The program Museums Bridges aims to promote and help to apply new professional standards and innovative approaches to museum activity providing favorable conditions for experience and technologies exchange, strengthening links in the museum professionals’ community, developing cooperation and partnership relations among museums and organizations from other professional spheres. The Program also supports the integration of Russian museums into the world museum community. The Foundation believes that to survive and have sustainable development in the nowadays world museums should turn into open public institutions and establish a wider dialogue with its audience in the large sense of the word. So the Program encourages its grantees to overcome borders within the museum community, facilitates spreading and exchange of the best museum tools and practices, boosts professional mobility of museum experts, their professional and personal development thus promoting a higher prestige of the museum profession in general.
The grantees are selected based on the grant competition held twice a year for two possible nominations: visits to educational workshops and trainings, and group or individual study trips overseas within programs jointly developed by the Foundation and partner organizations both in Russia and abroad. Another option is financing of individually developed educational programs.
The second nomination is one week study trips for museums executives and department heads around Russia the purpose of which is to get familiar with the most efficient museum practices and update technologies applied by other museums.
Another major category of the Program is the grant competition for projects of inter-museum collaboration, which facilitates the emerging of new dialogue sites, fosters social changes, prompts research activities and has a positive impact on territories development enlarging the circle of museum loyal audience. Grants are allocated to projects providing visits of Russian and foreign experts on museology and museum management to museum forums, conferences, festivals or other public cultural events held in Russia. This may also cover visits of qualified museum teams and independent consultants for pre-project activities on updating the organization, exposition or infrastructure of the hosting museum. Another form of cultural exchange supported by this Program is organizing traveling exhibitions or exhibitions from other museums’ funds. And the third opportunity provided by the Program is organizing and holding educational seminars, trainings, mini internships, and research conferences arranged by grantees in municipal and regional museums.
The candidates for all these competitions should prove their leadership and high level communication skills, respect and gained reputation in the local community, wide partnership links, potential ability to apply the accumulated knowledge in their own organization integrating the experience in their everyday activities and turning it into a more sustainable institution.