You are close to my heart: museums for wellbeing and healing. New frontier between research and planning.

On Thursday, May 18, on the occasion of the International Day of Museums called by ICOM (International Council of Museums), Fondazione Luigi Rovati hosted the national conference of ICOM Italy.


Giovanna Forlanelli, president of the Foundation, and ICOM Italy president Michele Lanzinger introduced the proceedings of the conference, which was conceived and coordinated by Silvia Adele Mascheroni. The main themes were museums, sustainability, well-being, three of the goals of the "UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development." The speeches were simultaneously translated into LIS by Valeria Bollani and Ramona Sala, interpreters from the Ente Nazionale Sordi - Consiglio Regionale Lombardia. This was the first collaboration within the agreement signed between the Institution and the Foundation.


Among the speakers, Maria Chiara Ciaccheri, researcher, trainer and designer, addressed issues of museum accessibility, and the need to break down all kinds of barriers: from socioeconomic to cognitive ones, and a mapping of the most common interventions to remedy accessibility problems was presented. Staff training, focusing attention on the human side of both visitors and the entire museum staff, redefining the organizational models and policies to be put in place: these are the insights provided, to which are also added evaluation and monitoring of the impacts that the actions put in place bring.

Ivo Lizzola and Mario Turci dialogued on the research work behind social design and how heritage can contribute to alleviating people's vulnerability and distress through its potential as a relational asset, for a community museum.


Margherita Sani presented the current outcomes of the multi-year European project C.H.A.R.T.E.R. (Cultural Heritage Actions to Refine Training, Education and Roles), which aims to sustainably protect, promote and enhance Europe's tangible and intangible cultural heritage by creating a lasting and comprehensive sector skills strategy, bridging the gap between education and employment systems and labor market needs, and proposing training and curricula for the development of new skills for heritage professionals.


Following this, Giulia Mezzalama presented the training course of the CCW School's first Master's program to train professionals who can act in the field of cultural welfare, in order to acquire knowledge and skills to take care of people and local communities. In closing to the talk, Angela Paolucci, who is now in charge of these issues for Fondazione Luigi Rovati, presented her testimony as a former participant of the CCW School's Advanced Training Course.

Finally, the case studies: Annalisa Rabitti and Valentina Galloni returned the outcomes of the accessibility and right to beauty project that has involved the city of Reggio Emilia "City without Barriers" since 2015, with the union of different territorial bodies guiding sociocultural policies combined with the local museum system. Chiara Lachi and Cristina Bucci presented how cultural projects can be subject to careful measurement and evaluation, with an introduction by Annalisa Cicerchia, senior researcher at ISTAT.


A recording of the conference in its entirety is available on ICOM Italy's website for on-demand viewing, and slides from individual speakers are available.