New course in Leadership for Cultural Heritage Stewards in Challenging Circumstances


Disasters that threaten or damage cultural heritage put extra pressure on professionals – the curators, archivists, restorers, museum authorities, archaeologists, government officials and others responsible for protecting culture. Having a tool kit of specific leadership skills can make a difference in tackling the many challenges they face. 

This November the Prince Claus Fund and the Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative, in collaboration with ICCROM, are offering cultural heritage professionals a leadership course in The Hague, 3 – 8 November 2019, specially designed to make them more effective in protecting their own heritage. A multi-disciplinary team of professionals in leadership, project development, management and communications will help them create more effective project proposals and management plans, garner more resources and develop strategic partnerships.

Ten participants from nine different countries have been selected. Each comes with a track record of commitment to safeguarding cultural heritage and each brings a proposal for a project that will preserve an important community cultural asset in their area. 

The first stage of the course will bring the group together in The Hague for lectures, practical exercises and specific advice. The 6-day course will be followed up by mentorship, coaching on projects and general webinars. An important additional aspect is connecting participants online to a growing international network of cultural heritage stewards so they are able to share experiences, seek advice and learn about effective new techniques.

The Prince Claus Fund together with ICCROM (Rome, Italy), the Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative (Washington, USA) and the Netherlands Commission for Unesco, hosted a course in the Netherlands in First Aid to Cultural Heritage and a similar leadership course in 2018. Read more

Organizing partners

The Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative works to protect cultural heritage threatened or impacted by disasters and to help U.S. and international communities preserve their culture and history. 

The Prince Claus Fund supports, connects and celebrates artists and cultural practitioners where cultural expression is under pressure, primarily in Latin America, Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Eastern Europe. Through its Cultural Emergency Response programme, the Prince Claus Fund provides quick help to evacuate, stabilise or rescue cultural heritage that is under threat due to conflict situations or natural disasters.  

Collaborating partner

International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM), Italy 

Image: First Aid to Heritage Course 2018, Netherlands (c) Maarten van Haaff