FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
FAQ 1 - WHAT TYPE OF MUSEUM?
Any kind, any size, any type of museum can apply. Everyone is welcome. Is your museum an art museum, a craft museum, an ethnographical or folk life museum, a museum of natural history, science, transport or industry, a general historical museum or an historical museum dedicated to a particular period or event? Is it a city, town or regional museum dealing with many subjects or just with one aspect, is it a museum dedicated to the life and work of a single person or group of people, is it a museum dedicated to a trade or single industry, or to traditional (‘folk’) arts? Your museum may be a combination of many of the above, it may also be a museum based on a unique heritage building or enterprise. It may also be an entirely unique concept in which case explain in what way it does not fit into the traditional definition of a museum.
FAQ 2 - WHO OWNS YOUR MUSEUM AND ITS COLLECTIONS?
Do a government ministry, a municipality, a charitable foundation, or a trust, a religious organisation, a co-operative own your museum or it is owned by a private individual or a business enterprise?
FAQ 3 - HOW IS YOUR MUSEUM FUNDED?
Is it by government or municipal annual grant, by private or charitable endowment, by a business enterprise committed to supporting your museum, by earnings, donations and occasional grants? Is there a guaranteed percentage of your annual budget? Is your museum financially sustainable?
FAQ 4 - FORM OF GOVERNANCE OF THE MUSEUM
Does a ministry or municipality appoint a director? Or does a foundation, a charitable trust, a private owner or business enterprise manage your museum? Has it a Board of Governors or Trustees who hold final authority over the museum’s activities? Who is the legal employer of the staff?
FAQ 5 - PROFILE OF THE COLLECTION
See also FAQ 1 above. What are the collections that make up your museum? Briefly list the major categories of collections held by your museum and the approximate proportions of different kinds of collection. Remember also that your building may be a major part of your collection especially in the case of industrial, scientific, craft or historical museums.
FAQ 6 - STATE OF REGISTRATION AND CONSERVATION OF COLLECTION
Please give the latest figures of the numbers of objects in your collection and the numbers of those that have been fully registered. If the cataloguing of your collection is a work in progress, please describe the work that has been done to date. Please state if your cataloguing is manual (i.e. in written registers), digital or both. If your catalogue/database is completely or partly available online, please state it in your response. What steps have you taken to protect your collections’ record in the event of a natural or manmade disaster?
FAQ 7 - HOW WAS THE MUSEUM’S CREATION/CONSTRUCTION OR REDEVELOPMENT FINANCED?
Please state what, if any, government, foundation, municipality, business sponsorship or private philanthropic funds were provided for the creation/construction or redevelopment of your museum and in what proportions. If you have taken out a loan or if the community has raised subscriptions, please state this in your response.
FAQ 8 - MAJOR EXTERNAL PARTNERS INVOLVED IN THE CREATION OR REDEVELOPMENT OF THE MUSEUM
Who were your partners in the development of the museum? Please list your partners, whether national government, or government agencies such as tourism organisations, municipal or regional government, business, private foundations etc.
FAQ 9 - WHAT DOES “ORGANISATION” OF MY MUSEUM MEAN?
Does your museum have a central administration? How are the members of staff distributed across the various functions of the museum: curatorship, collections management, conservation, exhibition, education and outreach, visitor services, facilities management, security? If your museum is small and does not have a range of specialist staff, please explain how you manage your different functions with the staff that you have. Please note that small museums are not disadvantaged in the competition by having limited staff resources. If you have an ingenious way of making the most of your staff please explain it here.
FAQ 10 - WHAT DOES ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY MEAN?
By environmental sustainability, we mean all initiatives related to an ecological attitude, policies or practices that the museum has been adopting or is striving to adopt in the development of the new exhibitions, in all aspects of the building and of its functioning. Museums should consider the environmental impact of other resources they consume, such as exhibition and building materials, water and paper, and reduce their waste. This also includes encouraging visitors to be aware of environmentally sustainable methods in their lives and, more specifically, how environmental considerations influences the visitors.
FAQ 11 - WHAT DOES SOCIAL SUSTAINABILITY MEAN?
By social sustainability, we mean how museums engage with many communities and actively develop new audiences, by considering the concerns of local people alongside those of experts. For example, museums can increase their social sustainability by deepening and diversifying their relationship with audiences. They should reflect the diversity of society in all that they do. In particular, they need to find ways to maintain relationships with new audiences beyond the limits of a short-term audience-development project.
FAQ 12 - WHAT IMAGES OF MY MUSEUM SHOULD I PROVIDE?
Please provide a maximum of twenty (20) images in in JPEG format. These images should be no less than 300 dpi and be at least 1000×1000 pixels in size. The image files must be of a suitable quality for reproduction and projection. For each image, please specify the following: a unique file name, a title, one line description, a photographer and a copyright holder. As a priority, choose images that show those aspects of your museum that you wish to emphasise. In particular, provide images that display the nature and quality of the visitor experience of your building and exhibitions. It is most important that Judges should be able to form a clear idea of the quality and layout of your exhibitions and facilities from your selection of pictures. Choose images of events carefully to display your museum at its best. As a rough guide to what you should send, you might consider the following: 2-3 pictures of your museum in its setting in a town, city or countryside. Make sure that the architecture of your museum is clearly visible; 7-8 images of your museum’s exhibitions showing the design and layout and any important features that you wish to emphasise; 5-6 images of visitors enjoying your museum; 2-3 images of an important event in the history of your museum since its opening or re-opening after renovation. These are NOT rules, they are suggestions so that your museum can be readily evaluated. If, in addition to photographs, you would also like to send any video/electronic materials, please submit these via a file-sharing website you should send EMF a notification of (to firstname.lastname@example.org) and please ensure that the files will be available for download for at least one month from the date you upload the files. We would appreciate the upload of complete folders rather than multiple uploads of individual files.
FAQ 13 - HOW DO I ENTER MY MUSEUM FOR THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE MUSEUM PRIZE?
There is no special entry for the Council of Europe Museum Prize. All candidates for EMYA are automatically entered for the Council of Europe Museum Prize. The EMYA Judging Panel makes recommendations to the Council of Europe, who chooses and announces the winner separately from EMYA, usually in December of the year of judging. In order to qualify for the Council of Europe Prize, a museum must demonstrate professional excellence, innovative approach and public quality, as it must to qualify for EMYA, but it also has to correspond to one or more of the following specific criteria: promote respect for human rights and democratic institutions; maintain an open and inclusive policy aimed at bridging cultures, overcoming social and political borders; introduce innovative schemes of governance and management that enhance cultural democracy; present a European perspective, which may provide a dramatic interplay between a local identity and the European identity; establish conditions to ensure access by the widest possible public; use cutting-edge information and communication technology and provide a space for new cultural creation and mediation technologies; coach visitors towards new knowledge and ideas of good and responsible citizenship; promote heritage-based creativity and the development of the heritage sector of cultural industries.
FAQ 14 - HOW DO I ENTER FOR THE KENNETH HUDSON AWARD FOR INSTITUTIONAL COURAGE AND PROFESSIONAL INTEGRITY?
This is the award presented by the Trustees of the European Museum Forum, the parent body of EMYA. The EMYA Judging Panel makes recommendations to the Trustees, but the decision to award or not to award is entirely a matter for the Trustees who may choose from a wider list of candidates than the one proposed by the EMYA Judges. There is, thus, no method of entry, except for applying for EMYA.
FAQ 15 - WHAT IS THE SILLETTO PRIZE FOR COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION AND ENGAGEMENT?
The Silletto Prize for Community Participation and Engagement is sponsored by the Silletto Trust and celebrates a deep, continuous and empowering involvement between a museum and its stakeholders, that places the museum as a point of orientation and reference at the centre of its communities, whether these be local, national, global or otherwise defined. The Prize is awarded to a museum that has entered for EMYA in the year of the award. There is no special application process.
FAQ 16 - WHAT IS A SPECIAL COMMENDATION?
A Special Commendation of the EMYA Judging Panel is given to a museum, which, in the opinion of the Judges, has made a distinguished achievement in a certain aspect or aspects of its work. While there is no fixed number of Special Commendations, very few are given and it is a mark of exceptional quality in the work of a museum.
FAQ 17 - WHAT IS PUBLIC QUALITY? MY MUSEUM WILL BE JUDGED ON ITS “PUBLIC QUALITY”. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
The public quality of a museum is not a single feature but a sum of all the elements, which serve to enhance the experience of a visitor. From architecture to the publications in the shop, from displays, exhibitions, and the interpretation of objects, to a café, the welcome provided by staff and the educational or other public events programmes.
These are some of the questions that may help you reflect on the public quality of your museum: How well does your museum relate to and serve your public? How does it tell the stories of the collection to a wide range of audiences? Is accessibility and diversity build into the exhibitions and long-term displays? Are people who are economically and educationally disadvantaged made welcome? Does it engage in a dialogue with its visitors trying to speak clearly and in terms they would understand? Is your museum easy to find and accessible? Is it easy to visit for people who include the whole range of abilities and lack of them across society? Is your museum linguistically accessible – does it use or provide texts in more than one language? Does your museum provide information designed to be open to people of many different educational backgrounds and intellectual abilities? Does your museum run programmes for different audiences and participant groups? Is it parent-and-child friendly? Does your museum engages with its community? Does it respond to community concerns? Has it outreach programmes not just to schools and university, but also to community groups of many different kinds. Has it a robust set of educational and other social policies? Does your museum play a role in raising awareness within the local community of culture of the municipality, the region? Does it stimulate/promote heritage-based activities for local people and people from other regions/countries? Does it offer a range of facilities for example adequate toilet facilities including those for mobility impairments? Is there a café? (This may not always be essential.)Please note that the above list is not a list of requirements but an indication of some ways in which your museum might demonstrate its public quality. It should not be seen as a scorecard. Your museum may demonstrate its public service in other ways not contained in this list.
FAQ 18 - WHAT DOES ‘SUBSTANTIALLY RENOVATED OR REDEVELOPED’ MEAN?
If the whole museum has not been renewed, candidates should indicate the percentage of the public space (i.e. not stores or offices etc.) which has been refurbished. The re-developed space should be no less than 75 percent of the whole space available to public. Large museums undertaking a phased renewal should consider submitting a number of phases in a single application (bearing in mind the four-year rule).
FAQ 19 - WHAT IS THE PORTIMÃO MUSEUM PRIZE FOR WELCOMING, INCLUSION AND BELONGING?
The Portimão Museum Prize for Welcoming, Inclusion and Belonging is sponsored by the Municipality of Portimão, Portugal and celebrates a friendly atmosphere of inclusion, where all elements of the museum, its physical environment, its human qualities, its displays and public programmes, contribute to making everyone feel they are valued and respected and belong in the museum. Portimão is committed to democratic access to culture (reflected in the Council of Europe Museum Prize being awarded to Portimão Museum in 2010) and welcomes hundreds of thousands of tourists every year. The Prize is awarded to a museum that has entered for EMYA in the year of the award. There is no special application process.
FAQ 20 - WHAT IS THE MEYVAERT MUSEUM PRIZE FOR ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY?
This award goes to a museum that demonstrates an exceptional commitment to reflecting and addressing issues of sustainability and environmental health in its collecting, documentation, displays and public programming as well as in the management of its own social, financial and physical resources. The award is sponsored by MEYVAERT. See also FAQ 10 above.