Kyoto 2019 Travel Support

We received a total of 51 applications and the review committee awarded 23 members, 45% of the applicantsICOM-US awarded $20,000 in travel support to ICOM-US members who attended the ICOM Kyoto 2019 General Conference. 


June Ahn- ICOM Kyoto travel grant (University of Illinois Chicago): “Without the travel grant from ICOM-US, I would not have been able to attend this conference. I am a current graduate student in the Museum and Exhibition Studies program at the University of Illinois Chicago. As an emerging professional in this field, ICOM Kyoto was my first international conference and the first time I have ever presented.” “The big highlight of this ICOM conference was the ongoing debates about what a museum definition is and how it should be changed. It illustrated the difficulties of creating something that can be used by every institution around the world. This forum is one of the only opportunities to meet and hear from international colleagues. Everyone participated with enthusiasm and passion about the future of this field. So many good points were raised for both sides of the debate.”

Meredith Peruzzi: “I am grateful to ICOM-US for the opportunity to participate in the museum field on an international level. This was my first major international conference, and I hope it is not my last. I am planning to continue participating with ICOM and UMAC through electronic forums, as a global perspective is truly necessary to understanding the future of museums.”

Teng Chamchumrus: “ICOM Kyoto was also my first time submitting a proposal and presenting at a conference. Given that context, it was difficult to find a home and a path, including funding and support, for the work that I was developing. ICOM-US not only helped me with practical needs such as providing partial funding for this trip, but also helped me navigate the ICOM conference process, provided guidance and connection to help me build this body of work, and for a few close colleagues, acted as my cheerleading squad. ICOM-US was a large part of me being able to complete this chapter of my work, to have a platform at ICOM Kyoto, and to build potential paths forward.”

Sarah Sutton: “I understand more, now, how important the committees are for connecting members to ICOM and for strengthening the profession. And I understand more about how individuals join and participate in committees.” “I returned from the experience as a new fan of Japan and Japanese culture, a more committed member of ICOM and a more connected member of ICOM-US, and with plans for a session proposal at the Prague Triennial in 2022. “

Laura-Edythe Coleman: “Upon returning to the United States, I have taken my new post at Drexel University as Program Director in Arts Administration and Museum Leadership. Here I can present to students and faculty about ICOM, ICOM-US, ICMEMO, and the definition of the word "museum." I intend to take what I have learned at ICOM 2019 and teach my students and faculty about our role in leading the museum field at an international level.”

Darrell Jackson: “I am fairly new to researching issues surrounding museums, their histories, their practices, and their collections. As such, I have not spent a significant amount of time inside of museums. And, the time that I have spent inside of museums has tended to replicate that of most tourists. I was passing through museums very quickly. I was not engaging the collections deeply or critically. Unbeknownst to me, Japan has a lot of museums. The ICOM-US travel support allowed me to dive deeply into numerous Japanese museums and see how one country’s museums (their style and structure) compare with another country’s (e.g., the United States of America) or another region (e.g., the European Union). I found everything from the collections displayed to the descriptive wall text to be fascinating points of comparison. This allowed me to enhance my museum IQ and will factor into my research and analysis going forward.”

Kelsey Brow: “What a privilege it was to be able to attend ICOM in Kyoto and engage with the bigger picture of museology and to hear from people all around the world, at all different types of museums, all different ages and careers within the field. While the focus on practical takeaways from each session that I enjoy at all American museum conferences I attend was completely absent from the presentations I attended at ICOM, it was both refreshing and stimulating to have some time to step back and look at what we do from an ideological perspective. It feels like I don’t have that luxury very often.”

Nicole Crawford: “Funds for travel for museum professionals, especially those from a university setting and for travel abroad, are extremely limited and I am very grateful to ICOMUS for their support. Museums do not work in a vacuum and the sharing of knowledge and experience is vital for all of our success. Thank you for making this amazing opportunity possible.”

Jane Klinger: “As Chief Conservator, I have brought back some new ways of thinking about our work to conserve the collections. While the USHMM Conservation Policy address damage as evidence of the history of the object during the Holocaust, nothing is directly said about the losses that appear. I and my staff are now discussing the importance of the “missing piece” and how to articulate that in our conservation treatments as well as in the written policy. I am both humbled by the experiences I had and grateful for the support the support from ICOM-US that gave me this opportunity.”

Vincent Deschamps: “What made this experience so unique was the fact that museum professionals with a wide range of professional experiences and backgrounds were brought together to discuss the future of museums in an ever-changing world as well as the role museums play in helping domestic and international visitors discover and understand a wide range of cultural and artistic traditions.” “The other aspect that made this conference unique and so important is the fact that it brought together museum theorists and practitioners together by way of providing multiple opportunities to discuss, openly and honestly, what challenges museum face and what can be done about them. More than anything else, I learned that there is a multitude of resources available to museum professionals to learn about museum best practices and it is actually easier than I thought to engage in productive and educative conversations with museum colleagues and academics alike by way of the General Conference and of the international committees. It was not until I attended the General Conference that I understood the important of the international and US committees, as they both (in different ways) bring together people who are passionate about what they do. ICOM continuously creates opportunities to exchange and challenge ideas and that is the second aspect that made the conference so unique and fascinating.”