The Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning

Publication Urban Rural Culture - Museum partnerships between cities and rural areas

BMVBS-Online-Publikation 14/13, Ed.: BMVBS, September 2013

Series: BMVBS-Online-Publikationen Published: October 2013

Editing
Culture Concepts, Berlin
Dr. Cornelia Dümcke
STADTart, Dortmund
Dipl.-Ing. Stadtplaner Ralf Ebert

Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development (BBSR), Bonn
Dr. Rupert Kawka rupert.kawka@bbr.bund.de

Abstract

In November 2012, the study "Urban Rural Culture - Museum partnerships between cities and rural areas" was commissioned by the Federal Institute for Rearch on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development (BBSR) within the Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning. The study is part of the "Initiative Rural Infrastructure" of the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development (BMVBS) and was conducted in the context of the research program "General Departmental Research" of the BBSR. The objective of the study is to explore approaches to foster cooperation and partnership models of Art and Artists Museums in rural areas with museums in larger cities and towns, in order to derive conclusions for the national spatial development policy aimed to safeguard the rural infrastructure.

Background of the Study

The background for the research project is provided by spatial policy strategies for urban and regional development aimed to support urban-rural partnerships in the context of large-scale communities of responsibility. These strategies shall contribute to a future-oriented safeguarding of public services in rural areas.

Regarding Art and Artists Museums, the study explores particularly the contribution of this genre of museums to both the image production and the regional identity in rural areas. The following main questions form the basis of the research project.

  • How important are Art and Artists Museums for the development of rural areas?
  • Do Art and Artists Museums in urban and rural areas cooperate in local or municipal networks, and if so, in what kind of forms?
  • What kind of measures can support partnerships between Art and Artists Museums in cities and rural areas?

Research methods

The main methodological focus of the study is the analysis of practices of cooperation regarding Art and Artists Museums in Germany. The research has used qualitative, semi-structured interviews with museum associations in Germany, followed by three in-depth "studio workshops" held in Art and Artists Museums in rural areas or in cities (Emil Nolde Foundation in Seebüll, State Art Collections Dresden, and Museum of Modern Art Wörlen GmbH in Passau). In addition, studies on cooperation models currently applied by Art and Artists Museums in Germany and abroad are identified and analyzed. Against this background, conclusions and recommendations for the regional spatial development policy at federal level regarding Art and Artists Museums in rural areas have been derived.

Results and recommendations

The study concludes that the search for new models of cooperation and partnerships should be a central field of activity not only for the around 750 Art and Artists Museums in Germany. Given the ICOM Declaration of Lisbon in April 2013 (Support Culture and Museums to Face the Global Crisis and Build the Future) and the "Memorandum on the situation of museums - museums between quality and relevance" (2012), the promotion of cooperation and museum partnerships is the order of the day not only because of the financial crisis and the demographic challenges. Thus, the study meets a broad interest of actors in the museum policy as well as in cultural policy. Since little research on urban-rural cooperation models in the field of Art and Artists Museums exist, the study fills a research gap.

The survey of Art and Artists Museums shows that there is a great interest in urban-rural cooperation models and partnerships. However, cooperation models and cooperation arrangements are not equally strong in all areas of museum work.

The study identified factors beneficial or detrimental for cooperation and museum partnerships. Conducive to cooperation between Art and Artists Museums in the rural areas with appropriate facilities in large cities are particularly the fulfillment of adequate technical requirements for exhibitions, e.g. climate conditions and safety. Conducive are also good personal contacts with the Art and Artists Museums in large cities.

From the spatial planning perspective it should be stressed that Art and Artists Museums like other museums in rural areas are part of the cultural infrastructure and as such fulfill important functions for culture and education as well as for local and regional development. With regard to the concept of spatial planning, they contribute to the concept "Ensuring services of public interest" in rural areas. Under certain conditions, increasingly large-scale partnerships between Art and Artists Museums in cities and rural areas are conceivable.

The study recommends the following measures, addressed to different fields of action:

Approaches to the development of large-scale partnerships of Art and Artists Museums between cities and rural areas

  • Construction of iconic Art and Artists Museums in rural areas based on a sensibility towards high quality standards of buildings
  • Financial support for Art and Artists Museums in rural areas in order to improve conditions for art exhibitions (mainly regarding security and climate conditions)
  • In the framework of construction, enlargement and refurbishment of Art and Artists Museums in rural areas, taking into account pre-conditions rising attractiveness in terms of both supply structure (e.g. restaurants and catering) as well as urban design (e.g. public spaces with residential quality)
  • Support of Art and Artists Museums in rural areas as part of an exhibitionrelated funding program, aimed to foster large-scale partnerships between cities and rural areas in the cultural sector

Approaches to strengthening local/inter-communal cooperation of Art and Artists Museums with other agencies to ensure the public services in rural areas

  • Documentation and communication of good examples of local/sub-regional cooperation of Art and Artists Museums ensuring public services in rural areas or as a building block for the development of cultural landscapes
  • Promotion of the development of Art and Artists Museums in the rural areas as multi-disciplinary hubs for cultural disposed groups

Recommendations at federal level

  • Communicative measures: conference on large-scale partnerships of Art and Artists Museums between cities and rural areas at local as well as regional level and Utilization of the competition "People and Successes" to identify best practice examples of museum partnerships in rural areas
  • Testing of a pilot project for the establishment of museum partnerships in the context of spatial development concepts
  • Utilization of programs for urban development
  • Initiation of a cooperation project with the German Federal Cultural Foundation
  • Verification of complementary infrastructure-related approaches such as:
    - Support to arts associations, as well as to studio and artists' houses in rural areas for infrastructure investment
    - Institutional support and/or project funding of interdisciplinary sociocultural centers

The BMVBS is offered a range of opportunities to support partnerships of Art and Artists Museums between cities and rural areas at local as well as inter-communal level. It is recommended that the BMVBS should focus its activities on communicative measures and on the implementation of pilot projects.


The abstract is part of the German publication "Innerstädtische Hauptverkehrsstraßen - Visitenkarte und Problemzone für die Wohnungsmarktentwicklung" - BMVBS-Online-Publikation 14/13, Hrsg.: BMVBS, September 2013, Berlin
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