Museums, Arts, and Literacy (2004-2005)

The Centre for Literacy had a partnership in the early 2000s with the Canadian Museums Association (CMA) that tried to expand collaborations between museums, community arts and adult literacy groups as a way to reach new learners in non-traditional settings.

From 1993 -2002, the CMA, funded by the National Literacy Secretariat, ran 34 “Reading the Museum” pilot projects. In 2002, a national symposium in Montreal asked how the learning from these projects could be captured and sustained. From these consultations, The Centre and the CMA developed two new projects – in Montreal and in Vancouver – to test the potential of using community facilitators to link groups across these sectors and help create new partnerships.

In 2004-05, The Centre received funding for a Quebec project from the Ministry of Education of Quebec (now known as MELS). The Ministry was interested in exploring the idea of independent community facilitation in adult education after having examined several European countries where this practice is well established.

We were surprised and excited by the level of engagement this project generated. Our facilitator contacted selected museums, arts and adult literacy groups to ask about their current use of community resources and interest in future collaborations. Some described projects already in place, but most expressed openness to new possibilities. They noted that time and resources were barriers. Literacy groups did not even know about museum/arts resources that were available or whom to contact, and museum/arts groups did not know how to reach adult basic learners.

The list below was our first attempt to support contact across these sectors. It is not exhaustive. It does however include Montreal museums, heritage and community arts who already work with or wanted to work with adult basic learners. It also has other Quebec links for those who live beyond Montreal. We uncovered opportunities in almost every corner of the province, and many on the web. The list crosses language lines, as we hope will become the norm. The most innovative projects with adult literacy groups in this region have been done by francophone organizations. Three of them are included.

At the time, we sent the information back to each group for verification, noting that if we did not receive a response within a set deadline, we would assume the information is correct. The list will be updated in 2008-09.

Please contact us if you find errors and please add your own information if you want to be part of this growing network. We hope that colleagues in other provinces will create similar lists, and that museum/heritage/literacy collaborations will flourish across Canada.

See also: Inspiring Learning for All

Contact list - Selected Quebec organizations

October 2005

Read the full report here (pdf - 211k)

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