It's that time of year again - Spring Break, yes, but it's also #MuseumWeek. According to the #MuseumWeek website, this is a "worldwide cultural event" on Twitter (as you could probably tell by the hashtag), where museums around the world celebrate art and culture. This is a chance for us to connect with other institutions around the world, it's a great way to tell the world about the Mennonite Heritage Village, and it's a great hashtag to follow if you're at all interested in museums. Last, but certainly not least, it's a lot of fun!
#MuseumWeek is an intriguing way to connect with museums that you might never have heard of otherwise. Last year on #secretsMW day during #MuseumWeek, I connected with a museum in England who mentioned some of their "secret" passages in one of their tweets. Maybe I read too many Nancy Drew books as a child, but I just think secret passages and hidden rooms are very, very neat. So I asked if they had any pictures. Sure enough, the museum posted pictures a couple days later!
There are seven hashtag themes that museums use during the week: #secretsMW, #peopleMW, #architectureMW, #heritageMW, #futureMW, #zoomMW, and #loveMW. My personal favourite is #secretsMW, which for this year was highlighted this past Monday, March 28. This is the opportunity for museums to post behind-the-scenes pictures of their collections or feature little-known facts about their artifacts. Have you ever wondered how the British Museum stores its artifacts? Do you want to know what mummies look like under their wrappings? If so, this is the theme for you to follow.
Tuesday was #peopleMW day, where we honoured the people who have helped make our museum great and those who continue to do so.
Wednesday was #architectureMW day, where museums posted about their buildings and the surrounding areas. To highlight MHV, we posted pictures of our heritage buildings and told the stories behind them. Personally, I had no idea that mortise and tenon joints (as seen in some housebarns) were so interesting (or so photogenic).
Today, Thursday the 31st is #heritageMW day. This is when we focus on our tangible cultural heritage - i.e., artifacts we hold in our collection - as well as our intangible cultural heritage - i.e., the stories behind our artifacts, and activities or concepts that might be lost if we didn't preserve them. This is particularly important to MHV, as preserving and exhibiting Mennonite heritage is a large part of our mission.
On Friday you'll get a glimpse of our upcoming projects. For #futureMW, I'll be sharing information about our 2016 theme exhibit, Beyond Tradition: The Lives of Mennonite Women, opening in June.
#MuseumWeek will almost be over by the time this article goes to print, but I encourage you to check it out. You can see our posts on Twitter @MHVSteinbach, and some posts will also show up on our Facebook page. Our website, mennoniteheritagevillage.com, has links to both. For more information on #MuseumWeek, check out museumweek2016.org.
Calendar of Events
- Apr. 3 – Vespers Service – 7:00 PM
- Apr. 21 – Volunteer Orientation – 7:00 PM
- May 1 – Outdoor Village and Livery Barn Restaurant will open for the season.