CIMAM recognizes the urgency of acknowledging outstanding museum practices of modern and contemporary art museums
In November 2019, CIMAM, the International Committee for Museums and Collection of Modern Art, launched the Outstanding Museum Practices Award project, bringing value to CIMAM's core mission of promoting knowledge and exchange among modern and contemporary art museum and collection professionals, in a way that we may learn from each other.
In early 2020, in light of museum closures due to the global Covid-19 pandemic, CIMAM announced the award for Outstanding Museum Practices in Times of Global Crisis platform to draw attention to the exceptional work done by the museum community around the world at this critical time.
One year later, Suzanne Cotter, a member of the CIMAM Board and chair of the Outstanding Museum Practices Award, reaffirms the urgency of promoting the work of modern and contemporary art museums and collections worldwide. "CIMAM is a peer network that promotes exchange and the sustainability of museums. The Award is intended as a platform for visibility that we want to leverage to recognize the work of our colleagues globally," comments Suzanne Cotter.
Over the past year, museums have presented exciting innovations and bold proposals, adapting to new and altered realities and supporting the diversity of audiences they represent, from artists, collectors, in-house workers, and suppliers, to the general public. The Outstanding Museum Practices Award is looking for projects that have the potential to inspire fellow museum and arts professionals operating in very different contexts.
"Because of its exceptional nature, the Award aims to inspire our members, share information, and encourage people working in institutions to remember that they are doing exceptional work, at a time of urgent global challenges," explains Suzanne Cotter on the significance of the Award for the museum community.
The nominations received so far present innovative examples of public outreach through the use of technology that involves more direct participation by people and museums that are working with artists to create spaces where people to come together and exchange basic necessities.
The Outstanding Museum Practice in Times of Global Crisis is a live platform that is accessible to modern and contemporary art museum professionals to present their nominated practices. The CIMAM working group for the award is made up of six members of the CIMAM* Board.
“With the Outstanding Museum Practices Award, we will be looking for boldness, creativity, specificity, and responsiveness to context. At this moment of cultural and political reckoning, museums are conscious, more than ever, of the importance of responding through their activities and their ways of working to the urgencies of equality, social justice, climate change, and the impact of technology. We want to recognize the potential of nominated practices that give us permission to think and to act differently,” explains Suzanne Cotter.
The selected nominees will be presented in November 2021. Institutions can submit nominations until 30 September 2021. The CIMAM Board will review members’ votes for nominations to identify the practices deemed outstanding. Award winners will receive CIMAM's official recognition for use in their institutions and communication supports. All nominations are published weekly on the CIMAM website and social media channels, distinguishing them with the hashtag #OutstandingMuseumPractices.
Considering the many challenges facing the current museum model and its future, the CIMAM Outstanding Museum Practices Award is an ongoing project. "The award is intended as a source of inspiration over time, where professionals can engage with thinking and approaches to the challenges in our specific contexts, and that affect our community globally," explains Suzanne Cotter.
* The 2020–22 CIMAM Outstanding Museum Practice Award Committee consists of six CIMAM board members: Suzanne Cotter (Chair), Suhanya Raffel, Ernestine White-Mifetu, Ann-Sofi Noring, Malgorzata Ludwisiak, and Rhana Devenport.