Alternative Funding for Cultural Projects: Dublin's Little Museum

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The cultural business is basically one of the first sub-candidate candidates in Germany. Almost one has the impression that culture is hardly conceivable without state support. In Ireland, I have now found a resourceful counterexample, which shows that things are different.

Dublin Littl Museum

Here writes for you:

Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisher, German Top20 blogger and Consultant for HR communication.


Small, but with 80.000 visitors per year

The Little Museum is Dublin's only city museum. It's only three years old, but attracts 80.000 visitors every year. On three floors it houses treasures from contemporary urban history - from the sofa to the Trabi, which played an important role in a U2 video.

The motto, according to which the composer Simon O'Connor, now the museum curator, and the writer Trevor Withe, today director, the museum have established: as independent as possible and do not spend money.

Help through the recession

Like many artists and designers on the island, they benefited from the recession. “The building on Stephens Green in central Dublin belonged to the city and was empty at the time - we only took it over two rooms and then the whole building,” says curator Simon, grinning.

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The exhibits, most of them from the 20th century, also found their way to the museum free of charge: “We started a call for exhibits in the media and were very popular,” he reports.

Successful networking

This has also made the museum very well known - another secret of success of the two: Their network is very large, it reaches into important positions of the city.

Therefore, Simon is also not afraid that the building could be taken away from him again: “We involved the right people. And the city understood that we are actually doing our work here, because Dublin previously had no city museum, ”said the curator.


Culture to touch

Both operate their original artistic activity only side by side, the museum has long been a full-time job. It is the original one Conceptwho makes the project successful:

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The visitors can not only look at the exhibits but also use them and take a seat on the sofas, drink tea or read the old books. Right from the start, we wanted the museum to be a place where people meet, ”explains Simon.


Close to the citizen that pays off: The funding comes from entrance fees, but not only: "We get a little support from the Department of Art, we have sponsoring members, organize readings and concerts, and rent the rooms for company events," says Simon, explaining: "Our advantage is that we can do what we want. A state museum would not have this freedom. ”

Yes, of course, one or the other will argue that even the Little Museum receives some state funding. What I liked about the project, however, was that the creators did not just look for a financing, but just have started with little resources, but a lot of social impact - a setting that me in many German StartUps especially in the cultural field little goes off.

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