I am really interested in museums and well-being. The report of Leicestershire's Open Museum'Opening Minds: Mental Health, Creativity and the Open Museum' is an interesting example from the UK:
Do you know of any examples in Australian museums?
Three quick responses/leads:
1. The National Gallery of Australia has developed a strong Art and Alzheimer's progrogram, which just won the Public Programs category (Large Institutions sub-catgory) national award within Museums Australia's (new) MAGNA Awards - announced 17 Nov. at our 2011 National Conference last week in Perth (WA). We will have an article in the forthcoming MA National Magazine issue going to press any day. You might care to check out the MoMA (NY) similar program - begun, if I recall correctly, about 2006.
2. In a regional and smaller community museums framework: Glen Innes Museum (Glen Innes is a town in New South Wales) has for some years had a program of taking museum objects to a local citiziens' retirement village - a fine example of using museum collection resources (particular objects) as resonant means of stimulating personal engagement and intellectual activity (esp. memory) around objects of 'history', both for enjoyment and enhancement of community 'well-being' among aged people.
3. My third quick pointer is to alert you to the following event just concluded in Canberra: "The Art of Good Health and Wellbeing | 3rd Annual International Arts and Health Conference | 14 -17 November 2011 – The National Gallery of Australia" (again involving the initiative of the National Gallery of Australia, here as organising/host institution for a significant conference, with collaboration of the National Portrait Gallery a few hundred metres away in the national capital). A list of keynote speakers and presenters should still be fetched easily from the website at: www.artsandhealth.org.au .
We (MA National Office) plan to cover the international conference just mentioned & some ideas|outcomes in a further MA magazine issue in the new year. The topic is rising in consciousness among musuems people across the board, especially of course in education/public programs departments of our museums. But even the smallest museums can do innovative things, as Glen Innes shows, without the resources of any 'department' as exists in larger museums.
If you have any more comments, Vanessa, for Australian colleagues on museums' work around this topic in other countries, it would be good to hear from you.
(Bernice Murphy - National Director, Museums Australia)
Thank you Bernice - I will look at these examples. Very interesting! If you can think of any more do let me know!