60th Annual Conference of the Estonian National Museum
3 May 2022

On May 3rd, Relevance, the 60th Annual Conference of the Estonian National Museum, will take place. The main topic of the conference is the impact and relevance of museums. In Europe, cultural heritage plays an important role in promoting active citizenship, shared values, cultural identity and well-being. How do museums address their audiences in the context of these expectations and how can the impact of their activities be assessed?

The role of the museums is not taken for granted. There is a need for museums to stay relevant and be responsive to pressing social or environmental issues in society. Relevance is a basic quality of audience development and relationship building, present in all core museum functions. The artful, experimental, people-centred, inspirational and intellectually honest museum makes people feel welcome and has the potential to provide immense social and cultural value. There is a need to value what culture does and how it affects contemporary society, and to analyse the impact of museum activities.

The effect that museums have has undergone a shift motivated by the economic imperative, for example measuring audience figures and assessing the quality of the service, using the integration of business and management models in interpreting and communicating impact. Although these approaches can help evaluate goals and the position in the market of cultural services, they alone are insufficient in understanding the values of, and giving meaning to, the museum.

On the occasion of the 60th annual conference of the Estonian National Museum, we discuss several significant aspects contributing to the relevance and impact of the museum with Jette Sandahl (European Museum Forum, Denmark), Philippa Simpson (V&A Museum, UK), Pirjo Hamari (MOI! Project leader, Finnish Heritage Agency, Finland), Raivis Simansons (Žanis Lipke Memorial, Latvia), Rasmus Kask (Estonian Open Air Museum), Karen Jagodin (Vabamu, Estonia) and others.

The conference will take place in the framework of two museum development projects in which ENM is participating: the MOI! Museums of impact project has been creating a self-evaluation framework for European museums with impact in its core; the Me-Mind. Measuring Impact on Local Environment with Data Analytics project analysis the impact of cultural institution through data, based on cooperation with data science and data visualisation.

The conference language is English and the round tables will be in Estonian and English.
Conference registration covers attendance at all sessions and coffee breaks during the conference.

Deadline for registration is 26.04 in
Conference homepage
Conference e-mail:
Online participation information: coming for 29.04.2022.

The projects MOI! Museums of impact and Me-Mind. Measuring Impact on Local Environment with Data Analytics are European cooperation projects co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme.

Conference Committee:
Dr Pille Runnel, Estonian National Museum
Agnes Aljas, Estonian National Museum