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“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.” 
― Albert Einstein

In a number of countries, the creative industries are the fastest growing business sector. According to figures released in the UK, the creative industries now contribute to some 6%of GDP, providing employment for over 2 m people and supporting an export economy of more than £16bn. And this pattern is repeated in many economies around the world.

unnamedEtsy Creation for Rijksmuseum

From architecture to computer gaming, textile design or advertising, the creative industries are always hungry for content and inspiration, and increasingly, they are finding it in museums.

Urs-Bigler6Image: Urs Bigler

Cultural content–the knowledge and stories that form the foundation of the work of museums – is the fuel which powers the creative economy. By working in partnership with the creative industries, museums can open themselves up to new audiences and new opportunities, making a vital contribution to economic recovery and stability.

1600173717943_hVvvVQIJ_lImage: Pencil vs. Camera – Ben Heine

The Internet has disrupted every industry, and it is no different for museums. The huge savings in cost and audience reach brought about by technology has made large-scale, distributed philanthropy – so-called “crowdfunding” – a practical reality.

IMG_1312Image: Champion Graphics

In many ways, crowdfunding is no different to a donations box, except that instead of being limited to a physical location, museums are able to reach out and inspire love and support from people all over the world – whether or not they’ve ever visited in person.

9bafeda705e420119da97684dc1fcd65Image: Pixelation

Funding collections has always been, and will most likely always be, a question of setting long-term objectives while being creative about short-term opportunities. It is not about becoming reliant on a single source of funding, but about ensuring that in pursuing new funding opportunities – whether in the form of crowdfunding or taxation, retail or collaboration – we do not forget our core purposes of collecting, preserving, interpreting and sharing.

Main Photo: Christian Stoll

Resources: ICOM Magazine

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