The back story:
You’ve all seen them, the lists that regularly circulate around the internet – whether it’s the most attended, most popular, best museums or top museums in the world, it’s always the usual suspects that get a name check. But what about the unsung heroes of the museum world? Those museums that don’t display famous art or get millions of visitors every year, but that are just really good at what they do. Perhaps they engage visitors in their subject matter in a really creative way, do stellar outreach or community work, or deliver fantastic events on a shoestring budget. We bet you can think of many other reasons.
In April, the Museum140 team visited the Deutsches Röntgen Museum in Lennep, Germany, and were blown away by how amazing it was. We were also shocked to discover they only have 30 visitors on average a day. Why did more people not know about this gem of a museum? At that moment, the idea for ‘Adopt-a-Museum’ was born. Then, when we were analysing the stats from our ‘Museum Memories‘ pilot project, we tweeted about the museums with the most @ replies, which included more of the usual suspects. Someone promptly tweeted back saying “@Museum140 Still let’s hear it for the little guys…” That was all the confirmation we needed to turn our idea into a real project.
As the name implies, the idea it that people ‘adopt’ a museum that they would like to champion. Of course, it’s not a real adoption, there’s no money or other official sponsorship involved, think of it in the sense of being an ambassador. On a regular basis (we’re aiming for weekly, if enough people get involved), the ‘Adopt-a-Museum’ website will feature a new museum for you to discover, and if it’s a museum you’re already familiar with you’ll be able to add your own stories via the comments. We’ve also integrated a map where we’ll plot out all the entries, so you can get a better idea of where all these great museums are – or maybe plan your next museum holiday!
- No self promotion, that means you can’t ‘adopt’ a museum that you currently work at, volunteer for, sit on the Board of, own (if you happen to own a museum) etc.
- None of the usual suspects, i.e. museums that regularly feature on those best, most attended, most popular lists. After all, that’s the whole point of this project.
- You need to have visited at least once, because we think you can’t really be an ambassador for something you’ve never seen before.
How to take part:
If you would like to ‘adopt’ a museum and write a short feature about it, please contact us and we’ll send you the questionnaire. All adopters will receive one of our stylish ‘I Adopted A Museum’ stickers as a thank you. You can also participate by commenting on existing posts, or checking out the museum locations on the map. If you end up visiting one of our adopted museums as a result of this project, we’d love to hear about it. Just comment on the relevant post, or send us an email. And of course you can take part by helping to spread the word. If you’re tweeting about it, please use the hashtag #adoptamuseum. Thanks!