MO Museum

Where
Lithuania
When
2020
Who
MO Museum
This measure was reported by civil society.
Describe the main features of the measure/initiative: 
The MO Museum’s mission is to collect and present modern and contemporary Lithuanian art in an international context and to introduce never before seen works of art created behind the Iron Curtain to audiences worldwide. The MO Museum aims to be open and accessible to a wide range of audiences with the aim to build and foster a strong community through engaging exhibition topics and events programming and an education based on dialogue. Thus, the MO Museum is first and foremost intended as a cultural hub where all people feel welcome and where creative interaction around the art is encouraged. The MO Museum aspires to be a welcoming museum and to attract a wide range of audiences, local and international visitors, first-timers and art professionals. Public programmes such as film screenings, concerts and performances as well as freely accessible spaces (such as the sculpture garden and the terrace) are devised to lower the threshold for people without a particular background in art. The MO Museum aims to be a conversation partner, creating stories about and with people, embracing the latest exhibition and educational practices primarily to start a dialogue about the art. Through exhibition programming, mediation and content marketing, the MO Museum put Lithuania on the map as a creative and cultural hub. The basic principle that people give their own impulses in the cultural reflection process has been the driving force to engage with visitors and to continue providing a platform for dialogue and creative interaction. The empowerment and involvement of the entire community is of particular importance to us. Through our activities, we try to create opportunities for the broader public, which may not have an artistic education, to make inroads into the world of art appreciation. We aspire that through cultural understanding we will be able to rebuild our fractured and splintered identity as a Nation. A wide range of activities and services is developed to make the MO Museum an integral part of the community. Cinema screenings, lectures, meetings with artists are part of the offer alongside family-oriented activities. Family Sundays are especially dedicated to the very young. Children from 3 years of age can already participate in theatre workshops, printing workshops and special storytelling excursions. The book series titled “MOmuks” is developed with special tasks and fun facts about each new exhibition for children and their adult companions. Every first Monday of the month the Senior Citizens are the special guests at the MO Museum. They are invited for a free excursion and coffee or tea and a biscuit afterwards. Moreover, the MO Museum’s free e-guides can be downloaded or streamed on any smart phone, using the free MO Museum wi-fi. The guides cover the current exhibitions as well as the museum’s architecture and sculpture garden. Everything is translated into English. One hundred MO Museum’s volunteers make up a unique community of art enthusiasts. Among them there are students as well as seniors, unemployed as well as active professionals. Their feedback is generally very rewarding: “it’s good to do good and to be close to art”; “volunteering experience at the MO Museum is very exciting, I have learnt a lot and would like to stay longer”; “my dream of being a volunteer guide came true only at the MO”. The MO Museum continuously seeks to involve different parts of the community. Building a permanent community of volunteers as well as starting museum membership programme – MOdernists – are new practices in the Lithuanian museum sector. Here the specific aim is to accentuate active citizenship and to build a sense of ownership. The feedback of our Modernists to our programming and activities is frequently solicited and highly valued. Partnerships, events and programmes have expanded our community as well: tech communities through hARTcathon; communities of gardening enthusiasts through the MO garden project; bio-science communities through collaborations in the exhibition “Animal-Human-Robot” event’s programme; school and teachers through Teacher’s pass programme, etc. The MO Museum positively started a tradition of corporate and private sponsorship and relations with private sector.
What are the results achieved so far through the implementation of the measure/initiative?: 
The MO Museum has attracted a wide variety of people, even those who have never visited an art museum. This is wonderful as the offering of an art museum as a leisure alternative is one of the most difficult tasks. Since its opening, we have been striving to make the MO a museum that is always alive and we have succeeded. More than 300 000 people have visited the MO Museum since its opening on 18 October 2018. Since the opening and till the end of 2019, we have achieved the following results: more than 14 000 people participated in the MO Library’s excursions; more than 63 505 people listened to the MO Museum’s e. guide; 40 lectures; 31 meeting with different artists; 96 cultural events; 32 music and dance performances; 41 Family Sundays with a special programme for families with the aim to incorporate artists and their artworks in this programme; 3 art camps for children in summer; more than 12 000 children participated in different educational activities; more than 250 schools participated in the MO Museum’s special programme for schools; 604 new artworks supplemented the MO Museum Collection (The MO Collections includes 5 580 artworks); the MO Museum in cooperation with the partners made 2 statues “talk” in 2019 (when implementing the project “Vilnius Talking Statues”). Now 18 statues “talk” in Vilnius and more than 53 240 of visitors have used the application which enables to “call” the statues of the MO Museum and investigate the issues of identity in the broadest sense of the word. The exhibition programming focuses on the connection between contemporary art and contemporary life. The first exhibition “All Art” is about us challenged viewers to look at the works through the prism of the Lithuanian identity. The second exhibition “Animal – Human – Robot” opened exploring the ever-changing identity of humans versus other beings. The MO Museum is quickly gaining a momentum in terms of social relevance and also in our collaborations with international artists. For “Animal-Human-Robot”, the Museum attracted Oleg Kulik (Russia), Hito Steyerl (Germany), Katja Novitskova (Estonia) and Daiga Grantina (Latvia). The exhibition “Shared Habitats” was a collaboration with the Weimar Bauhaus University. The exhibition “The Origin of Species: 1990s DNA” interpreted the formative years of the renewed Lithuanian identity and was the most attended art exhibition in the history of independent Lithuania (more than 140 000 visitors). The exhibition “Mekas Winks Better” is a show dedicated to the avant-garde filmmaker and Fluxus master Jonas Mekas. An ambitious exhibition programme is planned for 2020: Peter Greenaway and Saskia Bodekke will present an immersive exhibition, including artworks from the collection “Why Is It Hard to Love?”; in collaboration with Adam Mickiewicz Institute in Warsaw and Museum Śląskie in Katowice the exhibition “Difficult Age” curated by Anda Rotenberg will be presented including the artworks by Szapocznikow, Wróblewski, Wajda. The Museum invests a great deal of effort and resources in educational programmes building a platform for non-formal education and aiming at cultural reflection and development of essential 21st century skills: creativity, problem solving and critical thinking. So, the Museum offers the following three types of educational programmes: integrated lessons (literature, biology, history, English), visual thinking and emotional intelligence. These educational strategies are not limited to school children, adult groups regularly enjoy the benefits of unique MO-branded “serious games”. The founders of the MO Museum were named People of the Year and were awarded the title of Vilnius City Citizens of Honour. The Museum was also awarded as the Initiative of the Year, while the President Dalia Grybauskaitė referred to it as the Centennial Gift for Lithuania. The MO Museum was included in the TOP-10 of the world’s museums that are most worth visiting and TOP-5 of the most-anticipated museums. The MO Museum was also nominated for the Leading Culture Destination 2020 and the European Museum of the Year 2020 awards.
Goal(s) of UNESCO's 2005 Convention
Cultural Domain(s)
Visual Arts