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August 6, 2020

ICOM Webinar | Local Communities Strengthening Museums Webinar

On 5 August 2020, 3:00-4:15 p.m. (CEST) the ICOM Webinar “Local Communities Strengthening Museums” presented an open online debate regarding the current relationship between museums and local communities, proposing actions and activities recently implemented in different areas of the world. The webinar aimed to emphasize the crucial role that local communities can play towards cultural institutions of any size. Especially within the current context of a global pandemic, fruitful synergies bonding museums with the surrounding communities can lead to high-impact projects, for the benefit of both the cultural sector and society.

Dr Peter Keller, Director General of ICOM, opened the discussion with a welcoming speech introducing the main discussion. Vinod Daniel, moderator of the webinar, booted the core debate, gathering four international specialists from Chile, South Africa, Japan and the U.K. The panellists shared their experiences, highlight best practices, and answer the questions from the audience. The goal of this seminar was to inspire all museums, including small and medium ones, to attract and work together with their local audiences in the future.


  • Paulina Roblero. Graduate in Social Communication and in Preservation, Conservation and Management of Cultural Heritage, Paulina co-founded the Colectivo Vamos al Museo! (VAM) in December 2016, an organization that disseminates, stimulates and creates instances of public participation in Chile’s museums.
  • Bonita Bennett. Former Director of the District Six Museum in Cape Town, South Africa, Bonita’s background is as an educator and anti-apartheid and human rights activist. After teaching at schools in impoverished areas of Cape Town, Bennett gained an MPhil from the University of Cape Town focusing her research on narrative and memory.
  • Kenji Saotome. Graduate in International Education and Development and in Museum Studies, Saotome has been working for the Suita City Museum in Osaka, Japan, as a curator since 2011. His research focuses on the modern and contemporary history of the city of Suita. Kenji is a board member of ICOM’s International Committee for Regional Museums (ICR) and organizer of the Japan Small Museums Network.
  • Carol Rogers. Awarded an MBE (Member of the British Empire) in January 2015, Carol leads the multi-award-winning House of Memories, National Museums Liverpool’s dementia awareness programme. House of Memories supports people living with dementia, their carers, families and communities. By 2019, 60,000 people had benefited from the programme, which is expanding across the UK, USA and South East Asia. Carol maintains an extensive national and international network of education, museum, health and social care partnerships.


  • Vinod Daniel. Internationally recognised museum specialist, Daniel is currently Chairman of the Board for AusHeritage (Australia’s Heritage Industry Network) and Board Member of ICOM.


  • Peter Keller. Appointed Director General of ICOM in 2017, Keller had been Director of the Salzburg Cathedral Museum (Dommuseum), Austria since 2002. He previously served as Treasurer of ICOM, Chair and Secretary of ICOM-DEMHIST and as a board member of the ICOM Austrian National Committee.