President’s Message

Dear CECA members,

So here I am President of CECA after so many years of various activities within it. I take it as an honour but also as an important responsibility.

First of all, I would like to acknowledge the work of the previous board which, under the leadership of Mila Chiovatto, in addition to the traditional activities of CECA, made significant progress in its internal organization. We would like to thank all of them.

On this solid foundation and with the help of an office of different ages, expertise, backgrounds and languages, I would like to direct, with your help, the activity of our committee in several priority directions:

  • Communication to members will need to be strengthened in two complementary ways:
  1. By a necessary updating of the membership lists, which are not accurately kept up to date  by the ICOM Secretariat and which should be reconciled on a case-by-case basis with the lists drawn up by the National Committees. Our network of national correspondentswill further enhance its usefulness in this way.
  2. Through a renewed and responsive website, an even greater presence on social medianetworks, and the sending of a newsletter multiple times a year. All the information provided should be systematically offered in all three official ICOM languages, an important but essential task for the inclusion of all.
  • The active participation of the members’ network will be solicited in various ways:
  1. By the evolution of the format of our annual meetings towards a more interactive mode favouring exchanges and dialogue, as well as rescheduling pre-conference workshops to overlap with the conference itself, thus opening them to all.
  2. By the progressive constitution of “Special Interest Groups”, each deciding, around a volunteer coordinator, to work on a common theme in the medium term, leading to reports during the annual conference.
  3. By paying particular attention to the professional training of the members’ network, beyond mere information, reinforcing the links already initiated between experimental research and professional skills. Best Practice Award candidates would, for example, be encouraged to refine their program evaluation tools during workshops at the annual conference. The number of regional workshops would be increased and oriented towards  the development of structuring skills in museum education.
  • Support for the recognition of the skills of educational staff within museums, encouraging their  participation in the development of exhibitions and acting by all possible means to improve the  professional status of museum educators.

I am aware that this programme is ambitious, but I am convinced that it corresponds to the wishes of the CECA members and that it can be supported by the very fine team that has just been set up and by the dynamism of the network.

Long live museums, long live the education they provide, and long live the professionals who devote themselves to museums!

Marie-Clarté O’NEILL
President of the ICOM CECA International Committee
September 2019