Cultural Engagement To Mitigate Social Isolation

by Michael Peter Edson and Dana Mitroff Silvers


COVID-19 has presented GLAMs (galleries, libraries, museums, archives) and performing arts organizations with new, urgent demands to create services and programs that mitigate the effects of social isolation. But while many organizations want to accelerate their programming, most need help with training, funding, and other forms of technical and creative support to respond at the speed or scale necessitated by COVID-19. 

In this initiative, a cohort of ten museums, libraries, and performing arts organizations have joined together to collaborate on the accelerated development of experimental digital programs to mitigate social isolation. The organizations, based in eight states across the United States, range from museums and performing arts organizations, to a major public library system, to a small non-profit that uses museum experiences to serve patients of dementia and their caregivers. Participants will receive expert coaching and support in digital strategy, design thinking, creative development, and online audience engagement techniques. The project team hopes other institutions will follow on from the initial example in the near future.

Stay tuned for more information on this exciting project.