lab.bode – Launch of ‘Initiative to Boost Museum-Education Work in Museums’


The Kulturstiftung des Bundes (Federal Cultural Foundation) and the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin have jointly launched the lab.bode – the ‘Initiative to Boost Museum-Education Work in Museums’. A learning lab in the Bode-Museum on Berlin’s Museumsinsel and a nationwide training programme at twenty-one further museums serves to highlight what is great about museum-educational work and to show what it can accomplish.

In launching the programme, the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin and the Kulturstiftung des Bundes want to clearly underline the social relevance of cultural education. Through this initiative, as many (young) people as possible will be given new access to museums. At the same time, a process of change will begin in museums, giving greater importance to educational and outreach work, and, more broadly, to the task of communicating with more diverse audiences.  

The Kulturstiftung des Bundes is making €5.6 million available for the programme, for the years 2016 to 2020. The Staatliche Museen zu Berlin will establish a curatorial position with an explicit focus on ‘outreach’. The main task of the new position will be to ensure that content and new approaches developed in the learning lab can filter through to all aspects of the Bode-Museum’s work.  

Up until the end of 2020, the Bode-Museum will become an experimental zone for the educational and outreach work of museums. A central pillar of lab.bode’s work will be its close collaboration with nine schools from across Berlin, selected by competitive application. A second key component of the initiative will be the support given to a total of twenty-one museum staff at the start of their careers, whose work will focus on education and outreach.

By the summer of 2017, educational spaces will be added to the Bode-Museum’s permanent exhibition. Here, interaction and participation will be of central significance, alternative approaches to exhibition will be assessed, and opportunities for exchange with visitors will be established.

To implement the programme, the lab.bode team will work closely with the staff of the Bode-Museum, in particular the Education, Outreach, and Visitor Services Department, as well as with curatorial staff and staff from other museums. Other key partners include the Bundesakademie für Kulturelle Bildung Wolfenbüttel (Federal Academy for Cultural Education in Wolfenbüttel), the Deutsche Museumsbund (German Museums Association), and the Berliner Senatsverwaltung für Bildung, Jugend und Familie (Berlin Senate Department of Education, Youth, and Family).