What do museums do for people?

I am currently on the National Arts Fundraising School. Thinking about museums and why people and organisations should fund them. I wrote this.

What do Museums do for People?

We tell their stories.
We inspire them to create.
We encourage them to explore.
We listen to their stories.
We teach them interesting things.
We give them freedom to play.
We show them unique and special objects.
We help them tell others their stories.
We show them common objects in a different light.
We ask them to think.
We encourage them to share what they learn and what they like.
We challenge their perceptions.
We spark their emotions.


We learn from people because they teach us amazing things.

and longer and somehow it sounds a bit dull (probably a bit too classic mission-statementy)…

We collect from the past and the present, making objects and their stories accessible to people now, so they can learn, enjoy themselves, and be inspired.

So maybe that forms part of the case for support for museums generally. Now I have to work out what MY museum does that is unique.

About rachelcockett

Art heritage museums weird stuff. Fundraiser and donor. Equity. Acting to level the playing field.
This entry was posted in Fundraising, Museums and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to What do museums do for people?

  1. Jack Kirby says:

    Lord Reith’s ‘inform, educate and entertain’ mission for the BBC has always seemed to me to apply to museums too. I’d add that we give them a safe and stimulating social space to share experiences. You and I are unusual in doing a fair amount of visiting alone; for many couples, families, friends etc. the content is secondary to (but can make or break) the experience of visiting with another person or other people.

  2. Donna Taylor says:

    Museums are a window to another world, boxes of delight. They reveal that there is an ‘other’, beyond often narrow life experiences. They inspire wonder and aspiration. This has been my experience anyway.

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