St Fagans Museum of National History

Campaign to celebrate work of Welsh museums

Jonathan Knott, 11.05.2020
The country’s institutions will share examples of projects and programmes supporting local communities
A social media campaign on 12 May will celebrate the work of Welsh museums.

The country’s local and national institutions are encouraged to highlight their work with local communities while their physical sites remain closed due to the coronavirus lockdown.

The campaign will be focused on Twitter, using the hashtags #WelshMuseums and #Amgueddfeydd.

It has replaced plans for the Federation of Museums and Galleries in Wales, the Museums Association (MA) and Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales (NMW) to host an advocacy event at the Senedd with elected members and key stakeholders.

This formed part of a wider programme to engage politicians in Wales with the sector leading up to the Senedd elections in May next year.

Writing for Museums Journal, Heledd Fychan, the head of policy and external affairs at NMW says the campaign “will show the vital role museums play in terms of community cohesion, tackling loneliness and isolation, inspiring creativity, health and wellbeing, protecting our environment, health and wellbeing, learning for life and much, much more”.

Victoria Rogers, the president of the Federation of Museums and Art Galleries of Wales, said: “Welsh museums are truly a network of community resources and the #WelshMuseums day is a chance to demonstrate just how much value they bring to Wales and how crucial they are for their communities. 

"Museums from across the country, local and national, will be using Twitter to showcase powerful and innovative examples of the positive impacts they make with and for their communities – both before and during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Museums inspire us to learn from our past, to understand our present and determine our future. Through online home-schooling resources, social media collections tours, streamed lectures and podcasts, Welsh museums have been supporting their communities during lockdown. 

"And they will be crucial to supporting Wales in understanding the pandemic and its legacy too – several local museums across the country, as well as Amgueddfa Cymru, are already working with their communities to record their experiences and what they are doing, feeling and missing during the Covid-19 lockdown.” 

MA director Sharon Heal said: "We need our amazing museums now more than ever. The current crisis has put enormous pressure on families and communities, and museums across Wales are doing their best to support them with home learning resources, digital games and tours, and ways to explore our fantastic collections online. 

“Many museums have contributed equipment and staff time to supporting health workers and those most in need during this crisis. And once museums are able to safely reopen they will continue to be at the heart of their communities, helping us to come to terms with the legacy of the pandemic and the big changes in how we will all live and work. 

“Emergency funding from the Welsh government is extremely welcome and has been critical for the survival of some museums; in order for museums to be able to provide safe and trusted spaces where our communities can come together, we need continued and sustained public investment. Museums are a critical part of our cultural lives, they can help us understand our past and come to terms with the present – and they are a vital ingredient in shaping what our collective future might be.”