Creative Collaborations: Museums Engaging with Communities and Climate Change

  • Jennifer NewellEmail author
Part of the Climate Change Management book series (CCM)


When museums and communities collaborate on fostering public engagement in climate change the results are powerful. Coming together around collections, co-producing and sharing knowledge, and creating outreach programs, members of specific cultural or interest groups can catalyze changes in perceptions within broad audiences. Museums are now considering the human and cultural dimensions of climate change more fully than in previous, more science-focused, phases. Museums have been gradually exploring more imaginative ways to captivate audiences and communicate views from people on the “front line”. This paper employs views from inside two particular institutions and their relationships with Pacific Islanders to explore the dynamics and challenges of collaborating creatively and effectively around climate change communication.


Climate change engagement Collaboration Communities Museums Cross-cultural communication 



The author acknowledges the Gadigal People of the Eora Nation, the traditional owners and custodians of the land the Australian Museum is sited and where the work for this piece was carried out. She also gratefully acknowledges the many Pacific scholars, artists, and community members who have generously shared their wisdom and care over the years. Newell’s cited research projects were funded by the Museums Connect grant program of the American Alliance of Museums, part of the US State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (2014); the Constantine Niarchos Foundation (“Analysing the dynamics shaping community responses to climate change in the Republic of the Marshall Islands”, 2016); and Sydney Environment Institute (“Living with a Changing Sea: navigating through climate change in the Pacific”, 2016). The author wishes to thank Walter Leal for his constructive comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pacific and International Collections, Australian MuseumSydneyAustralia

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