Street Art Museum Amsterdam (SAMA) is a community-based, contemporary eco-museum, that uses street art as a tool for dialogue between stakeholders of Nieuw-West Amsterdam, as well as visitors of the region. Moreover, it is an eco-museum, where art (tangible heritage) and stories (intangible heritage) come together. It is focused on the identity of the immediate environment in connection with local participation and aims at improving the development and quality of life of the local community, using art as a tool to social dialogue.
For these reasons, this museum has a social value and impact, because “produces” potential benefits both at the individual (related to cultural, education, personal development issues) and at the societal level (health, inclusion, citizenship, volunteering). In fact, SAMA involves the community, from kids to adults, to participate in workshops, to create artworks together with the artists, and to participate to the events that the museum organizes. It uses street art as a tool to make the art movement accessible, reaching a wide and varied public in order to enrich and inspire them. Through street art, SAMA aims to include people, from different backgrounds and nationality, connecting them, in order to create a stronger community.
SAMA contributes to the overall health of the community, through individual and societal impacts. People can learn how to create an artwork, how to use different techniques, how to spread their imagination, how to interact each other, and all this contributes to their personal development and growth. On the other hand, through the museum’s activities, lots of concepts are promoted, such as inclusiveness, social cohesion, equity and access, local image and identity.
Social impacts can also be referred both to intrinsic and instrumental SAMA’s values, which are respectively related to the artistic contents, which have an effect on individuals, and to the arts and culture used as a tool to achieve the museum’s aims, as to connect people within the community.
In addition to the collection and connecting museum’s values, SAMA contributes in other different ways, in terms of education and experience values. It proposes itself as a learning environment for a broad range of people and it provides opportunities for enjoyment, experience and adventure. It is a place of action and inspiration, where people can be stimulated both physically and intellectually.
What distinguishes SAMA is the fact that visitors are “users” rather than “viewers”, “customers” or “consumers”, because they are active participants of the experience provided.