• Meuse-Rhine Gazette


Updated: Nov 27, 2019

Representatives from museums and the cultural sector hailing from across the Euregio Meuse-Rhine gathered at Grote Societeit in Maastricht today. They were attending the Terra Mosana Symposium hosted by the Maastricht Centre for Arts and Culture, Conservation and Heritage (MACCH) where the concept of an Euregional CultureCard was being discussed. The CultureCard aims to provide encourage cross-border museum visits and cross-border cultural collaborations.

During the symposium moderated by Hildegard Schneider from Maastricht University, attendees heard the experiences of similar projects. Featured presentations were about the smaller-scale DE/NL cross-border initiative "Auf ins Museum!" from Julia Schaadt, the Belgian national museum card "museumpassmusée" from Julie van der Heyden and the "MuseumsPassMusées" which is a large-scale cross-border initiative from the Euregio Trinationale Metropolregion Oberrhein from director Gilles Meyer.

The Euregional CultureCard initiative is part of the Interreg Terra Mosana project, which is a collaboration between municipalities, heritage sites, universities, and residents with the aim of boosting tourism in Euregio Meuse-Rhine, as well as promoting a sense of EMR identity through the digital exploitation of its own unique cultural heritage. MACCH is specifically responsible for the Euregional CultureCard project together with the Institute for Transnational and Euregional cross-border cooperation and Mobility (ITEM).

According to MAACH approximately ninety cultural institutes have been selected based on their geographic location, existing collaboration schemes, and potential gains from participation in the CultureCard project. They go on to say that special attention has been given to ensure an appropriate level of diversity within the selected cultural institutes.

After each presentation a question and answer session was held. Attendees were able to learn what mistakes or challenges were faced in setting up a functioning museum card programme, where their funding came from and what amounts were spent on marketing budgets. Presenters gave helpful insights that we here in the EMR can learn from and where the focus for the roll-out of such a programme can lie.

The themes that were most prevalent were:

  • know your audience;

  • use the most up-to-date technology (including data analysis) available; and

  • have a superior marketing strategy and then follow that up with a superior marketing machine to carry said strategy out.

A panel discussion was also held with representatives from the above named museum card initiatives and complemented by; EMR director Michael Dejozé, Cultural Ambassador for the Dutch Consulate General in Düsseldorf Lene te Haar, symposium organiser Vivian van Saaze from Maastricht University and Prisca Niel from Schunck museum in Heerlen.

Discussions during the panel session covered topics such as about potential Interreg funding and how that may be accessed. Michael Dejozé touched on the fact that Interreg VI is potentially about seeing initiatives (such as the CultureCard) that are in the pipeline and creating funding projects to support their growth as opposed to creating funding projects and then having to find initiatives that suit the project stipulations.

This new take on Interreg funding gives hope to initiatives such as the CulutreCard and other initiatives that are being conceived and formed across the Euregio Meuse-Rhine.

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