Promoting Kyrgyz Heritage through Stronger Museums: USAID Museum Capacity Development Program

Osh – On June 20, the United States (USAID) launched the second module of a training program to strengthen Kyrgyz museums’ exhibitions and services. Experts in museum management from the Republic of Georgia will lead sessions for museum and tourism professionals on organizing museum exhibitions, educational programs, and special events. The training is taking place in Osh on June 20-24.

These efforts to enhance Kyrgyz museums are a partnership between USAID and the Center for Museum Initiatives, a civil society organization that works to preserve national cultural heritage in the Kyrgyz Republic.

USAID’s Museum Capacity Development Program brings together 20 museums and seven tour operators to boost museums’ appeal for tourists by applying international best practices to enhance exhibitions and services. USAID is proud to work with Kyrgyz museums to find solutions to the challenges they face and help attract more tourists to appreciate the Kyrgyz Republic’s rich heritage.

In the first training module in Cholpon Ata on May 23-27, participants identified and began to develop plans for specific exhibition projects that they will further refine over the course of the training program.  At the end of the first session, participants presented 17 plans to instructors, colleagues, and private sector representatives.

“This is a very important and timely initiative supported by USAID. Having participated in the first module, we can now see the huge opportunity that we will further build upon to boost museums’ appeal to both foreign and domestic tourists,” said Almakan Nayzabekova of the Museum of Fine Arts in Bishkek.

In future modules, participants will develop communication and promotion plans for their projects and prepare presentations for potential investors from the private sector, donor agencies, and organizations interested in promoting tourism and cultural heritage. Planned for November, these presentations will feature special exhibitions on felt, carpets, and alpinism. Other projects will include a mobile app for museum exhibitions, a special tour package of the Kyrgyz Republic’s seven UNESCO sites, “A Day in Medieval Uzgen,” and others.

USAID’s Business Growth Initiative works to strengthen various economic sectors in the Kyrgyz Republic, including tourism, apparel manufacturing, and construction materials.