Art of Darkness

By Valeriia Tkach 

"At first, we thought our activity was irrelevant now," said Alina Marnenko, founder of the social enterprise Museum in the Dark "Three after midnight", last spring. 

Art of Darkness

In the context of war, many Ukrainians faced moments of doubt about the relevance of their work, including social entrepreneurs. However, realising the challenges of the new reality, Alina's team resumed their work. 

The Museum in the Dark "Three after midnight" is a social enterprise whose mission is to break down stereotypical attitudes towards blind people, provide them with jobs and make art accessible to everyone. In the spring of 2022, the team became one of the winners of the grant program Social Enterprises for Emergency, implemented by the Ukrainian Social Venture Fund (USVF) and SILab Ukraine. Thanks to the support provided, the enterprise was able to: 

  • Restore the operation of a location in Kyiv
  • Conduct over 20 online interactive "5 Senses" sessions for children from vulnerable groups
  • Develop more than 10 tactile images, essential for their interactive exhibits

Furthermore, financial support enabled Museum in the Dark to open a branch in Lviv and the recruit five more visually impaired guides.

“At first, we really thought our activity became completely irrelevant with the start of the full-scale invasion. In fact, everything except businesses that close basic needs seemed irrelevant. But we later understood that we have formats that can really help people. Already in March, we started to resume our activities, think about new formats, and how we can be useful to our society,”
Quote by
Alina Marnenko, founder of Museum in the Dark "Three after midnight"

On March 22, a group from Collaborate for Impact had the chance to visit the new location of the Museum in the Dark, located in Lviv. We saw for ourselves that the financial support from USVF, obtained last year, not only helped the enterprise to transform and adapt to the new reality but also to scale its impact. We sincerely recommend visiting both locations, as it is a fantastic opportunity to learn about the world that is invisible to most of us.

Museum in the Dark "Three After Midnight"

Museum in the Dark "Three After Midnight" received support within the framework of the Social Enterprises for Emergency grant programme, implemented by USVF and SILab Ukraine; this was made possible thanks to the Collaborate for Impact project, implemented in partnership with EVPA and the financial support of the DG NEAR EU programme.