Cincinnati has been recognized as a resource for the international museum community, and National Underground Railroad Freedom Center president Dr. Clarence Newsome had the chance to be part of that honor.
Dr. Newsome traveled to Paris last week as part of a delegation of Cincinnati museum leaders attending the International Council on Museum’s (ICOM) annual meeting.
ICOM was considering Cincinnati and Kyoto, Japan as the top possible locations for its triennial General Conference in 2019 – considered to be the Olympics of the museum world. Ohio ranks 5th in the nation for the number of museums, featuring about 1,500, and nearly 100 museums are in the Cincinnati area alone.
On June 2, Dr. Newsome and other leaders presented on their proposed meeting, which would have had the theme “Curate – Connect – Change.” Cincinnati’s proposal stated, “Today museums are called to go far beyond the role of managing and explaining or to ‘Curate’. Indeed they are called to be agents of connecting and changing people, communities and the world.” In addition to the Freedom Center, meeting attendees would have easy access to Cincinnati Museum Center, the Cincinnati Art Museum, the Taft Museum of Art, the Contemporary Arts Center, the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, and many other museums around the region.
In his portion of the presentation, Dr. Newsome emphasized that the National Underground Freedom Center goes beyond the traditional curation techniques of managing and explaining. Instead, he said, the museum tells the stories of real people and the triumph of the human spirit; telling about Freedom Heroes produces meaning to bring about positive change in our world today.
Unfortunately, Cincinnati was not selected. The General Conference would have brought an anticipated 3,000 museum representatives from more than 100 countries to our city.
“Presenting at the ICOM conference was a great opportunity for Cincinnati’s museum community to be part of a larger international dialogue on the future of museums,” Dr. Newsome said.
ICOM is an international group of museums and museum professionals with more than 35,000 members in 136 countries. Click here for more information.
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