Call for Papers: Museum International: Museums & Unconventional partnerships

ICOM is preparing an issue of Museum International on the theme of Museums and Unconventional partnerships  (Vol. 76 Nº 301 – 302). All proposals submitted will be assessed for suitability, and if chosen, the subsequent articles will go through a double-blind peer review process. The issue is expected to be published, in collaboration with Taylor&Francis/Routledge, end 2024 / beginning 2025.

Deadline: 22 March 2024

In the wake of the global financial crisis of 2008 and the COVID-19 pandemic, museums around the world have struggled to achieve economic stability. Over the past decade and a half many museums have been forced to shut down, while others have been compelled to cut back on staff, reduce working hours and curtail their services in order to stay afloat. This trend has had a profound impact on the cultural landscape of many cities and communities around the world. Conventional methods of funding, such as government subsidies, donations, sponsorships, ticketing and visitors’ spending in museum facilities, have not been sufficient to secure the future. As a result, museums have been forced to find innovative ways to become financially sustainable and ensure their long-term survival.



Museums have been exploring new frontiers by leveraging the potential of their products and services and expanding their partnerships into non-conventional areas. They have been looking beyond their conventional funding sources, expanding their services and exploring new partnerships, in a bid to diversify their revenue streams and stay afloat in an increasingly competitive environment. At the same time, museums must preserve their principles as not-for-profit institutions in the service of society, as stated in the ICOM museum definition. It is therefore essential to also consider the ethical issues and challenges raised by some partnerships.

We are interested in receiving a diverse range of submissions that can provide valuable insight into unconventional and unfamiliar partnerships: ones that might help expand the profile of museums as economically viable and financially sustainable entities. We also welcome contributions that reflect on the challenges, successes, limitations and failures of such partnerships, and on the overall financial concerns faced by museums today and potential solutions.

We welcome contributions that address the following non-exhaustive list of topics:

  • Partnerships between museums and brands (retail industry, product lines and licensing, food and beverage industry, entertainment industry, heavy industry)
  • Museums as operators of other museums and cultural facilities
  • The economic and financial factors that drive unconventional partnerships
  • New forms of fundraising and philanthropy
  • Successes and limitations of such partnerships
  • Ethical concerns over partnerships
  • Partnerships between museums and the hospitality industry
  • Museums and the healthcare industry (hospitals and healthcare providers)
  • The intersection of museums and real estate development (mixed-use real estate; or museums as real estate managers, consultants, and advisors)
  • The potential of museums in the IPs and licensing industry, either as creators of new IPs or as providers of services and products
  • The role that museums can play in the communication industry; the direct and indirect value of museum branding, social media content, advertising and other promotional materials


Read more about the submission process