Museum Education / Médiation Culturelle

English version : (pour la version française il faut aller un peu plus bas)

Today I am going to tell you a little bit more about my job, Museum Educator which is in French Médiatrice Culturelle (Cultural Mediation). First of all, no I don’t solve any conflicts. Let me use the definition written on the wikipedia page:

“Museum education is a specialized field devoted to developing and strengthening museum’s role as public institutions. The purpose of museums education is to enhance the visitors ability to understand and appreciate museums collections.”

Basically, the two terms mean the same thing and consist of the them actions.

While I’m in the US I want to discover how the Educator Managers here organize their activities, theirs exhitions, what do they offer to their audiences, what works and what doesn’t.

In France you can be a Museum Educator in different cultural places : a museum of course, but also, a foundation, an Institute, a non-profit organization, etc. I feel for that matter that it is the same here.

But let’s go deeper in the comparison. In France my job is to create pedagogical activities for all the different audiences. For example if a school wants to come to my museum or my exhibition I will talk with the teacher about the different concepts he wants me to introduce to the children according to the collections. The activities are adapted to the ages and the grades of all the children.

On weekends we’ll have other activities but for family when parents and children can learn and have fun together.

Anyways you get the point. The objectif is to always suggest something original, fun, educative, pedagogical and unexpensive.

That last word allows me to introduce you to the main difference between museums in France and in the USA. In France we don’t have sponsors, all the exhibitions and all the activities are managed by the government.

You can donate to a museum but it will be for the most famous ones like the Louvre. Companies can donate money but they can’t sponsor an exhibition. Something I noticed is that at the Philadelphia Museum of Art a lot of rooms have the name of a generous donor, and you also have a list of their names at the entrance. We don’t have that in France. But of course, I didn’t see all the museums in France this is from my perspective and if you have seen or heard about something opposite to what I say please let me now in the comment section.

I love my job, well I will because I’m finishing my studies for now and maybe I will if I am lucky enough to find a job. Lucky, because the museums and cultural organisations in France just got our budget cut, so a lot of the offers I see online are internships. And to be honnest I am 25 and this year I will be doing my 10th internship.

I don’t want to complain because we are truly lucky for many reasons in France but like everybody else I need a job and I really would like to find the job I studied for.

Anyways after that digression let’s get back to the main topic.

An educator in a cultural organization can do many different things, and it is going also to depend on the size of the organization.

Let me give you an example, a friend of mine is doing an internship at the Louvre, and she explained to me that the museum educators there create the activities, animation and workshop but they don’t actually perform them with the audiences. They call different animators and performers to realize them for the museum.

When I used to intern for various places, but smaller, you do everything. You create the activities, you order the material and you perform with the different audiences.

I am not saying that one is more valuable or rewarding than the other. I am just trying to show you that depending on the size of the structure you will have to do more for the same action.

In order to know more about my field in America I am going to introduce you to a new kind of article that you will find on my blog: the Interviews. When I get the chance to meet a professionnal I will ask a few question and you will have the results here. In a few days you will discover the first one I hope you will enjoy it.

If you are an educator or if you run a cultural organization please contact me and I would be really interested to hear your thoughts and impression.

Before you go take a few seconds to answer my poll. I would like to know more about you and your visits to the museum 🙂

See ya

Version française

Aujourd’hui je vais vous parler un peu de mon travail de Médiatrice Culturelle (en anglais Museum Educator), en effet la tranduction littérale du terme Cultural Mediator définit la personne qui résout les conflits. Ce qui n’est pas du tout mon travail.

Pour faire simple quant à sa définition je fais le lien entre les collections et les publics.

Basiquement : Institution (musée, asso, etc.) –> Collections (permanente ou temporaire) –> médiatrice –> publics

Par le biais d’animations pédagogiques je transmet les informations, que ce soit le travail de l’artiste, son message, ou sa technique. Mais aussi des concepts par exemple si je fais une animation pédagogique pour une classe de primaire et que l’artiste travaille beaucoup sur les formes géométriques je vais m’appuyer sur ce que voient les enfants en classe (les différentes formes, la géométrie…).

Ici le travail est à peu près le même et j’espère découvrir les différences et les similarités en rencontrant des professionnels et en réalisant des interviews que vous trouverez retranscrits ici. Le premier sera en ligne d’ici quelques jours.

La différence majeure avec la France c’est qu’ici ils peuvent organiser des expositions en étant sponsorisés, et j’ai aussi l’impression que l’idée de dons chez les particuliers et beaucoup plus répandue et commune. Au musée de Philadelphie plusieurs salles portent le nom des donateurs des oeuvres d’arts ou des donateurs financiers.

Je vais voir ici s’il est aussi difficile de trouver un travail qu’en France, parce qu’en ce moment c’est un challenge assez important.

La plupart des offres que je vois sur le net sont des offres de stages, hors à 25 ans après multiples stages (celui que je vais faire est je pense mon 10ème) on a un peu envie de travailler et de gagner sa vie.

Bon je laisse ma complainte de côté et je reviens au vif du sujet. Afin de mieux comparer les différences vous trouverez un petit sondage ci-dessous merci de le remplir avant de partir ça ne prend que quelques secondes.

Aussi si vous êtes expatriés dans le monde culturel, vous avez une galerie, créé une asso etc. J’aimerais vous interviewer et avoir vos impressions alors n’hésitez pas à me contacter, merci.

Sur ce à bientôt !

source image : http://www.louvre-richelieu.com

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3 responses to “Museum Education / Médiation Culturelle

  1. Pingback: Philadelphia Museum of Art – Part 1 |·

  2. Pingback: NYC – Le Musée Metropolitan, ma critique honnête (version française) |·

  3. Pingback: NYC – The Metropolitan Museum of Art, my honest review |·

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