Museum in the Village
Museum in the Village is a cultural programme aimed at people aged over 65, who live in rural areas with reduced accessibility to cultural activities and events. 13 museums and 13 villages, from 26 different counties, form the network. Museum professionals, artists, communities and local authorities are brought together with the purpose of enjoying art and culture, as well as to learn about and revive local folklore and heritage.
Museum in the Village, which is co-financed by PO ISE – Portugal 2020, through Portugal Inovação Social, has the Municipality of Leiria as a social investor, and counts Rede Cultura 2027 as a partner that connects the various members of the network. Additional support was provided by Politécnico de Leiria, União de Freguesias de Leiria, Pousos, Barreira e Cortes.
Each participating community welcomes a masterpiece from a museum, inviting it into the heart of their village. The museum masterpiece is then taken as the starting point from which museum professionals and the artistic team invite the participants to engage in a creative process, in which they establish the connection between the masterpiece and the museum, its reflection and connection with the local heritage and communities. The participants apply these concepts to the creation of their own artwork in a collective creative process that involves local objects, songs, stories and traditions. Their own skills are also put to use while creating the artwork, allowing its representative value to expand further.
Finally, 13 temporary exhibitions are inaugurated and just as the villages hosted the museums’ masterpieces, museums in return host their artwork. The participants are welcomed to the museum so they can enjoy the inauguration of their own artwork and see it alongside the masterpiece that jump-started their creative process. The moment coincides with an artistic performance, in which the project team invites both communities and museum professionals to actively participate, strengthening bonds between everyone.
The project is well evaluated, with a Dissemination Notebook explaining the project in full detail, allowing for easier replication, an Exhibition Catalogue and a Digital Museum, which displays the development of the project and its impact, along with all the artworks and masterpieces.
“The variety and tailoring of activities to each participating focus group makes the Museum in the Village project very special. In answering the specific needs and interests of young and older people alike, they have ensured a greater and more significant impact. The project also convincingly demonstrates the clear relationship between cultural heritage and well-being,” commented the Awards’ Jury.