Joseph Sedfrey Santiago
Mobile art museum (MAM): A proposal to bring art education to communities in the peripheries
The museum is essentially a place of education that complements learning in the classroom setting. It allows students to experience firsthand and up-close subjects that are discussed in school such as cultural artifacts and artworks, among others. This is one important reason why private basic education schools in the Philippines normally have field trips to museums like the National Museum of the Philippines. Field trips entail costs, and therefore only students whose parents can afford to pay the fees enjoy the learning experience. Since a significant percentage of Filipino families live below the poverty line, especially in far flung areas, it is reasonable to presume that children coming from such families will not be able to afford even a single trip to the museum as their finances are only enough for basic necessities. One way for poor students and out-of-school children to enjoy the museum experience is for members of civil society to sponsor their field trips as part of the organization’s advocacy; another way is to establish or revive existing communities. One other avenue available is to bring the museum experience to marginalized communities and people in the peripheries. This can be done through the mobile art museum (MAM). MAM may not be as grand as the encyclopedic museum described by James Cuno in his book “Museums Matter” (2011), but even in the simplicity of its set-up MAM will have the capacity to help marginalized young students not only gain new knowledge about the arts and culture but also to have a glimpse of what is out there, and be inspired by the possibilities that the future may bring.