The Role Of Museums On Community Engagement

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The Role of Museums in Community Engagement The information contained in museums is meant to represent changing and new ideas that are present within a given society. Whether museums contain historic artifacts, modern art, or other pieces, they are meant to represent people living in the past, present, and sometimes future. As such, they also act as educational modalities to help students and adults understand more about the world around them. An important component of museums in many instances is the extent to which they are able to engage their community, and the extent to which the community is able to contribute to the success of the museums. According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, community is defined as “a group of people with a common characteristic or interest living together within a larger society” and “a body of persons or nations having a common history or common social, economic, and political interests” (“Community”). These institutions work to understand the needs, assets, and concerns of communities. Therefore, museums are tied into the cultures of the neighborhoods and regions that contain them, and this contributes to the unique nature of each individual organizations. According to the American Alliance of Museums, community engagement in museums includes the use of this facility as “a center where people gather to meet and converse and an active, visible player in civic life, a safe haven, and a trusted incubator of change” (Long 141). Different museums
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