Community museums as centres of cultural entrepreneurship
The world believes in the notion that community museums can only serve community tourism purposes because of their nature of operation.
CCFU believes community museums can diversify their activities to generate income and sustain their operations. CCFU is experimenting the practicability of this belief by extending financial support to 5 community museums to start up cultural enterprises.
So far, three community museums have received funds to carry out this work and these are; the Cultural Research Center (CRC) in Jinja, Koogere Foundation Museum in Fort Portal and the Museum of Art and Acholi Culture in Kitgum. The three museums are selling arts and crafts, face masks and indigenous food stuffs among other cultural goods.
The results of the work of these enterprises will be documented to serve as evidence that culture generally and community museums in particular, can make money.
CCFU recently conducted field visits to these enterprises to assess their progress and to review some of their activities especially, those that were interfered with by the COVID-19 lockdown. So far, the progress achieved is impressive and we are looking forward to other outcomes from this.
Community museums as centres of research and heritage education
CCFU is also working towards strengthening community museums as centres for research and heritage education. CCFU conducted a one-day session with curators of the Soroti Regional Museum aimed at building their capacity to document tangible and intangible cultural heritage resources in Teso region.
The session onboarded Soroti Regional Museum as part of the selected six community museums participating in this initiative. Other museums that are on board are; Mt. Elgon History and Cultural Museum, Ker Kwonga Panyimur Museum and Buddu Cultural Museum . The selected community museums have documented significant cultural resources in communities to prepare them to share knowledge and information with young people from cultural heritage clubs in schools.
Fifteen cultural heritage resources in Teso were identified and will be documented. Information boards with photographs and stories of the resources will be produced and exhibited at the museum and will be launched in a grand ceremony in April, 2022.
CCFU and its work with community museums
Inspired by the pride and self-motivation exhibited by individuals, families, clans, and community groups to preserve and showcase their artefacts and literature, CCFU chose to support local initiatives to promote and preserve cultural heritage. So far, we have worked with close to thirty self-motivated and dynamic individuals, groups and families, as our partners.
Each have established museums: these community museums display unique ethnographic collections, literature, traditional instruments, all demonstrating the cultural rights of self-expression and identity by a variety of local communities.
In 2011 CCFU supported the establishment and recognition of the Uganda Community Museums Association (UCOMA) as an NGO, to raise the profile of the museums and link them to potential funders and other supporters. A digital site for community museums has been developed to further profile their work; and support to selected community museums to establish cultural enterprises is being undertaken. For more information, see these resources. Check out some museums that CCFU has worked with.