"CoopCulture e il sodalizio con la Comunità Ebraica a Venezia" is extracted from “Fondazione Symbola – Unioncamere, Io sono Cultura – Rapporto 2017".
Access to places of culture, welcome services for the public, educational visits and technological supports for the use of heritage. But also dialogue with communities, development models for local entrepreneurship, promotion of customizable cultural and tourist itineraries. In almost 30 years of activity, CoopCulture's core business has diversified and enriched exponentially, following a growth process that from the efficient management of public services for the use of museums and monuments is changing into a broader and more complete approach. aimed at promoting widespread cultural heritage and territories, identifying, precisely in culture, an irreplaceable lever for social and economic development.
Capacity building at the service of territories and cultures.
In the name of sustainability, not only economic but also social, cultural and organizational, guided by the values of cooperation, CoopCulture has adopted with conviction a new paradigm that sees culture as an incisive driver of "sustainable" development, that is measurable in the capacity not only to activate an entire production chain affecting the wider sector of creativity and tourism, but also to engage dynamics of cohesion and intercultural dialogue. A decisive and responsible step forward for and towards the territories and communities, therefore, matured also thanks to fortunate encounters with some of the key protagonists of production and cultural dialogue in Italy, including the Jewish Community in Venice.
A constantly evolving partnership model.
Farsighted, courageous, with a strong sense of identity and also driven by purely demographic needs, in 1989 the Community chose to outsource the global management of services to the public and the educational offer of the Jewish Museum of Venice, which had been open since 1955. in the first ghetto of Europe, and deeply rooted in the history of the city. He identified in CoopCulture (then Codess Cultura) a partner able to give important guarantees of reliability and professionalism and ready to commit, even risking, in the management of the museum, thus starting a challenging model, anything but an outsourcing, as much as a collaboration structured. The launch of the agreement in fact required a year of shared planning around common objectives and negotiation to agree on a regulation aimed at giving both parties guarantees of the success of the company, but above all to face, by winning it, the biggest challenge. : the cultural one. From the very beginning, the service has been set up with an ambitious and very open objective: to make visitors aware of Jewish culture and specifically the history of Venetian Jews, linking the exhibition of the precious objects kept with continuous and constant cultural mediation, communication attentive to the encounter or recognition of common identities even between different audiences. To do this, a permanent process of on-site training and assistance has been activated: the Jewish Community of Venice has always offered educational operators courses on education in Judaism, culture, history, festivities and rituals, verifying their skills, preparing the updating the staff in service and making a curator available on site as an expression and extension of oneself. CoopCulture, for its part, has conferred experience, reliable and always innovative techniques and a continuous updating of the relationship with the public through new technologies.
At the same time, the offer of services was co-designed, with significant development and increase of the same over time. A global service of services to the public, shared between the museum, synagogues and the ancient cemetery, in fact, has been accompanied over the years by educational services (with the development of a team of educators adequately trained to conduct teaching activities on the Holocaust, delicate, but fundamental for the development of a civic awareness of the new generations), the creation and management of a library specialized in Judaica, the organization of exhibitions and meetings with authors and the promotion of cultural initiatives. The decision to propose a widespread and diversified use of places linked to Jewish culture was certainly facilitated by a wide and regular opening hours, by a stable planning of events and by a structured but at the same time flexible organization, as well as by the use of SnAPP, a system for the sale of entrance tickets and services owned by CoopCulture, which facilitates and expands the possibilities of on-site and online ticketing.
For a further expansion of the offer, opportunities and, therefore, of tourist flows, some structural interventions were significant, in which CoopCulture has invested both in terms of design and construction: a fabric factory owned by the Community was thus recovered, from allocate to a space for rest and refreshment; a kosher café, adhering to the Jewish food law; and a bookshop which, in short, has become a specialized bookshop renowned throughout the national territory.
To the restoration of these spaces, in 2002 a further one was added, belonging to another community property: a former carpentry of the Ghetto Vecchio, converted into a multipurpose classroom dedicated to the most varied activities: from conferences to workshops, to exhibitions, in an innovative interaction between museum, territory and city institutions, transforming the museum and the whole ghetto into a place of dialogue between cultures and art forms. CoopCulture has been able to create various synergies with the various economies of the territory: performing arts, publishing, creative products, gastronomic products. Among all, the example of the recent collaboration with the nearby Villa Groggia Theater which produced high-impact scenic readings for the Museum and hosted important theater moments for primary school children; and the one with La Gagiandra, a small Venetian social cooperative dedicated to the insertion of disadvantaged people into the world of work, which engages in the recycling of fabrics and which has ventured into the creation of Kippoth, the Jewish headgear.
In 2004, thanks to the Veneto Region, the purely museum spaces were enlarged and enriched by a new section dedicated to the history of Venetian Jews to complete the pre-existing tour itinerary.
A continuous expansion of services and spaces to raise the quality of use which corresponds to a human heritage of highly professional operators, also enriched over time with new figures and new specializations. There are 16 CoopCulture members who work at the museum, all graduates, speaking several languages, profound connoisseurs of Jewish culture and each over time, according to their inclinations, has developed or perfected further skills in setting up exhibitions, book management, communication, teaching, organization and logistics. To support the permanent staff, the Museum welcomes at least 3 or 4 additional employees in high season to accommodate the numerous student groups.
The museum is a powerful meeting place: artists, journalists, writers come to propose activities, such as workshops, presentations, meetings and small exhibitions. On average, the Museum hosts at least 2 exhibitions a year and has had almost 50 exhibitions active since the start of CoopCulture management, many of which are co-produced. The exchange with other business partners is also intense: local and international tour operators, the Venetian Hoteliers Association, VELA the company that deals with mobility in the lagoon and the sale of access to the city's museums, are just some of the players with which CoopCulture interfaces.
Over the years, the Museum has thus become a lively place in continuous connection with the territory and with the Jewish network at an Italian and international level: it is in a network with other cultural and tourist actors in the city, including universities; it is an expression of the Venetian reality on occasions such as the European Day of Jewish Culture and the Day of Remembrance, and builds synergies with other Jewish museums, communities and institutions. He is an interlocutor at European tables dedicated to the care of the Jewish cultural heritage and its enhancement and constantly collaborates with realities such as the Mémorial de la Shoah in Paris.
The synergy between CoopCulture and the Community has made the Jewish Museum of Venice a place of culture in constant ferment and capable of generating a constant and continuous impact on communities. In 27 years of management, numerous tourist services have developed in the area: 4 restaurants have been opened in the ghetto area, 1 old bakery that bakes traditional Jewish sweets and 1 inn offering kosher breakfast and Shabbat timers. For some years the Community has opened 1 kosher residence right in Campo di Ghetto Novo. Several art galleries have been inaugurated that dot the ghetto, 1 of the ancient pawn shops have been restored and opened to the public and finally, an indicator of excellence of Venetian tourist flows, 1 gondola station has existed in the ghetto for some years.
The fruition, purely oriented towards the growth of knowledge and exchange of knowledge with visitors, has enabled the activation of an interesting process of social innovation, together with a new approach in communication. The diversification of dialogue channels, from the web to social networks, have seen users grow exponentially, at the same time the online showcase has made it possible to diversify the visits and encourage purchases of other products. In 2016, in collaboration with the IUAV University of Venice, MAPPOT was also created, an app capable of geolocating Venetian places linked to Jewish culture on historical maps.
Not only increase in visitors but also audience development. These are the results in terms of visitor flows: since the start of the CoopCulture management the number of users has almost tripled, from 38 to almost 90 thousand, even overcoming years of crisis, often linked to sudden drops in users or tragic external events. . Also thanks to the resilience, typically cooperative, due to the strong local roots, mutuality, the ability to react and differentiate the offer and also leveraging around 20,000 students visiting each year and 35,000 targeted addresses of users who follow the activities of the Museum, a peak of almost 90,000 visitors was reached again with the celebrations of the five hundredth anniversary of the ghetto in 2016. And for 2017 the trend is absolutely positive.
The Venice model, considered successful both in quantitative and qualitative terms and in terms of sustainability, was soon exported to other places in Italy where Jewish culture is equally strong and rooted. Since 2006 CoopCulture has been taking care of guided tours in some Piedmontese synagogues; in 2010 it offered a training course for guides to the Jewish places of Syracuse in Sicily; since 2012 it has managed the enhancement and use of the cultural heritage of the Jewish Community in Florence and Siena; since 2014 it has provided the services offered by the Museum of Italian Judaism and the Shoah of Ferrara and since 2015 it has overseen the Museum of Jewish Padua. Overall, CoopCulture's commitment to the enhancement of Jewish culture could be quantified in approximately 150,000 visitors managed annually. The network with other Jewish places in Italy was therefore added to the local network via an integrated ticket, while the construction of a platform with mapping, showcase and promotional marketing functions is in the planning stage, which will virtually systematize some places of cultural identity Italian Jewish, and also related activities, holidays and events. A further stage for the mise en valeur of Jewish cultural itineraries within the network of European paths.