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Small Grants for the Best Museum Project 2017

16 member museums of the Balkan Museum Network applied on the Small Grants call with project ideas focused on access and inclusion of Deaf and disabled people in museums, and digitization in museums.

Three out of 16 applications were granted and these are projects of the National Museum of Leskovac (Serbia), the National Historical Museum (Greece) and the Zenica City Museum (Bosnia and Herzegovina) that were recognized as the most creative and compelling, and of great importance for communities they work with.

All three projects will be implemented during 2017.

“One museum – a lot of hope”, project of the National Museum of Leskovac, aims to improve equal access of disabled children to museum, enable better quality of their lives and improve social integration. Museum aims to adapt different exhibits from its collections to disabled children who are not in position to enjoy and explore culture in a proper way. In order to make its work accessible and inclusive, this Museum will use photos and replicas of objects from different historical periods and create interesting tools for workshops with children. The project will be implemented in cooperation with the Homeland Museum of Knjaževac and School ”11 October”, that works with disabled children.

The National Historical Museum Athens created a project titled “A Touch of History!”. This project aims to improve museum access to blind and partially sighted people by designing tours, handling sessions, offering museum educational service and information to this category of visitors. “A Touch of History!” is a joint project of the National Historical Museum and the Lighthouse for the Blind of Greece. The Museum aims to partner with blind and partially sighted people in Greece, and build a network of partners who will promote accessibility in Greek museums and beyond.

Accessible and inclusive museum is also in the focus of the Zenica City Museum. With a project titled “3D MUSE” this Museum plans to present existing collections using digitization and making it accessible to everyone, especially disabled people. The Museum aims to produce new format of labels that is more interactive and suitable to different audiences, and also to produce 3D models of the specific exhibits. As part of the project, this Museum plans to include disabled people in museum activities, engage museum’s staff to present stories of exhibits using technology and to present information on web site and social media channels in a new and more accessible way.

All three Balkan Museum Network’s projects are supported by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation through the Cultural Heritage without Borders Bosnia and Herzegovina. As part of the Small Grant programme, since the year 2013, total of 27 museum projects from the Balkans have been funded.