Museum education related projects have been included in DVV International Armenia’s portfolio since its inception in 2002 focusing on enhancing the educational programs and offerings at Armenia’s museums and highlighting their significance as spaces and mediums of lifelong learning. To this end DVV International in Armenia has partnered with the Armenian Association of Museum Workers and Friends (established in 2003) and museums across Armenia.
In 2009, ten Armenian museum from Lori and Shirak regions were involved in the regional project A-MUSE-ALL (full name of the project-Beyond Boredom, Dust and Decay-Museums as Life Long Learning Spaces for intercultural Dialogue). The project was co-funded by the European Union and the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development and implemented by DVV International and partners in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Russia. The project aimed to enhance intercultural dialogue in these four countries by promoting cultural and ethnic diversity as well as contributing to social inclusion. Several activities and interventions were implemented as part of the project, including:
To institutionalize its work with the museums and to strengthen the focus on educational programs for the adults, in October 2014 DVV International in Armenia established the Museum Education Center (MEC) in collaboration with co-founders, the Armenian Association of Museum Workers and Friends and Aram Khachaturian Museum museums. The Center serves the following purposes:
In the past three years the Museum Education Center has been instrumental in building museum staff capacity to design and implement educational programs at museums. Over 125 museum staff has attended a number of training sessions and workshops on different topics, including:
In addition to trainings and workshops, MEC provides hands on technical assistance to regional museums through site visits, equipment and furnishing support and follow up consultancy. As an incentive for designing and implementing educational programs, MEC announces awards and grants competitions. Thus, in 2016 Award for Best Museum Educational Programs was announced and awarded to 3 museums with motivational prizes given to six more. In 2017 grants were provided to 9 museums to implement educational programs that ranged from drama performances for elderly to creation of a training space to starting new educational tours and others.
In 2017, a study visit of 11 museum workers (form Yerevan and regions) to Germany was organized by MEC and DVV International allowing an exchange of experiences that inspired participant museums to come up with new ideas and programs.
Other important achievements of the Museum Education Center include establishing a partnership with the Network of European Museums Organization (NEMO), development and publication of the methodological handbook Education in Museums.