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3 Museums Collaboration - Van Eesteren Museum

In 2022 SAMA had received a grant from AFK to research and develop the opportunity for collaboration between 3 city museums: history, architecture and street art. After just over a year research, we are happy to announce the practical part of the chosen approach to collaboration.


During the afternoon of the 16th of May, SAMA team have finally met a group of volunteers and operational team behind VEM during their monthly gathering and joined a series of presentations.

Initially, all the volunteers have been welcomed with snacks and drinks, as a way to talk to each other, to relax and to be involved in the comfortable and welcoming museum’s environment. During this convivial moment, you could feel and see as this museum is about people, a place which connects people, involving them in the present and future projects, which include the museum and the neighbourhood. It is a place of inclusion, involvement, democracy, devoted to people and made by people.

As Theo Capel (the initiator of Coöperatieve Woningvereniging Ons Nieuwe Hof) stated:

Van Eesteren Museum is more than a museum. It is a place of ideas.

It is an environment where people can connect to each other, can take actions and be the protagonists of the scenario. People from the district (around 100 volunteers) are involved in discussing issues and projects about the place in which they live, and their ideas and opinions are listened accurately.

A founder of SAMA has observed that

Van Eesteren has become a place full of good vibes and that it is a pleasure to work together with Jorn, the new museum's director, because he works with questions, and not exclamation marks.

At a later time, a brief museum’s tour was led by Jorn and Rosa van Rumpt, and they showed to the volunteers the running and temporary exhibition, called “Skateboard City”. This exhibition tells the history of skateboarding, from its birth in the 60s, as a niche activity, until today, becoming a global culture. Walking around, you could understand clearly how the exhibition, the museum and the district of Amsterdam Nieuw-West are really well connected: “light, air, and space”, according to the urban planner Cornelis Van Eesteren, are the three essential elements in Amsterdam’s development, and they are also essential to skateboarding.

After the tour, the presentation was held by SAMA. Leonie, SAMA's collection manager, and Anna, the founder and active residents, gave a little introduction about what SAMA is and its relation to heritage and to people that are part of the community. They explained the museum’s activities, such as tours, workshops, events and team building, collection management and creation of participative murals, offering learning and job opportunities, and EU cooperation.

We shared with the audience the 3 Museum collaboration project and the reason behind the idea. Leonie invited the volunteers to participate in

  • a tour presented by both SAMA and VEM guides, mixing historical architecture with the story of the murals

  • a discussion about the cross-polonation of two disciplines

  • a calligraffiti workshop with TeamBlazin, during which SAMA team will collect stories about the neighbourhood and history of games in Nieuw-West

The mixed tour has never been done before, and we were very curious to see how the public will react. Fortunately, Stan Lenssen has shared his eagerness about writing a tour together with Anna and presenting it to a bigger group during the 13 June 2023 pilot.

We see the Workshop of Calligraffiti as an opportunity for people of the neighbourhood to cooperate, participate, playing together, being involved in activities related to urban arts and urban fun. And we are very happy that the audience has demonstrate enthusiasms and involvement for the project.

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