What are your main activities at the MOON Museum, and who do you collaborate with?
The MOON is a museum where we present rejected objects interactively. Visitors can engage with objects through various machines we've invented. We organize museum visits and regular thematic exhibitions. For example, in our current exhibition, we showcase embroidered clothes. Visitors can learn more about them through specific AR applications we've created. They can also interact by touching objects or opening drawers, bedside tables, and closets. The exhibition invites discovery of the beauties of traveling in the Mediterranean area, with fabrics in blue and furniture in white, reminiscent of these typically Mediterranean colors.
In addition to exhibitions, we organize thematic workshops and training sessions for children in collaboration with local schools. We extend these programs to people with disabilities, teachers, and trainers as well.
How did the adventure of the Moon Museum begin?
Initially, in 2003, we operated as an associative entity. In 2017, the four of us—four women—decided to establish a cooperative and find a location for a museum. The MOON Museum (MOON stands for Museo Officine Oggetti Narranti – Museum Workshop of Narrative Objects) was formerly a toy warehouse unused for at least a decade. After extensive renovation, including collaboration with a recycling artist and architect for the facade, we created rooms for exhibitions, offices, and workshops.
Where do you find the necessary funding for the Moon’s activities?
We lack regular financing but regularly apply for various financial aid sources locally and internationally. We respond to public project calls, participate in European projects, receive support from private donors, and occasionally conduct fundraising for specific projects. Our current embroidery exhibition was organized within the framework of a public project call, aiming to sustain Matera's impact as the European Capital of Culture in 2019.
How do you promote your Museum locally and internationally?
As an artistic cooperative, we benefit from a network of local organizations and associations that help disseminate information about our events and activities. We use tools like social networks, websites, and mailing lists. Additionally, we organize meetings to share the results of our activities with diverse audiences in different locations within our region and in collaboration with institutions and associations across Italy.
How might your activities inspire others, not necessarily to create a museum but through your methods, objectives, or principles?
Our method focuses on valuing seemingly worthless objects. Potenza may not have many tourist attractions, but our approach to the concept of a "museum" emphasizes creating value from small and broken things. This philosophy is something we also impart to other educators.
What impact have you had on a local and international level, and how do you evaluate it?
As a cooperative, in addition to financial reports, we annually prepare a social report to measure our local impact. Tangibly, our local impact is evident through collaborations with local schools and our work with children and teachers. For specific projects, we evaluate the impact with external experts every few months.
What do you hope to achieve in the next couple of years?
Primarily, we aim to enhance our status as a local enterprise, improving organizational and administrative efficiency. As an innovative organization straddling the artistic and social spheres, we seek to strengthen our position in specific sectors, such as learning programs for teachers and educators, school visits, and the production of educational kits with rejected materials to support fundraising for people with special needs.