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Roundtable Talk “Modern Methods of Attracting Audience to Museums”

21.05.2019

A roundtable talk “Modern Methods of Attracting Audience to Museums” dedicated to the 35th anniversary of the Museum-Reserve of M.A.Sholokhov took place in Rostov-on-Don, in Sholokhov-Centre on May 20, 2019.

It was joined by A.M.Sholokhov, Deputy Chairman of the RF State Duma Committee for Culture, President of the ICOM of Russia, A.A.Dmitriyeva, the Rostov Region Minister of Culture, S.A.Manankina, Chairman of the Committee for Education, Science, Culture and Information Politics of the Rostov Region Legislative Assembly, and representatives of the museum community.

The roundtable talk opened with a discussion of the present state of affairs in the museum sphere and analysis of the existing practices for promotion exhibitions and museum projects, and their efficiency. The roundtable participants were unanimous in considering the necessity of attracting new visitors to be one of the main problems.

Alexander Sholokhov shared his opinion: “If we say we receive visitors who need museums as a part of their life and their visiting is a stable tradition, then it is quite obvious that our work among young people is insufficient. This is one of the main areas for us to develop. The Museum department of Sholokhov-Centre is developing most actively. The Museum in itself is rather big and most of the departments work in a classic way, as they can’t change. And we are glad to have more opportunities in Sholokhov-Centre to attract visitors and to be a success”.

The Rostov Region Minister of Culture Anna Dmitriyeva also spoke about the necessity of working to attract young people. She noted that almost all the museums are active now in the social networks and are aimed at attracting a new audience to be involve in the cultural life, but, obviously, this activity is not enough.

The discussion on the issue of attracting the youth audience to the museums revealed a new problem: trying to attract young people, how can we avoid declining the general level of culture? Ivan Grunsky, Chairman of the Rostov Region Legislative Assembly Committee for Protection of Cultural Heritage, considers it to be quite wrong to be led by consumer tastes. “We are to raise our target audience. Now in the museum community, in pursuit of the visitors, all become guides, all become animators. Thus solving a momentary question we lose our development prospects for 20–30 years”.

According to Alexander Sholokhov, the problem of upbringing the younger generation can be solved only by means of recovering museum pedagogy in the museums.

Anna Dmitriyeva promised, that very soon, the regional government would promote this initiative at the federal level.

During the discussion, the participants identified common problems and shared the experience of their institutions in solving them. Thus, unusual and successful ways of interacting with the audience were demonstrated by the Cultural Exhibition Centre of the Don State Technical University “Don Cossack Guard”, the Rostov Region Museum of Fine Arts, the Azov Historical Archaeological and Paleontological Museum-Reserve. There was marked a successful approach to organization of the exhibition “Brothers, do not Judge Your Brother…” having the final week run in Sholokhov-Centre.

Summing up the results of the roundtable talk the deputy of the Don parliament Svetlana Manankina identified a number of issues that need to be resolved on a legislative basis. Thus, the Rostov Region Legislative Assembly will consider creation of a single museum ticket to be distributed through the tourist information centres, the use of a part of the advertising spaces allocated for social advertising for promotion of the museum projects.

Besides, that roundtable talk marked the need for the museum community to create professional contests discovering and encouraging modern methods of attracting audiences to museums.