Cincinnati and Kyoto bid to host ICOM’s 25th General Conference in 2019


Held every three years, the General Conference brings together the international museum community to discuss a theme chosen by museum professionals. For each edition, some 3,000 museum experts and museum professionals converge for an entire week to discuss and exchange ideas around museum-related issues. The bid for ICOM’s 25th General Conference in 2019 was opened in October 2014. The result will be announced in June 2015.

Cincinnati, Ohio proposes hosting ICOM’s 25th General Conference around the theme of Curate - Connect - Change. The city’s bid points out that: ‘Today museums are called to go far beyond the role of managing and explaining or to “Curate”. Indeed they are called to be agents of connecting and changing people, communities and the world.’


Based on 2014 data from the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the state of Ohio, with its 1,500 museums, ranks 5th among American states with the largest total number of museums. The greater Cincinnati region alone offers more than 100 museums. Local host museums for ICOM’s General Conference in 2019 would include the Cincinnati Museum Center, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, the Cincinnati Art Museum, the Taft Museum of Art, the Contemporary Arts Center and the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden.


Choosing the theme Museums as Cultural Hubs: The Future of Tradition, Kyoto, Japan aims to highlight the changing role of museums in today’s society: ‘Amidst altering social, economic, and political environments, once static institutions are reinventing themselves to become more interactive, audience-focused centers of culture. As part of this transformation, museums are working to create more cohesive, shared visions amongst their employees and in partnership with other institutions and the communities they serve. As museums increasingly grow into their roles as cultural hubs, they are also finding new ways to honor their collections, their histories, and their legacies, making these traditions relevant to an increasingly diverse and global contemporary audience.’


The city of Kyoto hosts some 200 cultural institutions and is home to 1,681 Buddhist temples and 812 Shinto shrines—this in a country counting a total of 5,747 museums, according to an October 2011 survey by the Ministry of Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. The bid for ICOM’s 25th General Conference in 2019 was opened in October 2014. The result of the host city will be announced in June 2015.

To read more about ICOM’s past and upcoming General Conferences: