You gave value to our culture and traditions. We are living in a multicultural society, so you have to give value to all cultures. I feel very happy that I was able to explain my feelings. I feel good that I was valued
‐ Mohammed, Project Participant
In being different the heritage brought us together and I am very proud of it. Because of the museum project we understand each other better
‐ Anila, Project Participant
I feel part of a better closer community now. I feel recognised
‐ Usher, Project Participant
A co-curated community exhibition
The final exhibition was hosted at the wonderful Charnwood Museum.
Bespoke workshops to explore personal connections
We held a series of workshops over a 10-month period and invited community groups to participate who were non-traditional audiences to our museums. We were delighted over 100 people were able to take part, most of who would not usually get involved with heritage and museums.
People were asked to think about what heritage means to them in relation to their own identity, experiences and perspectives. The activities were unique and tailored specifically for each group building on cultural, societal, geographical and circumstantial connections.
“Show and tell”
People were given time to explore our displays and were asked to choose just one object or exhibition that made them ‘stop in their tracks’ and share their connection to it and convey how it made them feel.
Here are some of the objects chosen and the reasons why!
Volunteers from the workshops developed their roles and became Community Curators. They were truly imaginative in the way they chose to share people’s connections with the museum displays. Visitors were able to see objects speaking for themselves with giant speech bubbles and recordings of participants voices; a touch screen to view more of the objects in the online ‘People’s Gallery’; a short film about the project and a family trail around the whole museum. There is still the opportunity to add your own voice to this unique exhibition by emailing a photograph of your chosen object and telling us why this object is important to you. Please contact us at email@example.com
The People’s Gallery
Participants were also asked to bring in 1 precious object of their own and share their connection to it. 22 objects were displayed on 3 bespoke exhibition plinths, designed in collaboration with our Community Curators to give each object its own space and importance. The objects were fascinatingly diverse and ranged from a toothbrush to a Rotary watch. Also on display were books, pictures, jewellery, clothing, handmade crafts and soft toys, all of which told a personal story. The overarching theme that connects these random objects was simply “love” – it’s the stuff that matters most to people. These objects have meaning far greater than their financial or material value; they are treasured possessions that hold powerful memories.
The People’s Online Gallery
Participants were also asked to bring in 1 precious object of their own and share their connection to it. We are honoured to be able to share some of these objects and their unique stories on our website in our People’s Online Gallery.
More than heritage connections
We hoped that this project would achieve more than exploration and appreciation of heritage and museums and it certainly did.
“You gave value to our culture and traditions. We are living in a multicultural society, so you have to give value to all cultures. I feel very happy that I was able to explain my feelings. I feel good that I was valued”- Mohammed
“In being different the heritage brought us together and I am very proud of it. Because of the museum project we understand each other better”- Anila
“I feel part of a better closer community now. I feel recognised” – Usher
“It’s a good day today…instead of being recluse and feeling sorry for yourself…it’s a good idea these workshops because it helps people like myself try new things… it breaks up your day, instead of sitting around feeling sorry for yourself get out there, meet new people and keep your social skills alive. You don’t want to shut off just because you’re homeless or certain things have happened in the past…. that’s the reason I came to the Museum today” – Project Participant from The Falcon Centre
We were honoured to share this experience with people from Loughborough Cultural Ambassadors supported by Leicestershire Adult Learning Service, The Falcon Centre for homeless and vulnerable people, the Anand Mangal South Asian women’s group, a Polish community group and Improving Lives, an independent living group for men from black and minority ethnic backgrounds.