In 1977, the International Council of Museums (ICOM) designated 18 May as the annual International Museum Day (IMD) to raise public awareness of the important role that museums play in society. The Leisure and Cultural Services Department has responded to this important appeal since 2001 by organising IMD events in mid-May every year.
The theme of IMD 2019 will focus on "Museums as Cultural Hubs: The future of tradition". The role of museums in society is changing. Museums keep reinventing themselves in their quest for becoming more interactive, audience-focused, community-oriented, flexible, adaptable and mobile agencies. They have become cultural hubs functioning as platforms where creativity combines with knowledge and where visitors can also co-create, share and interact.
While preserving their primary missions – collecting, conservation, communication, research, exhibition – museums have transformed their practices to remain closer to the communities they serve. Today they look for innovative ways to tackle contemporary social issues and conflict. By acting locally, museums can also advocate and mitigate global problems, striving to meet the challenges of today's society proactively. As institutions at the heart of society, museums have the power to establish dialogue between cultures, to build bridges for a peaceful world and to define a sustainable future.
As museums increasingly grow into their roles as cultural hubs, they are also finding new ways to honour their collections, their histories and their legacies, creating traditions that will have new meaning for future generations and relevance for an increasingly diverse contemporary audience at a global level. This transformation, which will have a profound impact on museum theory and practice, also forces us to rethink the value of museums and to question the ethical boundaries that define the very nature of our work as museum professionals.
At once a focal point for the community and an integral part of a global network, museums offer a platform for translating local communities' needs and views into a global context.
This year, International Museum Day in Hong Kong is scheduled for 18-19 May 2019, and over those two days visitors will be admitted free* to most of the local participating venues, where a wide range of educational and entertaining programmes will be held. Come and be inspired!
*Except for special exhibitions and programmes, which have an admission fee
Museums and Venues under Leisure and Cultural Services Department
Other Participating Museums and Venues