I had the privilege of serving as an EMYA judge for six years, and never ceased to be moved by the diversity of the museums I visited, and by how each year a jury of twelve very different people, with different professional background, different cultural origins, different perspectives and interpretations of the world in general would come together and, out of a pool of seemingly incomparable museums, distill a group of winning museums, often surprising ourselves in the process. The longer I worked with EMYA, the more I came to respect and cherish the impact of this small, but indefatigable, stalwart and unwavering organization within the museum field.
EMYA and EMF represent a set of core values around innovation and quality, but equally around cultural diversity, cultural democracy and cultural participation. These values guide the judging and award process, and our annual conferences are occasions in which these values are continuously discussed, renewed, reinterpreted, refreshed.
Kenneth Hudson, when I got to know him, was a formidable figure, halfway between a person and an institution, speaking in distinct axioms and articulating his 1st,2nd and 3rd law of museums, with a richness in scathing wit and analytical intellect which ensure their continued relevance today. He came to mean quite a bit for my personal, somewhat unusual trajectory in the museum field, and I have been happy, as a judge and now as a trustee, to make my small contribution to the continued life of EMYA/EMF.
I am so proud to serve as a Trustee for EMF because our organisation truly represents the changing faces of museums. At EMF we strive to give meaning to that word “museum” and every year we acknowledge that our candidate museums - representing the crème de la crème of Europe’s cultural heritage - only live because of and through their communities, the people who make them relevant. Museums are not cultural reserves anymore, they are closer to people. As EMF Trustees we are called to champion this vision and support the excellent efforts of our judging committee. Personally, it is an honour and a deeply felt privilege to get to know the shortlisted museums and welcome them into the EMF family.