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The Balkan Museums Network exists to celebrate, preserve and share the complex common heritage of the western Balkans. It is based on mutual respect and guided by a commitment to professionalism and shared ethics.
The first training of the new Balkan Museum Access Group

Nine museum professionals from the Balkans have met in beautiful Athens for two day training with international consultants, Michele Tylor and Diana Walters. Following the call and the selection process, some of the topics the training has focused on have been: a theoretical foundation for access and inclusion; practical exercise on the social model of disability; The values and the role of Balkan Museum Access Group (BMAG) members. The participants have done their personal SWOT analysis making a personal skills audit that raised awareness of their current strengths and weaknesses. The second training day has started with the presentation by Dr Diana Walters on 'Museums as agents of social justice' emphasising the importance of the museum’s role as an advocate and educator for the social justice. In the afternoon, BMAG members visited the new Acropolis Museum assessing its accessibility on the spot.
 
Željka Sušić from the Typhlological Museum in Zagreb (Croatia) has said “I see Balkan Network Access Group as a platform that enables personal development mainly though gaining new and deepening the existing knowledge, as well as a place for the transfer of knowledge. For me, BMAG will be the place of encouragement, aiming at the promotion of possibilities for all socially sensitive groups, and not just for one group. Also, BMAG would have the role to propose new museums' projects that promote cooperation and new ways of learning, at the same time exploring the meanings of the museums' collections and topics that are related to them.”

Additional to the official training programme, our Greek BMAG colleague Artemis Stamatelou from the National  Historical Museum in Athens welcomed her museum colleagues and together with other staff members from the National Historical Museum showed us the collections. We are all delighted to be working with committed museum professionals interested in learning about access and inclusion of deaf and disable people in museums.

Balkan Museum Access Group (BMAG) is a permanent working group of the Balkan Museum Network. BMAG is made up of people working in museums in the Balkans with a particular interest in developing access and inclusion for deaf and disabled people, who are active in their own museums and in other museums across the region.

Activities of BMAG are funded by Stavros Niarchos Foundation through the Cultural Heritage without Borders.

 
Discussing leadership in culture

Museum professionals had the opportunity to discuss leadership in culture and heritage together with colleagues from the Creative Mentorship and Natwerkstan. The public debate was held in Belgrade on 8 February and one of the four speakers has been Tatjana Cvjetićanin, the President of the BMN Steering Board and the Curator in National Museum in Belgrade. Other presented in the dabate have been experts that dicussed the isseu from different angles: Dea Vidović on behalf of Croatian Foundation Kultura Nova; Karin Dalborg, CEO of the organization Nätverkstan from Gotheborg, Sweden; Karen Knight, freelance expert in the field of cultural heritage and one of the founders of Clore Leadership program in the UK. Panel will be moderated by Višnja Kisić, co-founder and development manager of Creative Mentorship.
The debate has been the part of the project “The role of art and culture in changing societies – Developing capacities for cultural leadership”  that has aim at the exchange od experience, knowledge and successful practice in the field of leadership and mentorship, as well as better understanding of the needs of leaders in the field of culture in post-conflict context. The project consisted of study visits, joint working sessions, focus groups with the purpose to determine the current conditions concerning leadership in culture and heritage sector.

Leadership and mentorship have been important topics for the BMN as the Network especially supports top and middle managers. A particular area of support is to female museum directors  that has evolved in the “Women’s International Leadership Development Programme (WILD)”. The WILD programme is still active in a way of life-long relationships and the wish of the organisers to continue with it.
Support for refugee integration

EU Creative Europe programme has issued the Call for Proposals: Support for refugee integration issued by the. The general objective is to support cultural, audio-visual and cross-sectorial projects aiming to facilitate the integration of refugees in the European environment. Thus, fostering, enabling and facilitating intercultural and interreligious dialogue, understanding, tolerance and respect for other cultures.
You are invited to submit your application until 28 April 2016. For further information about eligibility, requirements and the process, see the complete call for proposals.
Meet, See, Do 2016
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Announcing BMN Assembly meeting

On the third day of the “Meet, See, Do” conference in Shkodra (15 April 2016) an Assembly meeting of the BMN would be held. The third Assembly meeting is an opportunity to present the outcomes and activities from the last meeting (since April 2014) as well as plans for the next period. We invite all our members to propose a topic for the Assembly meeting.
Looking forward to see you all soon!
 
BMN has become a member of The International Coalition of Sites of Conscience
 
We are proud to announce that in March 2016, BMN has joint The International Coalition of Sites of Conscience that is a worldwide network of “Sites of Conscience” – historic sites, museums and initiatives that activate the power of places of memory to engage the public with a deeper understanding of the past and inspire action to shape a just future. The Coalition provides member sites with direct funding for civic engagement programs, organizes learning exchanges ranging from one-on-one collaborations to international conferences, and conducts strategic advocacy for sites and the Sites of Conscience movement.
 
 
Thematic Routes on Underwater Cultural Heritage

EASME (Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises) has published the Call for proposals "Thematic Routes on Underwater Cultural Heritage".

Deadline for submitting applications is 15 April 2016.

Guidelines of the call are available at https://ec.europa.eu/easme/sites/easme-site/files/call_for_proposals_new_22022016.pdf

 
IFLA Risk Register for Documentary Heritage

This year, the BMN is starting to look at disaster preparedness for museums in the region, and the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) has provided a great tool to help you prepare for the worst.
 
IFLA has created a Risk Register for documentary heritage in order to raise awareness for the preservation, conservation, and safeguarding of documentary heritage (in any format) world-wide.

The aim is to gather data on documentary heritage collections in order to be able to respond adequately if confronted with natural or man-made disasters. The Risk Register enables IFLA to provide contact and geospatial information to UNESCO and the organisational partners of the Blue Shield acting in times of disaster.

To register your documentary heritage collection, please visit: www.ifla.org/node/9656
For more information visit IFLA web site.




 
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