Museums are as vital as ever

Heledd Fychan, 11.05.2020
From tackling loneliness to inspiring creativity, institutions are demonstrating their essential contribution to society, says Heledd Fychan
On Tuesday 12 May, the Federation of Museums and Galleries in Wales, the Museums Association and Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales were due to come together to host an event at the Senedd to celebrate the contribution and impact of museums in Wales alongside elected members of the Senedd and key stakeholders. This was part of a wider advocacy programme, to engage politicians in Wales with the sector prior to the Senedd election in May 2021. 

Covid-19 has obviously led to the postponement of the event, but rather than cancel it in its entirety, museums in Wales will still be uniting on-line on 12 May to promote the sector using the hashtags #WelshMuseums and #Amgueddfeydd.

Coinciding with the global #MuseumWeek, museums in Wales will use this date to share with audiences what they’re currently doing to support communities while their sites are closed and demonstrate the contribution they make to Wales. By sharing examples of projects and programmes, they will show the vital role museums play in terms of community cohesion, tackling loneliness and isolation, inspiring creativity, health and wellbeing, protecting our environment, learning for life and much, much more. 

At this time of uncertainty and trauma for many people who have either lost loved ones or are facing financial difficulties, we see many people turning to culture and creativity as a source of comfort. And museums of all shapes and sizes are supporting them in this. 

More than ever, post Covid-19, we will need our museums to continue to work in partnership with communities and support us all in navigating the new world which emerges. It is therefore vital that the Museums Association works with other sector organisations to continue to make the case for investment in our museums across the four nations of the UK. This will ensure that the work they do beyond their buildings is acknowledged by governments as being just as important as the work they do in welcoming visitors when the doors are open. 

Heledd Fychan is Head of Policy and External Affairs at Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales.