About us

First wave*

*Of the international project of OF/BY/FOR ALL.

The Stedelijk Museum Schiedam has been selected for the first wave of the OF/BY/FOR ALL-movement, an initiative by Nina Simon. With her books The Participatory Museum and The Art of Relevance, this American museum pioneer and director of the Museum of Art and History in Santa Cruz, put her Museum on the map. The Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, as the only non-English-speaking organization,  is one of a group of twenty organisations that got the ‘first wave’ label. It is the only organization on the European continent and one of five museums.

First wave

The initiators strive for a number of 200 organizations by the end of 2020; together they will have a catchment public of 10 million people. What organizations belong to the first wave can be found here. Director Deirdre Carasso is impressed by all the inspiring ideas. ‘We too are convinced that art and history are for everyone. As a Museum, we aim to create a place for creative talents, ideas, and stories of the Schiedammers to let them programme events, with our support and expertise. This is how we contribute to a stronger community.’


The movement can be reduced to these four words. The more we aim for grass-roots involvement in the community, the more people will feel represented by it. The more the programme is created by the community itself, the more people will feel involved. The more the programme is for the community, the more people will be prepared to contribute and participate.

My Schiedam

The Museum has operated like this for a while now, for example with the project Vaandels & Verhalen (‘Banners and stories’) last year. Thanks to extra support it has become possible to include even more people and the project has now developed into My Schiedam. Three national Foundations provided the necessary funds: the VSBfonds, the Mondriaan Fonds and the BankGiro Loterij Fonds, together with the one-off support from the G. Ph. Verhagen-Stichting. They fully share the urge to increasingly involve people in culture, in the same way as the American initiative OF/BY/FOR ALL.

Hairdressers from Schiedam

My Schiedam started in October 2018 with the exhibition Family, for which designer Manon van Hoeckel cooperated with 18 hairdressers from Schiedam. Every Sunday, visitors could have their hair cut for free in the Museum. The hairdressing chair being the perfect place for a good conversation, the exhibition is the result of many stories from Schiedammers and their families.

Another project the Museum worked on was set up in conjunction with two students from the Stedelijk Gymnasium in Schiedam. Isa and Lisa had e-mailed the Museum asking if there were possibilities to create an exhibition to combine with their final school assignment. They created an exhibition about how social media influences our lives: Picture Perfect.

The Stedelijk Museum Schiedam also hosted a symposium in early 2019. How do you become part of the town? Where do you start? Who already has experience with the subject? The meeting brought professionals in the arts and culture sector together to discuss these questions.