the MOON Museum by Il Salone dei Rifiutati

What are your main activities in the MOON Museum and who are you working with? 

The MOON is a museum where we present refused objects in an interactive way. Visitors can get in contact with objects through different machines that we have invented ourselves. We organize museum visits and regular thematic exhibitions. 

For instance, within our current exhibition, we present embroidered clothes and visitors can learn more about them through specific applications in AR that we have created for the occasion. They can also interact with the objects by touching them or by opening drawers, bedside tables and closets. The exhibition is actually an invitation to discover the beauties of traveling in the Mediterranean area. This is why all the fabrics are blue and the furniture containing them is white to make allusion to these typically mediterranean colors. 

Around the exhibitions, we also organize thematic workshops and trainings for children, in collaboration with local schools, but also for people with disabilities and for teachers and trainers  too. 

How did you begin the adventure of the Moon Museum? 

At the beginning, in 2003, we used to work as an associative form. Then in 2017, the four of us, four women, decided to raise a cooperative and to find a location for a museum. The MOON Museum (MOON stays for Museo Officine Oggetti Narranti – Museum Workshop of Narrative Objects) used to be a warehouse for toys that had been no more used already for 10 years at least. It was so full of dirt and dust…! We renovated it to create different rooms for exhibitions, offices and workshops and we also redid the facade in collaboration with a recycling artist and architect.

Where do you find the necessary financement for the Moon’s activities? 

We don’t have any regular financing but we apply regularly to obtain different types of financial aid on a local and on an international level. We answer to public calls for projects, to European projects, we also have financial support from private donors and sometimes we also do fundraising for specific projects. Our current exhibition about embroidery was also organized in the framework of a public call for projects. The objective is to maintain the impact of Matera as European Capital of Culture in 2019.

How do you make your Museum known within your locality and internationally? 

As an artistic cooperative, we have the chance to be part of a network of local organizations and associations who help us to spread information about our events and activities and of course also using tools such as social networks, websites, mailing lists.

We also organize meetings to disseminate the results of our activities with different targets and different locations in our region and in partnership with institutions or associations all over Italy.

How do your activities could inspire others? Not necessarily to create a museum but your methods, objectives or principles? 

Our method is based on valuing seemingly worthless objects. There is nothing extremely precious here in Potenza from a tourist point of view. The concept of “museum” as an approach in dealing with things can be inspiring not as a place or an institution but as a method to create value out of small and broken things. This is what we teach to other teachers too. 

What is your impact so far on a local and on an international level? Do you have methods to evaluate your impact? 

As a cooperative, each year, in addition to the financial report, we also prepare a social report on our local impact to measure our outreach. From a less quantitative point of view, our local impact is tangible through the cooperations we have with local schools, through our work with children and school teachers too who integrate and who can be inspired by the MOON Museum. 

For specific projects we have to evaluate the impact with external experts every several months.

What would you like to achieve in the following couple of years? 

Most importantly, we would like to better our status as a local enterprise and be more effective in organizing and administrative fields. As an innovative organization, we are a little bit in between the artistic and the social spheres, so our goal is also to improve our positioning in specific sector as the learning programme for teachers and educators; the studio visit for schools and the production of educational and playful kit with refused materials to empower the fundraising in favor of people with special needs.

Further readings:


Instagram: @ilsalonedeirifiutati

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