On 25 May 2021, the members of the NEMO Working Group LEM – the Learning Museum were invited to join a webinar focusing on teaching for empathy in arts museums. The working group exclusive webinar was facilitated by Karleen Gardner, Director of Learning Innovation & Director at the Center for Empathy and the Visual Arts, Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia), USA. After a short introduction by the Working Group leader Margherita Sani, The LEM Working Group members got an introduction to the new project CHARTER – The European Cultural Heritage Alliance. NEMO is one of the project partners of CHARTER, which aims to create a lasting and comprehensive strategy for future skills of the cultural heritage sector by mapping professional profiles.
Paolo Mazzanti briefly presented the latest LEM Publication “Emotions and learning in museums”and and introduced ‘MuseiEmotivi’ in the context of the regional Competence Centre NEMECH.
It also served as an introduction to the main webinar facilitator Karleen Gardner, who contributed to the publication with the chapter Fostering empathy through the visual arts. Karleen’s webinar focused on how art might play a role in helping people understand each other in our increasingly connected, yet disconnected world. The Minneapolis Institute of Art is experimenting with and researching how object-based, dialogical teaching strategies can be catalysts for fostering attitudes and capacities that are crucial for today’s world. Using artworks from the museum’s global collections and pairing these with specific teaching frameworks and thinking routines, the webinar explored how engagement with art can nurture new ways of thinking and being, including: increased self-awareness about identity and culture, respect for differences, the value of multiple perspectives, and empathy.