Events: Philippines to host ASEAN Museum Congress 2021 this October

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — The National Museum of the Philippines is hosting the ASEAN Museum Congress 2021, an online international conference of museum professionals and heritage stakeholders, on Oct. 26-28, 2021.

With the theme, “Museum Interpretation in Times of Disaster: Museum Education, Exhibitions and Public Programs in the New Normal”, the congress aims to provide museum professionals and heritage practitioners from across ASEAN member states to share and learn best practices in museum management, particularly on museum interpretation in COVID-19 and post COVID -19 setting.


“The Covid-19 pandemic has a wider and far-reaching impact to museums globally; it led to temporary closures of museums and heritage sites. The arts and tourism sectors that relied heavily on tourism were also paralyzed, and its stakeholders have been worst hit by the pandemic,” said Director-General Jeremy Barns of the National Museum.

He added that disasters like the Covid-19 health crisis call for regional response and cooperation to maximize resources and harness the interconnectedness of ASEAN’s socio-cultural practices.

“Through sharing of best practices and experiences of ASEAN member-states, this congress can help museums overcome the problems of physical accessibility and immobility brought about by disasters like this pandemic,” added Barns.

Aside from sharing best practices, the congress also intends to increase the accessibility of online programs of ASEAN museums. “Museums are utilizing the digital platforms to its advantage, thus, this is the best time to encourage sharing of online education services and public programs to widen museum engagement in the new normal,” said Dr. Ana Labrador, Deputy Director-General of the National Museum and head of the ASEAN Museum Congress Organizing Committee.

Widely published author and curator Dr. Paul Taylor of Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, together with museum and heritage experts Dr. Christina Kreps of University of Denver-Museum of Anthropology and Janet Tee of ICOM Malaysia and National Textile Museum in Kuala Lumpur are the keynote speakers in the three-day event, respectively.

Also invited to share their institution’s or country’s museum experiences and best practices during the pandemic are the following: Dr. H. Estrella Montien, Heritage and Museum Consultant in Bangkok, Thailand; HE Minister Phoueng Sackona, Minister of Culture and Fine Arts of Cambodia; Dr. Ricardo Punzalan of School of Information, University of Michigan; Dr. Alicia Magos, Professor Emeritus of the University of the Philippines; Pattayarak Thamwongsa, Deputy Director of Department of Museum Knowledge Development of the National Discovery Museum Institute, Thailand; Prof. Karen Chin, Assistant Director of Wildlife Reserves Singapore; Dr. Yunci Cai, of the School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester, UK; Nguyen Thi Thu Huong, Deputy Head of Department of HR and External Relations, Vietnam Fine Arts Museum; and Dr. Jay Arre Toque of the Advanced Imaging Technology Center and Kyoto University, Japan.

There will also be paper presentations, with two paper presenters from each ASEAN member-state. The congress will be held in cooperation with the ASEAN-Committee on Culture and Information (ASEAN-COCI) and National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA). Check this link to pre-register:

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