Museum Schwerin, Bundesakademie für Kulturelle Bildung (Wolfenbüttel), Bundesverband Museumspädagogik – Fachgruppe Inklusion und Diversität(Karlsruhe / Bonn). We will start on cooperating with the Bundesakademie für Kulturelle Bildung and the Bundesverband Museumspädagogik at the beginning of October in order to make a first step of replication. The aim of the cooperation is to develop an accessible job education in the field of museum guidance. So the start of this cooperation and the Impact Transfer Programme could start at the same time with good resources and transfer changes. 

ORGANISATIONAL CAPACITY AND STRATEGY

The head of our company wants us to replicate this project. We just started working on applications such as Aktion Mensch e.V / Aktion Mensch Stiftung und Commerzbank Stiftung. But we are right at the beginning. My colleague Marita Arnaschus-Krueger and Birgit Baumgart from the Schwerin Museum are highly motivated to work in my team for the project and its replication. Furthermore there are 8 people with disabilities who work in this project. They would also show their experiences of the project at seminars and other occasions. They all can travel.

There is a project owner: Nils Wöbke, Head of office of accessibility – capito Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Diploma in education, University of cologne, Master of Social Management, Leuphana University Lüneburg, Supervisor (DGSv), Professional focus on disabilities studies, inclusion and accessibility.

MOTIVATION

We strongly believe in the state of inclusion and transfer it into society. So far we have put our efforts in our local project for almost 3 years. We have spend our efforts and knowledge into it, were open for new experiences and have learned so much from arts in the Museum in Schwerin and from the museum guides we have trained. We figured out some methods of accessibility in the museum but the main factor is to give the people with disabilities a voice and access to museums and arts. The best thing to do as far as we are concerned is to let them talk and explain arts and let them do this together with the visitors. This is so inspiring and open-minded. We hope that we can join the Zero Project Impact Transfer program in order to structure our experiences and make a strategy to develop an educated job for people in the field of museums.