The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the International Council of Museums (ICOM) recognize the pioneering role of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) in their new guide Culture and Local Development: Maximising the Impact. Guide for Local Governments, Communities and Museums. Launched in Venice on December 7, 2018, the guide is intended for governments, communities and museums striving to promote local development and a sustainable future.
According to MMFA Executive Director and Chief Curator, Nathalie Bondil, “This recognition by the OECD and ICOM of the many exemplary actions supported by our innovative humanistic and inclusive vision of the MMFA as a vector of social progress constitutes a milestone. The exceptional validation by these international economic and cultural institutions enables us to advance our message to strengthen the role of culture and expand the definition of a trailblazing museum in the areas of inclusion and well-being ... a museum like the MMFA."
The MMFA, trailblazer and model
The only Canadian institution cited in the guide, the MMFA is featured in 5 of the 16 case studies presented. Culture and Local Development: Maximising the Impact. Guide for Local Governments, Communities and Museums cites the following MMFA projects:
Page 22, “Partnering for urban regeneration”: The MMFA’s participation in the creation of Zone Éducation-Culture in 2016, in collaboration with Concordia University and the City of Montreal;
Page 26, “Promoting inclusiveness and diversity: Montreal Museum of Fine Arts supporting the Pride Festival”: The MMFA’s support for and participation in the Montreal Pride festival and parade since 2016, reflecting the Museum’s vision of diversity and togetherness;
Page 30, “Partnership for education: EducArt digital platform, Quebec, Canada”: The interdisciplinary teaching tool EducArt launched in 2017, which enables Quebec high school teachers to incorporate works from the Museum's collection into their teaching of the school curriculum.
Page 37, “Museums and criminal rehabilitation: the experience of Louvre, France and Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Canada”: The Art therapy workshops organized in collaboration with the Restorative Justice Service Centre, bringing together monthly at the Museum people affected by violence in sessions focused on a restorative process that combines meeting, sharing and dialogue;
Page 38, “Promoting inclusiveness, health and well-being: a Manifesto for a Humanistic Fine Arts Museum”: The Manifesto for a Humanist Museum1 written by Nathalie Bondil in 2016, which supports the view that Museums play an essential social role and that culture is vital to the well-being of society. This vision has led to the development of the art therapy program at the MMFA, the establishment of its Art and Health Advisory Committee as well as the creation of the very first Museum Prescriptions program in partnership with the Médecins francophones du Canada.
1 BONDIL, Nathalie, MONTREAL MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS (2016). ”Manifesto for a Humanist Fine Arts Museum,” The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Michal and Renata Hornstein Pavilion for Peace: International Art and Education: Michel de la Cheneliere International Workshop for Education and Art Therapy, Montreal: The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, pp. 20-28.