Multilingual Maps Project Engages Visitors in 11 Languages

From its very beginning, the Cleveland Museum of Art has been an institution “for the benefit of all the people forever.” These words are key to understanding the museum’s role in the local community and beyond. One of the ways the museum is demonstrating this commitment to inclusive programs is manifested in the new “How Do You See It” multilingual advertisements and visitor guides.


The new programs are proactive efforts to help the broadest possible audience engage with the museum and some of the world’s great art. The audience in Cleveland is a diverse pool of ethnicities and spoken languages. The museum’s multilingual campaign strives to bring broader accessibility of its collections to the greater public and engage potential visitors through advertisements and museum guides written in their native languages. The words in the advertisements play off the shapes of several artworks from the museum’s permanent collection while visually showcasing three of the six most prominent, non-English languages spoken in Cuyahoga County.

The multilingual project required 18 translators and proofreaders, eight of whom were volunteers pulled from the museum’s own diverse staff. At the moment, the tally of languages featured in the visitor guides tops out at 11 and includes Spanish, French, Russian, Arabic, Italian, German, Chinese, Japanese, Ukrainian, Portuguese, and Bulgarian.

This project was spearheaded by Vessela Kouzova, a junior designer in the museum’s Creative Services department, and the combined efforts demonstrate the museum’s appreciation for its diverse visitors and members.

So, que es lo que ve? How do you see it?

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