C. Da Milano1, E. Falchetti2

1Eccom-European Centre for Cultural Organization and Management (ITALY)
2Museo Civico di Zoologia (ITALY)
The role of museums as inclusive institutions is a very debated issue: many attempts have been made to improve the relationship of museums and different publics, in order to turn the museum into places for people of all ages, cultures and backgrounds. Most of the existing experiences seem to be promising in terms of the results they are achieving, but they normally lack a structured forms of evaluation.

DIAMOND (www.diamondmuseums.eu) is a two-year LLP-Grundtvig funded project aimed at realizing museum activities addressed to marginalized groups. It intends to do so by exploiting the enormous potential of museums as tools of empowerment and social inclusion and that of Digital Storytelling (DS) within the cultural and social domain by training museum professionals in the DS methodology and by using it in the implementation and evaluation of the project’s activities: telling stories is indeed an activity embedded in human being’s way of making sense of reality, shared by all cultures no matter where they come from and what sort of environment they live in.

The innovation of the project lies in the idea of bringing together a group of museums and research centres based in Italy, Spain and Romania which are committed to providing learning opportunities for adult people (using also ICT) as well as to provide a deep analysis of tools and methodologies addressed to measure the impact of museums activities within society and adult learning field and to develop guidelines of good practice.
The use of DS adds to the process of telling stories the potential of self-biography (a very powerful pedagogical tool) and of ICT, fostering the decrease of the digital divide among different age groups and different social groups. In the whole, the use of DS is a powerful tool in terms of individual empowerment in order to learn (new knowledge), to learn how to do (new competences) and to learn how to be (self-development, creativity, self expression).

With specific reference to evaluation, the project aims at identifying and developing qualitative indicators appropriate to measure the social and cultural/educational impact of this kind of museum activities through qualitative indicators; DS will also be used also as a tool of qualitative evaluation in itself, since it helps participants to express their feelings about the activities realized within the museums.

In the paper, the authors will present the results of the training activities in DS addressed to museum professionals carried out in Spain and in Romania, as well as the results of the first pilot experiences realized in Rome by the Museo Civico di Zoologia.