Preparing the artscape...

Museum Practitioners Gathered at Plotting Points Museum Summit

The Lopez Museum and Library (LML) recently held a three-day museum summit entitled “Plotting Points” last March 30 to April 1, 2017 at the University of Santo Tomas.

Gathering together 120 museum practitioners from around the country, the summit acted as a platform for best practices sharing, and a venue for dialogue concerning the different issues and concerns involving the museum practice in the country today. LML Director Mercedes L. Vargas said, “Practitioners … [were] presented topics in different formats that highlight the importance of creativity and innovation, learning from each other through partnerships and collaborations, and even plotting meaningful linkages with other disciplines.”

Opening the Plotting Point museum summit, newly-appointed National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) Executive Director Rico S. Pableo Jr. stressed upon the importance of culture and arts in the development of the country, and the role played by the museums and cultural institutions in bringing culture and arts closer to the people.

The keynote speaker for the summit was the renowned cultural worker and food historian Ms. Felice Prudente-Sta. Maria, who challenged the museum practitioners to adapt with new business models sustainably, to look at the psychology of learning and development, and to understand how the particular collection they are managing adds up to the “Filipino image”. She stressed the opportunity for the practitioners to do these now. She said, “The country is doing far more now than it did before. Build on it. Use your professions to grow with the country, as you grow the country.”

In the succeeding plenary sessions, NCCA National Committee on Museums Head Mr. Dannie Alvarez, and National Museum (NM) Assistant Director Ms. Ana Labrador Ph.D explained the mandate, policies, and projects of the government agencies they were representing. They also had the opportunity to present the accomplishments of their agencies in supporting the efforts of the local museums and cultural institutions around the country.

Associate Professor Jose Ma. Edito Tirol, Ph.D of Ateneo de Manila University spoke about how museums and cultural institutions act as sites of memory. He reminded the museum practitioners how their decisions may affect what details of history are kept, and what are omitted – what segments of our national memory are remembered, and what are forgotten.

Filmmaker Keith Sicat’s documentary on Philippine art and comics entitled “Komikero Chronicles” was also shown during the first day of the summit.

On the second day of Plotting Points, the museum practitioners were divided into sets of parallel breakout sessions, handled by the respected leaders in each field. These sessions – in lecture, workshop, case study, and panel discussion formats – tackled different topics surrounding museology in the Philippine context. Topics include collections management, ethnographic and regional museology, fundraising strategies, conservation and archiving, libraries, and the like.

On the last day, the audience were toured around the museums around the Metro Manila area. 

Plotting Points was made possible by the assistance of the NCCA, and the help of the Zero-In museum consortium, the Association of Greater Manila Area Museums, the University of the Philippines School of Library and Information Studies, the First Philippine Industrial Park, Gourmet Farms Inc., and Uber.

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