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network Close-up Commonwealth Association of commonwealth Museums Museums with a common perspective work together across the Commonwealth through workshops and projects to explore shared aims and goals For 40 years, the Commonwealth Association a bimonthly newsletter and an of Museums (CAM) has worked online journal. CAM symposia frequently with museums and their staff throughout lead to declarations that address the role Contributing to the Commonwealth. Established in 1974, of museums in various aspects of development the professional association is made up and chart a course for CAM priorities. post-2015 goals of members who share a common history A truly international organisation, CAM’s and perspective on the role of museums as Secretariat is in Canada and its president CAM’s programmes address the question agents of development and spaces for civic in South Africa. It has Executive Council of how museums can best use their engagement, rather than simply places of members throughout the Commonwealth. resources – their collections, exhibitions, passive learning. CAM’s upcoming triennial symposium, programmes and expertise – to contribute As well as being a recognised Commonwealth Taking it to the Streets, is being hosted by to the Millennium Development Goals and, organisation, CAM is an affi liated Glasgow Museums at the Scotland Street now, the post-2015 goals. organisation of the International Council School Museum from 14-17 May 2014. Previous themes have included national of Museums and works with regional museums The symposium is one of the cultural activities identity; peace and good governance; associations – including AFRICOM, leading up to the Commonwealth sustainability; cultural heritage property; the Museums Association of the Caribbean Games – the theme addresses community and indigenous curatorship. CAM was and the Pacifi c Islands Museums Association engagement in all aspects of museum governance, represented on the Commonwealth – for the advancement of museums operations and programmes. Committee on Zimbabwe regarding the Reengaging and the betterment of their societies in the As a follow-up, CAM has started planning with Zimbabwe Through Arts and Commonwealth family of nations and globally. a series of four regional workshops. These Culture project. CAM is honoured to have Sir Shridath include one in Apia, Samoa, on climate ‘Sonny’ Ramphal and Dr Davidson change and sustainability prior to the Hepburn as patrons. Nelson Mandela was third UN Small Island Developing States a previous patron. Conference in September 2014 and another The association runs several initiatives in Kingston, Jamaica, on museum education including a triennial symposium, regional and professional development prior to the workshops, demonstration projects, a distance next Commonwealth Ministers of Education learning programme in Basic Museum meeting in The Bahamas in June 2015. Studies, an internship programme Each of these workshops will have a participatory for young Canadian museum workers stationed governance focus and will spawn in museums throughout the Commonwealth, a number of demonstration projects in each The Disaster Risk Management workshop was held at the Pompey Museum in Nassau, The Bahamas 86 l www.global -br ief ing.org f i rst quar ter 2014 global region. CAM provides professional development and training for its members, particularly those in countries with little or no access to training locally. CAM recently organised a workshop on Disaster Risk Management for Caribbean Museums in collaboration with the Pompey Museum of Slavery & Emancipation; the Antiquities, Monuments and Museum Corporation in Nassau. Members of the regional heritage community and representatives of emergency response organisations shared concerns about their greatest threats and information about disaster preparation and learned about recovery efforts in the region. CAM works throughout the Commonwealth but has had a particular focus on engaging children in museums within Africa in collaboration with the Group for Children in African Museums, a regional network of CAM members interested in children’s programming. Catherine C. Cole is Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Association of Museums and a cultural consultant based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada


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