Intermuseum International Museum Festival


The XXII International Intermuseum Festival was held online for the first time on May 27-29, 2020 and brought together leading museum sector representatives, cultural figures and the world-renowned experts

Intermuseum-2020 has managed to unite leading museum sector representatives, cultural figures and educators as well as the world-renowned experts. They discussed pressing issues of museum development, including urgent problems of the pandemic and actions museums can take to recover after lockdown.
The year of 2020 has made significant adjustments to the life of the entire museum community and to the Intermuseum format. The festival was held in a digital format, which made it possible to engage an unprecedented number of participants — 395 museums and art institutions — in a single large-scale interactive exposition with the main theme of the festival - "Peace Guardians". Online format made it possible for many of them to assert themselves at such a significant museum event for the first time. Together with partner programs, 284 events were held including business, cultural and children's programs.
Business program concerned the main activities of museums. Webinars and round tables were held in 8 virtual halls. A total of 81 events took place. Cultural program consisted of 80 events: film shows, audio plays and concerts, reports and lectures, virtual exhibitions and tours. Participants of the children's program could visit 26 workshops and creative classes.


How to come up with an outstanding online cultural project?

Over 22 years of the Intermuseum history, there have never been any breaks. In March 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, the Ministry of Culture of Russia didn't give up on the festival organization disregarding the hard times. The idea was to hold the festival in an online format and keep all the compulsory parts of the event, namely: museum exhibition, business, cultural and children's programs, professional intermuseum contest. Thus, even digital festival was to be held as a full-fledged event. It was decided to present museum exhibition in a virtual format on Intermuseum professional skills contest, business, cultural and children's programs were held in the format of video conferences. Lectures, presentations and workshops were recorded in advance. The experience of conducting such a large international event in an online format gave a new impetus to the present and future of the festival. Moreover, 2020 proved that there can be situations when such way of communication with the audience is the only possible one.

What was the most difficult thing in your project?

It was decided to hold the festival in March 2020, and the festival itself was supposed to take place in May, that is, in 2 (!) months. On the one hand, there were strict deadlines, on the other - lack of experience in organizing such large-scale events in an online format. That's why a lot of things were done and created for the first time. When you are a pioneer and limited in time, the most important thing is to be confident in the project team, to engage proven contractors and specialists only, and to use only well-known and reliable systems and services.

Why do we need projects like yours? What is their value to people?

On the one hand, the Intermuseum Festival is a one-of-a-kind professional event for museum sector, it is a platform for nationwide communication and experience exchange, as well as for the international one. On the other hand, festival events and museum exhibition always attract the attention of a general public. Festival held in the traditional offline format has always been interesting to the visitors. In the situation of the pandemic and lockdown, it aroused even greater interest because of this exact possibility to see and even take part in all the events without leaving your home and from anywhere in Russia or in the world. Online format allowed us to take a different look at the festival itself and its components. We realized that many ideas could be used in the future for the festival development.