Building Resilient Museums and Communities in Ukraine

Participants in one of the 11 training sessions for the “Building Resilient Museums and Communities” project

Conflict not only affects individuals and governments, but culture more generally. Cultural spaces and sites are often destroyed–looted for artwork and artifacts, or intentionally attacked in order to destroy a community’s cultural identity. Sites like religious and spiritual buildings, schools, libraries, and museums are put in danger along with the individuals who frequent them. 

Attacks on cultural identity today can be seen on a large scale in the Russian invasion of Ukraine. According to Ukraine’s Ministry of Culture and Information Policy, between February 24, 2022 and August 25, 2023, 823 cultural sites were damaged or destroyed in the conflict. In response to this, the International Council of Museums (ICOM) recently launched “Solidarity Projects: Ukraine” to support museums and museum professionals in Ukraine.

ICSC is a partner with three ICOM committees–the Disaster Resilience Management Committee, ICOM Canada and ICOM Ukraine to launch “Building Resilient Museums and Communities,”  a project in which employees of 25 small to mid-size museums in eastern and southern Ukraine receive capacity-building training focused on understanding trauma and developing resilience tools that can be shared with fellow museum workers and their communities.

The project includes 11 virtual training sessions, facilitated by ICSC staff and members and ICOM members, who draw on their own sites and lessons learned to support Ukrainian museum practitioners during this time. Participating ICSC members include:

“We are not alone.  We have colleagues who are not indifferent.” 
-Project Participant

Over the course of the project, participating Ukrainian museums developed small-scale projects related to conflict and resilience that they will share during a Spring 2024 webinar and in a 2024 toolkit that will be widely disseminated in Ukraine and internationally through all participating committees/organizations. 

The ultimate goal of “Building Resilient Museums and Communities” is to provide key learnings to museum staff about resilience and rebuilding their communities in times of conflict. At the conclusion of the project, museums will have gained knowledge about managing trauma and creating resilience through trainings. In doing so, they will be able to demonstrate expertise in the field to support their communities’ unique needs. 

To learn about other funded projects sponsored by ICOM click here. For more information about this specific project, please contact Linda Norris, Senior Specialist in Methodology and Practice at ICSC, at