We Are Museums
Published in

We Are Museums

‘How We Set up an Eco Mindset’ by Indrė Lelevičiūtė, MO Museum

This is a summary of Indrė Lelevičiūtė’s speech at ‘Museums Facing Extinction’ Conference on November 16th 2020.

At the conference Museums Facing Extinction, Indrė Lelevičiūtė, Communications Manager at MO Museum in Vilnius (Lithuania) explains that, when setting up an eco mindset, we have to remember the relevance of inclusion. She gave 5 short different examples of MO Museum’s everyday life.

Inclusiveness

  • Building and nurturing communitiesIt varies from MO Museums annual membership programme — MOdernists loyalty programme — to MO Museum benefactors and business clubs. Also, special programmes to teachers and a community of online subscribers. To facilitate this, an effort has been made at the MO Museum to digitize their entire collection and make it available free of charge wherever you are in the world.
  • 140 volunteersA very important community to the museums that is renewed twice a year.
  • Comfortable experience for all MO Museum does everything to help people with disabilities feel comfortable in the museum spaces. MO tailors activities to accommodate all needs (for example, guided tours for senior citizens, parents with their little ones or tours for neighbours). MO Museum website provides free of charge content that can be accessed from anywhere.
  • Socially sensitive groupsWelcoming all the socially sensitive groups in the museum by providing an extensive discount system is also crucial for the MO Museum. Together with the British Council, MO Museum set up a programme to help the educators and members of the team go to socially vulnerable communities.
  • Events that meet the expectations of different communitiesThe MO Museum also tries to ensure that activities and programmes are geared towards members of different communities. That is why the meetings include garden enthusiasts; they host picnics to talk about sustainability and our impact on the environment; have poetry readings, family Sundays, and so much more.

Indrė explained that MO Museum always tries to apply their eco-mindset. As a result, all their activities are practical in decreasing the environmental impact and highlighting the importance of sustainability as a topic in our local community. Speaking about the museum’s building, it’s a very compact building, it contains all the necessary elements to accommodate an institution and the spaces are multifunctional. Optimisation of space and functional flexibility contributes to the eco-friendliness of the building. The MO building occupies less than half of the land owned by MO. Moreover, almost a quarter of the site is dedicated to green space. Plants for the garden have been chosen following a natural style, selected specifically for their durability and longevity.

The eco-mindset is employed both in the technical and conceptual part while organizing exhibitions.

Practical examples of the eco-mindset in the team’s daily life

The spaces of the MO Museum are very multifunctional and optimized, enabling them to function flexibly, contributing to the building’s eco-friendliness.

When it comes to the technical aspect, the team makes an effort to use all the stalls and materials as much as possible and they exploit the spaces to the fullest. From the conceptual part, two main exhibitions are conducted yearly and two small exhibitions. A long-lasting e-guide follows each exhibition to help everybody become acquainted with topics, even after the exhibition is over.

Indrė Lelevičiūtė describes some other activities that are carried out at the museum. They include:

  • Recycling in the office and the museum
  • Reusing of advertising materials
  • Reusing and donating materials after an exhibition or any other project
  • Using printing leftovers as a wrapping paper in the shop
  • Promotion of sustainability through the use of eco-friendly goods
  • Nurturing the local and eco partnership with other brands to facilitate sales of their goods at the museum shop

No matter what events are taking place, whatever audience they are channelled towards, the team always tries to include environmental sustainability as a topic.

The team of MO Museum strongly believes that the museum should act as a place, a cultural hub where dialogue can be held between different people regardless of their age, social class and etc.

They acknowledge that the museum is in contact with very many communities that have different points of interest, but that does not mean that individual communities should be excluded or not get to participate in these conversations.

In the end, Indrė explained that they are still trying to learn and find new and effective ways to think more about the environment.

So, what do you think? Are ecology and sustainability still more a trend or already a mindset in the museum field?

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Diane Drubay

Diane Drubay

Founder of @wearemuseums. Co-founder of @alterhen. Arts & Culture for the Tezos ecosystem. Visual artist nudging for nature awareness.