Suëda Işik with a work by Piet van Stuivenberg in her bedroom; photo: Aad Hoogendoorn
SCHIEDAM – Whether it’s a sleepover of our artwork at Schiedammers or a Diwali party. For recording the migration history of Turkish Schiedammers or neighboring parties in the museum. Or a sticker book where you can save your neighbors from the neighborhood. The Stedelijk Museum Schiedam has been creating successful programs and exhibitions together with the city for four years now. Under the name Mijn Schiedam, the museum puts schedules and programs from, for and by the Schiedammers and thus wants to be of importance to them through art and history. This is not possible without the support of funds. The museum is therefore very pleased that Fonds 21, VSB-fonds, Vriendenloterij Fonds and Mondriaan Fonds support this ambition and finance Mijn Schiedam for the next three years. Thanks to Fonds 21, the museum can also appoint a youth education officer.
The program My Schiedam
My Schiedam is there for as many Schiedamers as possible. Schiedammere who already know they like to be creative or visit a museum, Schiedammere who want to be of importance to the city. But also for Schiedammers who have never been to a museum. Collaboration is the magic word here. In the first years, the museum experimented a lot with various forms of co-creation and participation projects. Almost nothing was too much to ask. For example, in the Kunstlogé programme, four artworks from the museum collection traveled in a relay race from one living room in Schiedam to the next, and the artist Maarten Bel brought his Neighborhood Pictures for Mijn Schiedam: five hundred pictures of ‘ordinary’ Schiedammers, available from local businesses . Vulnerable groups of Schiedammers came together in De Etalage to make art and meet each other under the guidance of artist Marcha van den Hurk. The museum also regularly celebrates festivals and traditions with the city, such as an iftar (meal during Ramadan) and Diwali (Hindu festival of lights). Newcomers to the city are welcomed with a museum visit and print of an artwork from the collection. And recently, all Schiedam residents had the opportunity to admire the renovated museum together with their neighbors during festive Neighborhood Welcome evenings. Since the reopening of the museum after renovation, Mijn Schiedam also has its own physical exhibition space in the museum: the City Gallery.
A new municipal museum Schiedam
In addition to exhibitions and activities by, for and by Schiedammers, Mijn Schiedam also became a ‘mindset’ throughout the museum. De Haij: “In everything we do, we think about the city, its problems and residents. Although we have two city programmers who continuously work on the cooperation with the city, every museum employee contributes. The Stedelijk Museum Schiedam has thus changed into a modern city museum , which simultaneously serves a national public and works closely with the city through co-creation and participation. A formula that works in Schiedam.”
Multi-year support from foundations
This is not possible without the important support of funds. De Haij: “My Schiedam is about working together. It is custom and human work and requires patience and sincere attention. Only if you invest in communities for a long time will you be meaningful in a sustainable way. Stedelijk Museum Schiedam unfortunately cannot finance this from the basic grant, but is fortunate that VSBfonds, Mondriaan Fonden and VriendenLoterij Fonds have supported Mijn Schiedam for the past four years and are now extending this. Furthermore, we can welcome Fonds 21 as the fourth fund to make an important contribution. I am incredibly grateful for these funds. Thanks to them, we can deepen our relationship with the city and expand it further in the coming years.”
My Schiedam 2
Thanks to the support for the next three years, Mijn Schiedam can deepen the many relationships it has built, professionalize programs and, above all, set new ambitions. In the coming years, for example, it will focus more on communities in the city with which there is still little or no contact. Mijn Schiedam also develops new programs with young people from Schiedam. In addition, the museum will contribute to social issues that are of great importance to many Schiedam residents: poverty, low literacy and reduced social cohesion. City programmer Dorien Theuns: “As a museum, we cannot solve these problems. What we can do is talk about it with a starting point in art and history, listen to people from Schiedam who deal with these themes and know together how we can have (structural) significance for them. Together we build a stronger city.”