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Friends of Museums

With the honorary title of Friend of Museums, we recognise people who have excelled in supporting Estonian museums through their work or social activities. These good friends have participated in the development of museums, covered the work done in museums or otherwise contributed to raising the reputation of local museums. The honorary title of Friend of Museums does not involve a monetary prize but an original souvenir. The first title was awarded to Pertti Pyhtila in 2007.
  • Karin Paulus

    Friend of Museums 2019. We acknowledge the art historian and culture journalist Karin Paulus for her articles analysing museum exhibitions and the frequent use of digitised museum objects published in MuiS, the Museums Public Portal, and popularising MuiS.
  • Valner Valme

    Friend of Museums 2018. We thank the journalist Valner Valme for creating a museums subpage in the Estonian Public Broadcasting (ERR) culture portal, frequent coverage of museum events and for assisting with live broadcasts of the Estonian Museum Festival conference in Narva.
  • Rein Veidemann

    Friend of Museums 2017. We acknowledge Rein Veidemann for advocating writers’ museums in the media and contributing to the establishment of the Vilde and Tammsaare Society.
  • Jelena Tšekulajeva

    Friend of Museums 2016. Jelena works in museum education and has led the Open Playgrounds programme for many years, which invites children and young people to play in museums. Jelena has been a coordinator at the museum association since autumn 2017 until June 2022.
  • Kadri Tiisel ja Tiina Vilu

    Friends of Museums 2015. Kadri Tiisel and Tiina Vilu, the editors of the Laste Lood (Children’s Stories) radio series on Vikerraadio, have visited many Estonian museums to offer the young generation interesting insights and valuable knowledge about our museums.
  • Riin Alatalu

    Friend of Museums 2014. A heritage conservationist and custodian of cultural heritage, Riin Alatalu has always actively and happily supported museums. She became a particularly excellent friend of museums by organising Pärandini Rööbastel (On the Rails to Heritage), the biggest museum visiting campaign for schoolchildren, in 2013. She also initiated a partnership between the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund and museums, through which jobseekers have found temporary or permanent employment in museums.
  • Ott Sandrak

    Friend of Museums 2013. Ott Sandrak, a museum-friendly cultural historian, has been a good partner of the EMA for more than a decade. He has been a charismatic guide both at home and abroad. He has broadened the horizons of the Estonian museum workers by presenting a large number of exciting places and, of course, museums.
  • Ivi Tomingas

    Friend of Museums 2012. The then director of the Film Archive, Ivi Tomingas made a vast contribution to the success of Museum Night in the anniversary year of Estonian film. Many museums know Ivi for her enthusiasm to cooperate. With her excellent team at the Film Archive, Ivi offered assistance to many Estonian memory institutions in compiling the Museum Night film programme in 2012.
  • Riina Roose

    Friend of Museums 2011. The musician Riina Roose, music director at the Tallinn City Theatre, was awarded the title for advocating the museum of the composer Mart Saar at Hüpassaare, Viljandi County. She has presented the former residence of one of Estonia’s great men through various tours, music events and articles. Riina has stood for important cultural and historical objects. She has also actively involved students of the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, musicians and theatre colleagues in tours to various museums across Estonia.
  • Mart Ummelas

    Friend of Museums 2010. Mart Ummelas, the then editor-in-chief of Estonian Public Broadcasting, was given the title of Friend of Museums for his initiative that brought museums closer to the people in Estonia, especially the summer programme Ühiskülastus (Joint Visit) on Vikerraadio, where listeners were invited to the most interesting Estonian museums. In memoriam 13 March 2020.
  • Enn Kunila

    Friend of Museums 2009. Enn Kunila, a collector and entrepreneur, and chairman of the Estonian Art Museum’s Friends of Art Society board, is well known in the local museum landscape. The Friend of Museums title is awarded to Enn Kunila as a sign of gratitude for helping a smaller museum. With his contribution, two large and important overview exhibitions of works of Estonian art classics arrived at the Hiiumaa Museum. These would otherwise be inaccessible and prohibitively expensive for a small museum.
  • Kadi Alatalu

    Friend of Museums 2008. Kadi Alatalu is a journalist with excellent social awareness, an appreciation for national issues and an outstanding command of the Estonian language, remembered by many national television viewers. She has contributed to many ETV programmes and has been a reporter for the news programme Aktuaalne Kaamera. Kadi Alatalu advocated covering cultural events on ETV and its news programmes. Her initiative brought us the programme Wiiralt and coverage of issues relating to the Art Museum of Estonia and other museums. Kadi Alatalu is a member of the Art Museum of Estonia’s Friends of Art Society, an alumnus of the Estonian Women Students’ Society, a founding member of the Nõmme Road Society, and mother of Riin Alatalu, Friend of Museums 2014.
  • Pertti Pyhtila

    Friend of Museums 2007. On 18 May, the International Museum Day, the EMA awarded the title of Friend of Estonian Museums for the first time. The first recipient of the title was Pertti Juhani Pyhtilä, a Finnish Estophile. As a dedicated and enthusiastic mediator of Estonian culture, Pertti has contributed to co-operation between Estonian and Finnish museums and, while studying museology at the University of Jyväskylä, organised several museum-related training events. Pyhtilä has also worked at the Finnish Embassy, been the culture secretary at the Finnish Institute in Estonia in Tartu, and studied Estonian at Tallinn Pedagogical University.