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16.08.2011 | ccf | Novosibirsk museum professionals collaborate with American counterparts to establish the interactive museum space
News Source: http://ccfrussia.ru/index.php?s_country=ru&lang=eng&mod=n_article&n_id=701

According to Svetlana Kolyada participation in the Community Connections NGO Empowerment program was very important step in her life.   Svetlana is a Program Director of the School for Social Entrepreneurship within the "SMART Concept" NGO in Novosibirsk. Upon return from the exchange Svetlana talked a lot about the role of NGO in civic engagement and facilitation of public participation. One of the ideas that captivated Svetlana in the USA was creation of the interactive museum or space for kids and grown-ups such as the Magic House or City Museum in St. Louis, MO, where visitors could not only get in touch with historical heritage, but also become involved in social and cultural events organized in the museum.

Svetlana's students from Social Entrepreneurship School took up an initiative to develop a project of interactive museum for children and presented it during the Summer School of Academic Park (Techno park of Novosibirsk Academic town - a platform for the development and launch of innovative projects).

Since April 2011 a group of students under Kolyada's guidance has been developing a project of interactive museum space for kids and grown-ups to spark children interest in science and technology and encourage experimentation, learning and creativity.   To strengthen the project of interactive museum Svetlana Kolyada organized two video-conferences in July with Beth Fitzgerald, President of the Magic House and Rick Erwin, Director of the City Museum in St. Louis.

Through this video conference the project team from Novosibirsk learned about the history of the Magic House and got acquainted with the exhibits of the museum. Currently, the students are in contact with Beth who promised to send them description of exhibits and support their project.   Rick Erwin as a professional manager provided youth team with necessary advice and creative ideas, answering all students' questions in great detail about art management. Rick was pleased to see such a big interest to his museum from Russia. In addition to American experts' advice Svetlana invited Novosibirsk museologists to participate in the videoconference. Novosibirsk museologists unanimously supported the idea of interactive museum and discussed conditions of cooperation.

Thanks to the serious preparatory work and experts' advice from the USA Svetlana's students became the prizewinners of the Summers School of Academic Park and the project of interactive museum was presented to the Governor of Novosibirsk region who allocated grant to produce 5 interactive exhibits, moreover students got an invitation to participate in Interra, International Youth Innovative Forum in September 2011.  

Svetlana and her project team are currently thinking about using interactive museum space as a bridge between two cities of Novosibirsk and St. Louis to continue cooperation with the American colleagues and enhance cultural communication.

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