International Museum Workers Day IMWD is an advocacy project established in 2015.

IMWD’s MISSION is to introduce the general public to the myriad professions relating to the creation, research, discovery and presentation of heritage.

Founded by museologist, artist and filmmaker Homa Taj Nasab, the project’s original title, a somewhat light-hearted name, was “Hug A Museum Worker (HAMuseumW).”

After spending the first two years explaining that ‘hugging’ museum workers was not to be taken literally, to the relief of many heritage workers, the event was re-named International Museum Workers Day (IMWD), in 2016.

Though IMWD initially launched as a social media event, our founding approach has always been to directly reach out to heritage professionals – rather than solely rely on social media’s serendipitous net.

Under the leadership of our Executive Director, Frank J Cunningham, every year, we invite artists, scholars, art historians, scientists, archaeologists, anthropologists, curators, filmmakers, performance artists, designers & many others whose expertise, years of experience and dedication help create, discover, preserve, and disseminate tangible and non-tangible cultural heritage, in their respective countries. 

By IMWD2017, culture, heritage and museum professionals from 150+ countries have engaged with IMWD – including:

Bhutan, Azerbaijan, Slovakia, Tajikistan, Moldova, Chad, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Tonga, Mozambique, Ghana, Cameroon, Belize, Oman, Madagascar, Jordan, Swaziland, Botswana, Congo, Jamaica, Nepal, Kazakhstan, Zimbabwe, Benin, Vietnam, Papa New Guinea, Suriname, Brunei, Haiti, Cote d’Ivoire, Malaysia, Burkina Faso, Togo, Dominican Republic, Mali, Rwanda, Chad, Senegal, South Africa, Yemen … as well as throughout the Americas and Europe.

IMWD2018 was marked in 21 languages, across 12 platforms, with increased engagement from: 

Timor-Leste, Angola, Marshall Islands, Afghanistan, Mongolia, Seychelles, Djibouti, Finland, Uganda, Albania, Maldives, Dominica, Democratic Republic Congo, Palau, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Pakistan, Malta, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, & Cyprus.

In some respects, IMWD may be viewed as the “Switzerland” of heritage projects:

  • We are multi-cultural & multi-lingual;
  • We draw our strength from inclusivity;
  • We are not yet affiliated with any regional, national or international institutions or alliances;
  • We are not aligned with any religious or political groups;
  • We are impartial – which does not mean neutral -, yet recognize the importance of strategic partnerships and the need to develop focused policies for specific regions;
  • We are pragmatic since we believe in the long-term necessities of public-private partnerships; &
  • We are not funded by any regional or national for-profit or non-profit entities.