In May, we’re making noise about museums!


Saturday 18 May 2019 marks the 42nd annual International Museums Day (#IMD2019). MGS is planning some promotional events and opportunities linked to the day that raise the profile of Scotland’s museums. We’re delighted to be able to tell you what’s in store.

What are the plans?

International Museums Day offers a great opportunity to highlight the work of Scotland’s incredible museums on an international stage… and at home! We are delighted to support museums to run events over that weekend through our usual funding streams, but we are also excited to highlight the collective good that our museums do through two specific initiatives we are launching this year.

This will take the form of two profile-raising ‘events’ in the week leading up to International Museums Day:

-On Tuesday 14 May, a Parliamentary reception offering the opportunity for museums to engage with MSPs and key stakeholders; and,

-On Thursday 16 May, a social media and press-driven campaign to get our messages out to the public.


Parliamentary Reception, Tuesday 14 May

Our focus for this event is to highlight to MSPs how museums deliver across the Scottish Government National Performance Framework, especially around education, health, and communities. It’s a great opportunity to engage with parliamentarians on the night and to encourage support for the sector in Parliament beforehand. We’ll be contacting all MSPs to inform them about their local museums and to encourage them to take part in our public campaign.

The night will be a mix of stands (showcasing great examples of projects from the sector), some presentations, and some surprises!

The reception is on Tuesday 14 May and invitations have already been sent to museums. We look forward to seeing a good number of you there.



Museums are inspiring. Museums are fun. Museums tell stories. Museums make you think. #MuseumsSparkJoy

Yes, #MuseumsSparkJoy’s reference to the popular phrase coined by the Konmari movement isn’t an accident!

Additionally, we want to capture the imagination of social media users and the press alike in advance of International Museums Day 2019. We want to reflect the fun, inclusive, and personal nature of museums, highlighting their positive place in people’s lives.

We’re working with regional and national press to generate coverage around the campaign and will keep you updated on our progress.

We’ve re-named our Festival of Museums social media accounts (Twitter and Facebook) @MuseumsSpark. All social media activity will have the #MuseumsSparkJoy hashtag and we’re keeping the message for year one simple: we are encouraging the public to post images, GIFs, videos, thoughts, and memories of how museums spark joy in their lives.

Activity will be happening on Thursday 16 May, so pop it in your diaries!


So, where do museums come in?

We so hope that you will get involved in these events, and take advantage of the opportunity to share how valuable your museum is. This model allows museums to pick their level of engagement; some ways you can be involved are:

  • Come along to the Parliamentary reception on 14 May;
  • Have a stand at the Parliamentary reception (details about this opportunity are included in your museum’s invite);
  • Post to social media (Twitter and Facebook) to raise awareness of your museum, highlighting how your museum sparks joy;
  • Contact your local media/MSP directly, using #MuseumsSparkJoy or International Museums Day #IMD2019 as a hook. We’ll have further information to support you on this shortly, so please do let us know if you’re planning activity like this.


We’re excited about the activity we have planned. We’ll keep you posted as plans progress, but we hope you can all take part and create a good buzz around the value of museums.

The International Council of Museums (ICOM) set up International Museums Day in 1977. It gives museums, wherever they are in the world, an opportunity to highlight the important role of museums globally. To find out more, visit

Due to limited capacity, MGS has issued one invitation per museum to the Parliamentary Reception. If you are concerned you haven’t received yours and are keen attend, please contact us on 0131 550 4100.