Launched in April 2011, the Happy Museum Project provides a leadership framework for museums to develop a holistic approach to wellbeing and sustainability. The project re-imagines the museum’s purpose as steward of people, place and planet, supporting institutional and community resilience in the face of global financial and environmental challenges.
Whilst many museums appreciate their position at the heart of their community and combine scholarship, stewardship, learning and a desire for greater participation, the project shows that the context is now different. Climate change, pressures on the planet’s finite resources and awareness that a good, happy society need not set economic growth as it most meaningful measure offer a chance to re-imagine the purpose of the museums.
The project takes a view of sustainability which looks beyond financial and resource management and considers a museum’s role as steward of people, place and planet, supporting institutional and community wellbeing and resilience in the face of global financial and environmental challenges.
We believe that museums are well placed to play an active part, but that grasping the opportunity will require re-imagining key aspects of their role, both in terms of the kinds of experience they provide to their visitors and the way they relate to their collections, to their communities and to the pressing issues of the day.
“The Happy Museum Project celebrates what museums can do, what’s possible, and being positive about change…. it gave us a chance to think about our work, and reflect in a different way.” Manchester Museum