3 June 2020

Many museums, galleries, heritage sites and cultural venues are beginning to open up again around the world. This week, for example, an estimated 46% of countries have opened or partially opened their World Heritage sites. Yet, following several weeks of closures, many cultural institutions and heritage sites around the world are worried about their future survival.

According to recent studies by UNESCO and the International Council of Museums, more than 10% may never reopen. Many of the estimated 95,000 museums worldwide are privately-run and rely on ticket sales. According to a recent survey by The Art Newspaper and the University of Maastricht, around one third of independent galleries and art dealerships globally do not expect to survive the crisis, particularly among the smaller businesses. Such galleries are part of the cultural ecosystem that provide artists livelihoods. Ticket sales are often the main if not the only - source of financing for vital conservation, archaeological and restoration works at heritage sites and museums around the world, expanding our knowledge and safeguarding our shared heritage. Preserving these cultural places is crucial for addressing the repercussions of the crisis and for tackling long term challenges, such as climate change or social exclusion.

Initiatives in countries, including Central Asian countries.

Arts education contributes to socio-emotional well-being and improves learning outcomes. This can be either by education in the arts - teaching specialized art disciplines but also teaching art history which refers us to our historical and cultural heritage and develops our appreciation of cultural diversity - or by education through the arts - using the arts as a pedagogical tool for the teaching of other disciplines. Arts and cultural education, so vital for wellbeing, goes beyond formal learning settings and is a lifelong process. The transmission of living heritage through the generations relies on education, as does an appreciation of natural and built heritage sites. A survey launched by UNESCO showed that the lockdown has been an opportunity for some practitioners of living heritage to pass on their know-how.



In Mexico, the Ministry of Education launched a programme entitled

Aprender en casa (Learn at Home) using UNESCO videos on World Heritage sites, living heritage and creativity, which were broadcast via television and the internet to teach history, natural science, ethics and civic studies. In Mongolia, the National Centre for Cultural Heritage and the National Academy for Childrens Film have broadcast the television programme Tsets or The Wise for the general public, especially for children, about the traditional culture, customs and way of life of nomadic Mongols. In Kazakhstan, the #ArtConnects programme has provided artistic resources for children with learning difficulties to express their emotions, as well as explore the common heritage in Central Asia. In Bangkok, the Patravadi High School Hua Hin that shares the campus of the VIC Theatre is Thailands first alternative high school which places an emphasis on performing arts, including writing, music and costume making. During the pandemic, they have been using their skills to make face masks.

More information is available under the link.

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