The Association of Friends of the National Museum of Roman Art was created in 1983 with the aim of being an effective instrument for the promotion and dissemination of the archaeological treasures preserved by the National Museum of Roman Art, and the values of classical culture. It is a private non-profit organization, which has an administrative staff. It is organized in a Board of Directors and currently has 547 members.
The Association of Friends joins the program of activities of the Museum collaborating, to the extent of its possibilities, in the organization of short courses, concerts, conferences and other activities aimed at attracting young people. One of the activities most demanded by the partners are cultural trips, both within our country and internationally.
The Association has its own awards. In order to reward the work of people and institutions that had distinguished themselves in the defense of everything related to the historical and cultural heritage, in 1994 the International Prize Genius Protector of the Colonia Augusta Emerita was created, with two modalities, one of people physical and others for institutions.
Likewise, fruit of the collaboration between the Association of Friends and the Museum is the empowerment of the publishing activity. Starting in 1988, with the support of other public and private institutions, the Editorial Program of the three new publications was greatly strengthened: the ANAS magazine, an authentic dissemination organ of the Center, f which up to 26 issues have been published; the informative series Cuadernos Emeritenses, of which 44 issues have been published since 1989; and the series Studia Lusitana (2004), dedicated monographically to the provincial scope with nine edited numbers. Special mention is made of the numerous editions of catalogs of temporary exhibitions, Congresses and Symposiums, which have boosted scientific dissemination.
In the context of the «European Year of the Elderly and Intergenerational Solidarity» and with the collaboration of the Spanish Federation of Friends of Museums, the project of Cultural Volunteering in Museums was created, under the tutelage of the Confederation of Classrooms of the Third Age, which pretended that people over 60 years old, properly prepared, could teach the Spanish Museums, in an altruistic and disinterested way, to groups of children, young people and retirees who came to visit them.
The Association of Friends of MNAR has been a pioneer in offering this service. It currently has 30 active volunteers, who follow a structured training program from October to May, with weekly sessions by the museum’s technicians.