C o m m o n w e a l t h
A s s o c i a t i o n o f
M u s e u m s
CAM Bulletin Number 5 - Dec. 1998
Uganda Benefits From American Exchange Programme
The Uganda Museum was selected to receive a 1997-99 International Partnership Among Museums (IPAM) awarded by the American Association of Museums to undertake an exchange with the James A. Michener Art Museum, Doylestown, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
The two museums are developing traveling culture kits for school children who are not able to reach the museum. The Education Officer of the Uganda Museum, Rose Nkaale Mwanja, and of the James Michener Museum, Susan Plumb, undertook one month exchanges in the U.S.A. and Uganda respectively.
IPAM has provided Uganda Museum with a unique opportunity to establish lasting international ties with the James A. Michener Museum by developing and conducting complimentary projects. This mutually beneficial and sustainable linkage is the main aim of the programme. IPAM is also intended to promote institutional development while enhancing the museums' ability to enrich their own communities.
Funding for the IPAM exchange is provided by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of US Information Agency (USIA) and the grant is administered by the American Association of Museums.
This project took place in two phases:
Phase 1: The Ugandan participant traveled to USA for one month (April 20 to May 29, 1998) to experience American museums and their children's programmes, both in general and with specific interest in the details of outreach programmes that are successful, advantages and disadvantages, problems faced in administering them. etc.
Several museums in Washington, Philadelphia and Los Angeles were visited including Children's Museums such as the Crayola Museum for Children and the Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia, the Natural History Museum and the Afro American Art Museum in Philadelphia, and major institutions such as The Smithsonian Institution, the National Gallery of Art, the National Museum of African Art, the new Getty Museum in Los Angeles. The opportunity to attend the American Association of Museums annual conference in Los Angeles during this period also enabled useful contact with other museum professionals, Educators, Registrars, Conservators, ICOM staff and IPAM staff.
Phase 2: Susan Plumb traveled to Uganda on June 26th to July 27th 1998 to have the experience in the Ugandan situation especially with regard to what the Museums and Monuments offer to schools on their visits. Work was done on how best to initiate the use of the kits in the schools without an outreach programme.
The kits have since been developed to the final stage and are now being piloted in the schools. When the piloting is over, it will be possible to make improvements.
Rose continues: "The program exposed me to a different society and therefore to a different situation, such that I am now able to think beyond the Ugandan situation and come up with dynamic programmes for the Uganda Museum."
Rose Nkaale Mwanja,
(Editor's Note: Another CAM member Ali Baakabe, currently of the Kisumu Museum, Kenya, participated in IPAM in 1990 exchanging with the Buffalo Museum in New York State and following his US visit with a short study tour of museums in Ottawa, Ontario and in Alberta, Canada.)
Further information of the IPAM exchange is available from:
American Association of Museums
Department of International Programs
1575 Eye Street, N.W. 4th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20005
Applications, which must be from museums, will be accepted for the 1999-2001 cycle soon and the AAM should be contacted for application instruction and exact deadline dates. Krista Schepis, Dept. of International Programs may be contacted for detailed information. You can also read more about the IPAM program at http://www.aam-us.org