News & events > NEMO Webinar: "Can Museums Play?" | Italy
06 Mar 2015 - 06 Mar 2015

NEMO Webinar: "Can Museums Play?" | Italy

Can Museums Play The Network of European Museum Organisations (NEMO) is organising its first webinar in Bologna, Italy, on 6 March. Entitled 'Can Museums Play?', the event will focus on children and family best practice programmes in museums. The conference aims to consider the relationship between museums and play, in order to create a map of possible relationships between the two. Specific goals include the following:
  • Define how play (as an action, as well as an instrument of knowledge and expression) can be an added value for museums in terms of the services provided.
  • Think about playful storytelling as a way to highlight contents and differences in a collection - that can, in other words, turn its character and main features into play.
  • Re-think participation strategies by taking inspiration from the "fun theory": i.e. how to obtain virtuous behaviour (in this case, increase the number of children visiting museums - but actually not just children) with playful solutions.
  • Consider play as an object / instrument to bring the museum "out of its walls".
  • Find new methods to teach beauty: can a child learn by playing with and in the museum? Can museum contents be communicated as an alphabet of emotions, so that the children of today can become better visitors tomorrow?
  • If play and toys inspired the avant-garde who kick-started the 20th-century art, can they inspire 21st-century museums and, if so, how?
Speakers include Annemies Broekgarden (Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam); Ute Marxreiter (Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Berlin); Léontine Meijer-van Mensch (Museum of European Cultures, Berlin); Almut Grüner (Freilichtmuseum Neuhausen, Germany); Laura Carlini (Instituto Beni Culturali Emilia-Romagna, Bologna); Margherita Sani (Instituto Beni Culturali and NEMO, Italy); and Francesco Zurlo (Politecnico di Milano, Milan). The event will be chaired by Laura Carlini Fanfogna (Instituto Beni Culturali). 'Can Museums Play?' is organised by Zaffiria, Centre for Media and Art Education, in collaboration with the Instituto Beni Culturali Emilia Romagna and NEMO, in the context of the project Italiantoy. Attendance is free but participants wishing to attend the event in Bologna should register first. Alternatively, the webinar will be streamed live at The seminar can also be followed on Twitter through #museumsplay. The same hashtag may be used by those wishing to raise questions to participants. For additional information, visit