Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

NWFED EVENT: Co-production in Practice

Friday, November 8th, 2019

When: Thursday 26th March (timings tbc)

Where: Ordsall Hall, 322 Ordsall Ln, Salford – M5 3AN

How Much: Free to NWFed Members (for memberships costs and information on how to join, click here)

During this event you will hear from a number of North West organisation’s who have worked on co-curation projects of different scales and budgets. Each speaker will provide honest insights into their own co-curation process detailing what worked well, what went wrong and what they learned while providing invaluable advice for others looking to undertake co-curation projects in their own organisations.

Further details of the programme’s speakers and schedule will be announced soon.

To register your interest in attending, contact Emma Sumner (

NWFED MUSEUM BASICS: An Introduction to… Object Marking and Labelling

Thursday, November 7th, 2019

When: 22 January 2020, 10.30am – 1.00pm

Where: Midland Railway Building, 38-40 Victoria St, Liverpool – L1 6BX

How Much: Free to NWFed Members (for memberships costs and information on how to join, click here)

Led by Tracey Seddon, Collections Care team, National Museums Liverpool

The NWFED introduces its new ‘Museum Basics’ training events with ‘An Introduction to Object Marking and Labelling’. This hands-on session provides everything you need to know about how to mark and label your collection in a safe and sensitive way. The course is aimed at volunteers and professionals new to the sector, as well as anyone who needs a refresher. By the end of the course you will

  • Know why and when to mark museum objects, including ethical considerations
  • Understand the Health and Safety issues relating to marking objects
  • Understand where to source marking and labelling materials and how to put a kit together
  • Have practical experience of marking and labelling a range of objects
  • Understand how to remove numbers

To reserve your place please email Emma Sumner (

JOB OPPORTUNITY: Casual Exhibition Officer – Lancashire County Council

Thursday, November 7th, 2019

What: Casual Exhibition Officer

Where: Preston at the Lancashire Conservation Studios and a number of venues across Lancashire and the North West

Salary: £24,799 pro-rata (grade 7)

Contract: Casual hours per week

Deadline: 14 November

The Conservation and Collections Team of Lancashire County Council support the operation and development of museums, country houses and historic sites across Lancashire through the provision of specialist conservation, technical, design and curatorial skills and undertake work for museums and heritage organisations nationally.

Reporting to the Conservation & Collections Manager, they are looking for an enthusiastic and creative designer to work with this team and their external clients creating exhibition designs , both 2D and 3D, as well as  graphic material to enhance the visitor experience and interpretation of museum collections.

This is a casual post working ad-hoc dependent on the service acquiring external contracts.

For further details on the role and how to apply, Click Here

JOB OPPORTUNITY: Exhibitions Officer – Williamson Art Gallery

Thursday, November 7th, 2019

What: Exhibitions Officer

Where: Williamson Art Gallery, Oxton, Wirral

Salary: Up to £15,643.00 pro rata

Contract: Temporary part time (28.8 hours per week)

Deadline: 18 November

The Williamson Art Gallery are seeking to appoint a new temporary Exhibitions Officer. In this role you will assist the Principal Museums Officer in the development of exhibitions and displays drawn from Wirral’s collections and external providers while also supporting the Senior Keeper in ensuring the smooth running of exhibition installations and object movement.

For further details on the role and how to apply, Click Here


JOB OPPORTUNITY: Community Freelancer – Keswick Museum

Thursday, November 7th, 2019

What: Community Freelancer

Where: Keswick Museum and surrounding area

Fees: Total budget of £6.000.00 for fees and £3,000.00 for materials for exhibitions/workshops

Contract: until end of Nov 2020

Deadline: 15 November

Exhibitions 2020 is a project supported by the Heritage Fund to develop the exhibition spaces at Keswick Museum and create a more resilient organisation which will provide an attractive offer to its local and visitor communities. As part of the project, the use of the Fitz Park Gallery will be developed.  The Fitz Park Gallery is a free to enter space on the ground floor of the Museum, next to the café.  The aim is to use this space to engage with community groups and individuals and support them to create their own exhibitions.

Keswick Museum wishes to work with a Community Freelancer to support community outcomes in relation to the Fitz Park Gallery. The Community Freelancer will: identify potential groups and individuals to work with; plan and deliver programme of a minimum of 9 exhibitions lasting 4-6 weeks each between Feb and Dec 2020; develop a good working relationship with participates, helping them to overcome any barriers to participation; run community workshops to support creation and delivery of exhibitions; liaise with Museum staff and volunteers to meet needs to participate; carry out evaluation activity to record project and aid reporting back to grant bodies; and manage the budget for Fitz Park Gallery space, ensuring evidence of any expenditure.

For more details about the role and how to apply, please contact Becks Skinner via email (

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Association for Heritage Interpretation North Group Meeting

Thursday, November 7th, 2019

When: Friday 22 November at 11.00am

Where: Bolton Museum

How Much: FREE

The Association for Heritage Interpretation is the professional organisation for anyone helping people to understand and appreciate the world around them. If you are creating exhibitions, tours, trails or activities in museums and heritage sites, and would like to share and develop your interpretive skills, then please join a group of northern AHI members on a visit to Bolton Museum and find out more about this friendly and supportive network.

The next AHI North group meeting will take a tour of Bolton Museum’s newly refurbished Egyptian gallery which impressed the Museums Journal reviewer earlier this year. Members of the project team from the museum and the interpretive designers Core (formerly Leach Studio) will talk about their approach to interpreting this impressive collection.

To attend, please register with Sue Latimer ( | 01772 731051) by Wednesday 20 November.

JOB OPPORTUNITY: Museum Manager – Cumbria’s Museum of Military Life

Thursday, November 7th, 2019

What: Museum Manager

Where: Cumbria’s Museum of Military Life, Carlise

Salary: £26,000 – £28,000

Contract: Full time (37.5 Hours), permanent

Deadline: 25 November

Cumbria’s Museum of Military Life is seeking an experienced and dynamic person to take over the leadership of their thriving museum. The current curator retires after leading a complete transformation of the museum through a four year £1.5million HLF funded programme.

The Museum are seeking a leader who will relish the opportunity to continue the substantial progress they have achieved. They need someone who is a great team player, and able to maintain the vibrant outreach programme. You will have a deep interest in the impact museums can make and an affinity with military history. You will also bring the energy and dynamism to strengthen our commercial activities and make the most of digital opportunities.

For further details on the role and how to apply,Click Here

JOB OPPORTUNITY: Freelance Creative Practitioners – Pilkington’s Ceramic Collection

Thursday, November 7th, 2019

What: Freelance Creative Practitioners – Pilkington’s Ceramic Collection

Where: Salford Museum & Art Gallery

Fee: £1,000.00 (inclusive of all materials)

Deadline: Sunday 24 November

Salford Museum & Art Gallery are looking for freelance creative practitioners to deliver a range of workshops and activities to engage audiences with their Pilkington’s ceramic collection. They are also looking for an artist/maker to develop an exclusive range of products inspired by the Pilkington’s collection. Applicants can apply for some, or all, of the 3 areas of work which are detailed below:

  • Pilkington’s Collection:Family Activities – to deliver a series of drop-in activities inspired by our the collection.
  • Pilkington’s Collection:Workshops, Tutorials and Performance – to deliver a wide range of different types of workshops, performances and tutorials inspired by or based upon the tiles and pottery collection.
  • Pilkington’s Collection: Merchandise Development – to produce an exclusive range of products inspired by the Pilkington’s ceramic collection and archive.

For further details on all of the above opportunities, Click Here.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Museum Development North West’s Capital Development Network Meeting

Thursday, November 7th, 2019

When: Thursday 14 November, 10.00am – 12.30pm

Where: Bolton Museum

Museum Development North West’s Capital Development Network is for anyone who is either going through, or thinking of undertaking a capital development at their museum.

Their next meeting, held at Bolton Museum, will hear all about the Museum’s recent development focusing on master planning, interpretation and collections management.

To register your attendance, Click Here.


FUNDING: 2020 Windrush Day Grants

Thursday, November 7th, 2019

Deadline: 8 December, 11.50pm 

The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government are looking for organisations to run a community led project seeking to celebrate, commemorate and educate about the Windrush Generation and their contribution to British economic, social and cultural life. This includes those who arrived on the ship, their contemporaries and descendants.

The Ministry have a budget of up to £500,000 to fund activities across the country. The minimum amount available is £2,500 and the maximum is £25,000. All bidders are encouraged to demonstrate additional sources of funding as part of their proposal.

For further information about the fund and how to apply, Click Here.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Creative Consultation with Young People

Thursday, November 7th, 2019

When: 20 March 2020, 10.00am – 4.15pm

Where: Tullie House, Carlisle

How Much: £90.00

Led by Artswork, this course will ensure your projects for young people remain dynamic and relevant, by embedding their voice across your work and the governance of your organisation. Explore effective consultation tools and discover meaningful, creative ways to communicate with young people. Learn to understand the interests, needs and behaviours of your audiences by involving young people in active roles and ongoing dialogue that will both listen to and empower them.

To find out more about the course and how to book a place, Click Here.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Behaviour Management and Creative Consultation

Thursday, November 7th, 2019

When: 12th February 2020, 10.00am- 4.15pm

Where: HOME, Manchester

How Much: £150.00 (some limited bursary places available)

Led by Artswork, this is an essential training for anyone working directly with young people. During the course you will undertake practical workshops and activities which require a broad understanding of youth culture and the issues surrounding young people’s lives. There are added pressures of working directly with young people at risk, one of which is having the skills, knowledge and experience to be able to support behaviour effectively and responsively. This course will discuss behaviour strategies, health and safety issues and risk assessment. You will also look at ways of promoting a style of engagement with young people that supports their wellbeing and individual needs, and helps them to succeed and achieve.

To find out more about the course and how to book, Click Here.


FUNDING: Arts Fundraising & Philanthropy – Networks Funding

Thursday, November 7th, 2019

Deadline: 15 November

Arts Fundraising & Philanthropy believes that collaboration is a powerful tool for stimulating innovation, sharing ideas, building knowledge and developing new skills and their Networks Funding aims to achieve exactly that.

Applications are now open for their next round of Network Funding, supported by Arts Council England and they invite applications from groups or networks across England to support the development of a fundraising training event, conference, seminar or introductory meeting. Organisations and groups can apply for various levels of support towards the costs for organising an event or activity to take place before 14th March 2020.

To find out more about the application process and levels of funding you can apply for, Click Here.


FUNDING: Change Creation Programme Reopens for Applications

Thursday, November 7th, 2019

Deadline: 21 November

Change Creation works with visionary organisations to create and embed transformational change. Designed and delivered by people make it work, one of the UK’s most experienced organisational development agencies working in the Cultural sector, Change Creation involves and engages organisations to shape, test, challenge and realise lasting change through networks, peer learning, research, tools, resources, a hot-house of support, industry experts, workshops, learning events… and much more!

With such a huge demand for their first Change Creation Programme, they have decided to build TWO new programmes – Change Creation 2 will start in November 2019 with a two-year programme running until October 2021. Change Creation 3 will start in June 2020 and run until May 2022. Each programme is open and available for up to 30 arts and cultural organisations from across the UK.

To find out further details on how to apply and further details about what the programme will entail, Click Here.

FUNDING: AIM Hallmarks Awards

Thursday, November 7th, 2019

Deadline: 20 November

AIM members in England can now apply for a grant of up to £12,000 through the AIM Hallmarks Awards. Funded by Arts Council England through AIM’s National Portfolio Organisation funding, the AIM Hallmarks Awards will provide grants totalling around £55,000 each year over the next three years and are available in two strands:

Main grants of £4000 to £12000:  will enable museums to implement the key ideas of the AIM Hallmarks. We will support projects that have an impact on museums’ ways of working, culture, strategy or business model. These will be open to all Accredited AIM member museums in England.

Small grants of £3000 – £6000: will support museums to improve their financial sustainability through either cost saving or income generation. These will only be open to Accredited AIM member museums in England in AIM’s small museum category (that is, museums with up to 20,000 visitors a year).

For further details on how to apply and to check your eligibility, Click Here.

CONFERENCE: Championing Accessible Museums

Tuesday, October 15th, 2019

When: 12 December 2019, 10.30am – 4.30pm

Where: Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff

How Much: £55.00 – £195.00

There are nearly 14 million disabled people living in the UK, but many museums continue to struggle to welcome them as visitors, volunteers and members of the workforce. What can be done to address disabled access, participation and representation? How can individuals and organisations embed inclusive practice?

Through a series of practical talks as well as interactive discussion, debate and exchange, this one-day Museums Association conference explores how museums can become truly inclusive spaces and representational platforms, and champion equality at every level.

This event is for anyone who is working towards diversity and inclusion at a museum or relevant organisation.

For further details on speakers and how to book your ticket, Click Here

WORKSHOP: A Welcome Difference – Creating the Best Experience for Adults and Children with Autism

Wednesday, October 9th, 2019

When: 28th November, 10.00am to 4.00pm

Where: Dove Cottage Learning Space, Grasmere

How Much: Free for Cumbrian museum’s staff

This full-day workshop has been organised by the Cumbrian Museum Consortium for Cumbrian museum colleagues interested in ensuring adults and children with autism have the best experience in their museums. The event will ask what you understand by the term ‘autism’ while explaining how best to welcome visitors with autism most effectively.

There are a range of people presenting, all of whom are speaking about autism from a personal or professional viewpoint, including: Dr Kate Fox (Poet and Stand-up Comedian with autism, Alan Gillon (The Beacon in Whitehaven), Sarah Johnson (Head of Learning Support & Strategic Resourced Provision for Autism, Cockermouth School), parents of autistic children in conversation with Kate Parry, the Triple A team (a group of young adults from Triple A, Penrith) and Ali McCaw (Artistic Director, Prism Arts).

For further information or to book tickets, Click Here.

NWFED NEWS: Introducing New Board Member – Sajda Khan

Monday, September 16th, 2019

Sajda khan is currently part of the Front of House team at the Blackburn Museum and Art gallery, a role she has held in various capacities for the last 9 years.

When asked about her motivations for joining the board, Sadja explained: “I am very interested in helping to organise the Fed’s programme of events and strengthening the offer for members while assisting with board’s function and working to develop new opportunities for the board to partner up with organisations across the North West.”

NWFED SUPPORTED EVENT: SMILE’s Creative Science Engagement Day

Monday, September 16th, 2019

When: Wednesday 20 November, 10.00am – 4.00pm

Where: Bolton Museum, Le Mans Crescent, Bolton, BL1 1SE

How Much: Free

Supported by the North West Federation of Museums as part of our ongoing events programme, we welcome all of our members to join us for the day at Bolton Museum for an opportunity to network and share expertise and science learning ideas with SMILE (Science in Museums Inspiring Learning & Engagement).

Organised by Alex McLeman from Bolton Library and Museum Services, you’ll find out about Bolton Museum’s science learning programmes and how the Arts have been used to inspire science engagement with people of all ages. You’ll learn about initiatives including Strong Women of Science, explore a new interactive Elements exhibition marking the 250th anniversary of the periodic table, journey into the Aquarium and Nature Gallery, discover the science within Bolton Museum’s amazing Ancient Egypt Galleries, delve into exquisitely created bags of beasts and discover how you can use them at your venue.

To book your free ticket, Click Here.

FUNDING: £100 million National Lottery Climate Action Fund Launched

Sunday, August 18th, 2019

On the 18 July, the National Lottery Community Fund launched a new £100 million Climate Action Fund that will enable people and communities to take the lead in tackling the climate emergency. This new fund, will build a network of people and communities, well-placed to drive change within, between and beyond their community.

The types of activities supported through this new fund will differ from place to place, but will have one thing in common: the ability to deliver high impact community-led climate action. This includes in areas such as sustainable energy, sustainable transport, consumption, food and protecting and regenerating spaces and habitats.

Dawn Austwick, Chief Executive of The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “Everyone can play their part in addressing climate change. The impact will be all the greater if we come together within and across communities. This is why, thanks to National Lottery players, we are launching the Climate Action Fund to create grassroots momentum built on learning and sharing within, between and beyond communities – in order to achieve meaningful and sustained climate action.”

To find out more about this new fund and how to apply, Click Here

WORKSHOP: Deaccessioning and Disposal of Collection Items

Sunday, August 18th, 2019

When: 26 November 2019, 10.00am – 3.30pm

Where: Oldham Library

How Much: FREE

Join Museum Development North West, Janet Ulph (Professor of Law at Leicester University) and Sarah Brown (Outreach Officer at Collections Trust) to discuss the legal and ethical issues surrounding disposal. Although deaccessioning and disposal are part of any responsible collections management policy, there are issues and practicalities surrounding them that mean they are not always straightforward.

Delegates will be invited to submit (anonymously if required) any current deaccessioning and disposal issues they are  dealing with ahead of the event for the panel to discuss and debate.

To book a place, Click Here.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Child Protection & Safeguarding in the Arts and Cultural Sectors

Sunday, August 18th, 2019

When: Friday 15 November 2019, 10.00am – 4.15pm

Where: Tullie House, Carlise

How Much: £90.00

This course, faciliated by Artswork, is aimed at individuals and organisations looking to update their understanding of child protection legislation and best practice, providing a full update on current child protection legislation, including the Disclosure and Barring service, the Duty to Refer and Working Together.

The day will provide in-depth practical advice to help you develop sensible structures and build confidence around child protection issues, within the context of developing and delivering creative and cultural projects for children and young people. The course also includes a “safe touch” section, exploring how child protection guidelines can be maintained within more physical art forms such as dance and theatre.

For further details about the course content and to book tickets, Click Here.

NWFED NEWS: Introducing New NWFED Board Member – Andy Pearce

Sunday, August 18th, 2019

Andy Pearce has over 30 years experience in the museum sector in the North West in roles ranging from Education Officer to Director. He has worked in a wide range of heritage organisations from small independents to large nationals, from charitable trusts to local authorities and has had responsibility for the care and display of many different types of collections from social history to fine arts. The institutions he has worked in, or led, have varied greatly in staff numbers from some of the smallest to some of the largest in region. For the last three years he has been lucky enough to work on museums internationally which (he hopes!) has given him a new perspective on our region.

Andy admits to having had two guiding passions throughout his career. Firstly, exploring how museums can uncover and present the stories of those whose history has often been forgotten or supressed. He is fascinated by how heritage can provide unique and revealing insights in to these rich and diverse ‘hidden’ histories. Secondly, encouraging and developing the staff and volunteers whose job it is to lead and encourage this exploration.

He hopes that with these experiences and enthusiasms he can make a worthwhile contribution to the NWFed’s aims to represent and champion the interests of museums and galleries in the North West, and the people who work in them, on both a regional and a national level.

On his appointment to the Board, Andy explained:  “When I first became aware of the North West Fed more than 30 years ago it performed a vital role providing accessible training, and perhaps more importantly, keeping us in touch with our colleagues across the region. The sector has changed beyond recognition since. However, I believe that in its unique position as a member led, regional organisation the NWFed can still play an important part in supporting and developing those who work and volunteer in the North West’s museums and galleries.”

NWFED NEWS: Introducing New Board Member – Rebecca Miles

Sunday, August 18th, 2019

Originally from America, Rebecca Miles is now permanently settled in the UK.  Before moving to the UK in 2013, she worked for the University of Kentucky as an archaeologist excavating and surveying prehistoric and historic sites throughout the state of Kentucky.  After arriving in the UK, she started building up her skills and experiences by volunteering for the Manchester Museum, the Science and Industry Museum, the National Trust’s Quarry Bank Mill, the People’s History Museum, and for an Arts Award project run by the charity Legasee teaching primary students about the history of the Korean War. In 2016, Rebecca was appointed to the Front of House team at Ordsall Hall as a Heritage Facilitator leading primary school learning sessions focused on Tudor history and culture. Outside of her work in museums, Rebecca’s many other interests revolve around handicrafts such as hand and machine knitting, working with felt, embroidery, and hand loom weaving.

When asked about her motivations for joining the board, Rebecca explained: “I wanted to join the board to represent fellow front of house staff who are integral to ensuring all visitors have a positive experience as soon as they walk in through the doors of our museums. As a newly appointed board member, I hope to highlight the efforts and unseen struggles of staff working within our region’s front of house teams and help to find more opportunities to help them develop the skills they have in providing our museum’s visitors with high-quality customer service and in engaging with local our communities.”


NWFED NEWS: Introducing New Board Member – Claire Benjamin

Sunday, August 18th, 2019

Claire Benjamin is Deputy Director of the Education and Visitors teams at National Museums Liverpool, which includes the International Slavery Museum, Merseyside Maritime Museum, Museum of Liverpool, World Museum, Walker Art Gallery, Sudley House and the Lady Lever Art Gallery. She is responsible for the strategic development of education initiatives, community engagement and front of house visitor experience across the museums. Claire is currently providing strategic support for the internationally acclaimed House of Memories dementia awareness programme and wider income generation initiatives for the organisation.

Claire joined National Museums Liverpool in 1998, and has previously worked as Communities Co-ordinator, Education Manager and Public Programmes Officer. She is a Fellow of the Museums Association.

On her appointment to the NWFed’s Board, Claire explained: “I am excited to be joining the NWFed’s Board at such an interesting time for the sector, given the exposure of the All Party Parliamentary report in 2017 on the value of arts and health, and the Mendoza Report looking at how the bigger national museums in the region can engage better with smaller regional museum services. I think the role of the NWFed has a significant part to play in this conversation, and the bigger agenda of a Northern powerhouse.”

NWFED NEWS: Introducing New Board Member – Gordon Chancellor

Sunday, August 18th, 2019

Gordon Chancellor moved to Stockport in February 2019 from the East of England, where he had been the Museum Development Officer (MDO) for Cambridgeshire since 2013. Gordon is now freelance and keen to work with museums in the North West. His museum career started as a geologist at the Oxford University Museum in the 1980s, before being appointed Curator of Peterborough Museum in the 1990s, and then taking on the role of Chief Executive Officer of the Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Society in the early 2000s. From there he went on to become an Archive Development Manager for the Museums Libraries and Archives Council, then Business Manager at the UK Data Archive in Essex before returning to museums as an MDO. Over his career, he has managed a considerable number of Heritage Lottery and Arts Council England funded projects and is especially interested in governance and the issues facing independent museums.

Gordon is delighted to be involved with the Federation and has already enjoyed getting to know other Board members. Being new to the North West, he is excited to be learning about the region which he says is very different (in good ways!) from the East of England. So far he has concentrated on visiting the bigger museums, but hopes that being on the Board will give him opportunities to contribute to the small and volunteer-led museums. Having been part of the SEMFed for many years, is keen to use that experience to help the NWFed to develop its programmes for members. He is also very keen to mentor young people who love art and nature and want to make a career in museums.


CONFERENCE: Navigating the digital shift: practices and possibilities

Sunday, August 18th, 2019

When: 12 – 14 November 2019

Where: Birmingham Conference and Events Centre

How Much: £0 – £228.30

Discovering Collections, Discovering Communities is a collaborative conference series hosted by The National Archives, Research Libraries UK and Jisc. Now in its seventh year, DCDC brings together colleagues from across the archive, library, museum and academic sectors to explore shared opportunities, collective challenges, and to discuss how each sector can work more effectively with one another.

DCDC19 will explore the possibilities of the digital shift for collections, audience expectations, and professional practices. It seeks to go beyond recounting the huge change that the digital shift has represented, and to examine possibilities for the future.

For further information and to register for the event, Click Here.

BLOG POST: NWFed Meeting at Manchester Museum, 28 June 2019

Friday, July 5th, 2019

Last Friday we were treated to a brilliant double session themed on Asia and hosted by Manchester Museum. Catherine Lumb, Learning and Engagement Co-ordinator, told us about the current exhibition from India, then Bryan Sitch, Deputy Head of Collections and Archaeology, described his research in advance of planned displays about China. Bryan said that the arrival of Esme Ward as Director in 2017 had focused the Museum’s activities on engaging with audiences. They are doing this by highlighting human stories, especially in the Lee Kai Hung Gallery of Chinese Culture. The gallery has been developed as part of the Museum’s ‘Hello Future’ project, which also includes a £13 million transformation, including a new South Asia Gallery (in partnership with the British Museum) and a new temporary exhibition gallery.

While many venues across Manchester are gearing up to commemorate the bicentenary of the peaceful but brutally suppressed rally which we know as Peterloo, the Museum is commemorating the even worse events at Amritsar in 1919. Catherine, who has led on the Jallianwalla Bagh 1919: Punjab under Seige exhibition from the Partition Museum in Amritsar, led us through the exhibition which tells the story of the terrible events of 13 April 1919 when General Reginald Dyer ordered his troops to open fire on unarmed men, women and children, killing at least 300, who had gathered to protest against their British oppressors. The exhibition also explains how the background of decades of injustice meted out by the British occupiers in the Punjab led to the massacre. It also covers its aftermath, namely global condemnation of the British which accelerated their departure from India twenty-eight years later. Tragically, as is well known, that departure led to the ‘Partition’ of Pakistan from India and terrible atrocities committed by both Muslims and Hindus. The Singh Twins have painted a superb picture of the massacre, hung near the entrance to the Museum as the central panel of a triptych, to be joined by one showing the events before 1919 and one showing the aftermath.

Catherine told us how she carried out almost all the liaison with the Partition Museum by Skype, only visiting Amritsar once at the end of negotiations, and she said that the five-hour time difference had presented challenges! A great outcome of the exhibition has been a co-curated approach, working with Manchester communities, which is central to the development of content for the South Asia Gallery.

Bryan explained how he had been awarded a Headley Trust Art Fund Fellowship to research content for a new Chinese Culture Gallery, which is planned to open around the same time as the South Asia Gallery in late 2021. A substantial donation from Businessman, Dr Lee Kai Hung (a Manchester University Alumnus) is funding the new gallery and Bryan is unearthing some of the amazing links between China and Manchester as part of the content. Bryan has so far unraveled the stories behind some of the great Chinese objects in the Museum’s collections, exploring the stories of Manchester’s people and their connection to China. The aim is to stimulate empathy in the visitor, fostering a stronger understanding between communities in the UK and China – including the missionary Alfred Bosshardt who was held captive by the Red Army and his relationship with the general Xiao Ke.

There is never a better way to find out about new approaches to the development of new galleries and exhibitions than hearing it from the people involved. We are grateful to Catherine and Bryan for sharing their vision and passion for creating a museum that focuses on empathy and collaboration.

If you have a project or an idea you are working on and would like to share it with the NWFed and its members, please email our News Editor, Emma Sumner:

NEWS: Museum Development North West Releases 2018-19 Annual Report

Saturday, June 8th, 2019

Museum Development North West has released their latest annual report for 2018-19. Detailing the investment and delivery of MDNW’s programme in 2018-2019, the report shows the impact of the work the MDNW team has undertaken in the museums sector across the five counties of the North West.

Museum Development is funded by Arts Council England (ACE) over four years; 2018-19 is year one of a four year funded cycle.

Download your copy of MDNW annual report 2018-19, HERE.


NEWS: Prosper North Offers Free Business Support Programme for Culture and Heritage Organisations

Saturday, June 8th, 2019

Prosper North have released details about a new, free business support programme for culture and heritage organisations to help them become stronger, more impactful, and make the most of the Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund investment opportunity.

Prosper North’s programme aims to improve the capabilities of around 80 cultural heritage organisations in the North of England– from music venues to community art groups, and independent museums to literature festivals – to increase income and impact, becoming more resilient businesses. It is aligned with the Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund (NCRF), managed by the Key Fund, which is offering social investments (mix of grant and loans) to creative and cultural organisations in the north of England who deliver positive social impacts.

For those interested in finding out more about the programme, Prosper North are hosting two briefing events in the North West, one in Kendal on the 3 July, and another in Liverpool on the 17 July.

To learn more about the programme and to check if your organisation is eligible to participate, Click Here