After one year and a half working in SAMA, I was able to be part of the important and decisive transformations that took place throughout 2019, leading us to the exciting and promising journey coming now with the beginning of 2020. As the recently appointed Collection Manager, I feel proud to share our last year's achievements and the fruits of our work that will be harvested also throughout this year.
As a museologist, I see SAMA’s collection as highly innovative and unique, and the development of the museum’s first Collection Policy Plan and Collection Research Plan is for us the biggest accomplishments of 2019. These documents will guarantee the recognition of SAMA’s collection and position the museum at a higher level within the art and heritage fields. The two documents enabled us to get a grant from Prins Bernhard Culture Funds by the end of last year, which represents the necessary financial support to put our plans in practice: research, register and publish a complete collection catalogue by the end of 2020.
The second-biggest achievement for us was to raise our international impact: SAMA team participated at the CAMOC meeting in Lisbon, ministering one workshop during the program; the director Anna Stolyarova was a guest speaker at the CreArt International Encounter in Aveiro; we were selected to be part of the two-years European project STreetART - Europe For Citizens (SAMA is the host of the final event in Amsterdam in 2022) and we made a successful collaboration with the Middle East and North Africa Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to host and develop a complete program for the Saudi Arabian artist Noura Bint Saidan.
What also gave SAMA’s team fulfillment and certainty of being on the right track was the collaboration with several researchers, interns, and young professionals. In total, SAMA collaborated with over 15 research papers and study assignments, appeared in more than 20 international publications and city guides, presented the use of Virtual Reality as a solution to preserve heritage at 3 national and international events, and hosted 8 interns in the course of last year.
As an eco-museum grounded on the community, SAMA’s collection was never intended for mass tourism, and different from most museums in Amsterdam, tickets are a very small percentage of our income. Nevertheless, our visitor’s experience are very important for us, and throughout 2019 we hosted varied publics and developed exciting programs for the local population with the support of the Stadsdeel Nieuw-West. Over the course of the year, SAMA hosted over 20 schools, totaling around 1K students and teachers coming for educative tours and workshops; we shared the collection with over 2K individual visitors from all over the world and tailored over 20 team building sessions for companies. Besides our physical visitors, SAMA raised the bar with over 80K monthly visits to our web presence.
We aim to go further in 2020, putting into action our recently finished Strategy Plan (2020-2022). The year just started but SAMA has already many ongoing projects, as the exhibition planing of “The Magic Dozen - Street Art in Amsterdam Nieuw-West”, granted by AFK, that will be inaugurated in July 2020; the confirmed collaboration with the FredFoundation in the project Food4Smiles; the international exchange with RADIONA (Zagreb) to develop educational programs, sponsored by Cultura Nova; the social art programming around Geuzenveld supported by Art Impact Geuzenveld; and the development of our first Collection Catalogue, to be publicly shared online by the end of this year, funded by Prins Bernhard Culture Funds.
In order to give even further steps in the next years, SAMA is dividing its organization into two departments: Collection Management, contemplating collection care, documentation, research and catalogue, and Collection Application, responsible for planning and execution of all the activities and programs developed by the museum. With this new structure, the museum will be able to continue running its activities while giving the necessary attention and formalization of the street art collection built during the last seven years.