Funding brings ‘Hope’ to Barnsley Museums

Barnsley Museums have secured £17,250 of funding from the Museum Association’s Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund for Draw Hope, a project that will promote wellbeing to young people in the borough through drawing.

The project will engage young people, allow them to develop skills, increase confidence and allow them to express their thoughts and feelings in a creative way.  The artwork created will be based around the Cooper Gallery’s Sadler Collection of Drawings and will encourage them to bring their own unique take on how they interpret the artwork.

The grant was awarded as a response to changing needs in museums due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Sustaining Engagement with Collections grants of up to £30k are to be spent within a year of award. Imagined as quick turnaround, innovative interventions to support engagement with collections at a time when physical and traditional access isn’t possible.

Other grants awarded included:

Amgueddfa Cymru: £30,000 for The Covid-19 Questionnaire – revisiting collecting methods of the past. To revisit 800 original, completed questionnaires and others spanning 1930s-80s capturing details of life in 20th century Wales, and to undertake Wales-wide engagement activities to develop a new way of working with communities post Covid-19.

Birmingham Museums Trust: £30,000 for MuseumStream: a new hybrid outreach programme combining digital resources, live streaming and real objects. To pilot a new combination of physical and digital co-produced collections engagement for school and community audiences in a new loan box programme, MuseumStream.

Creswell Heritage Trust: £25,086 for Virtual Creswell Crags: reuniting the caves, collections, prehistoric art and medieval witch marks. To create digital resources through 3D scanning of cave interiors and key artefacts found in them using the latest digital technology in order to reach new audiences, provide future resilience and increase the collections offer to existing audiences post Covid-19.

Foundling Museum: £27,900 for Shared Stories: Shared Voices, engaging audiences at the heart of the Founding Museum’s story. To engage former Foundling Hospital pupils; graduates of their care-leaver training programme; and volunteers and use new digital channels to share their stories and voices about collection objects they’ve chosen.

Glasgow Museums: £10,021 for Museum on your doorstep: an outreach response to Covid-19. To produce non-internet-based resources for different groups at risk of loneliness and isolation to be distributed via community partners, e.g. print media and filmed reminiscence sessions.

Gunnersbury Park Museum: £26,961 for Shooting Stars: Behind the Scenes at Ealing Studios. To undertake remote intergenerational volunteering work to digitise and interpret the collection in order to build skills, tackle loneliness and isolation and share the collection widely online and with an outdoor exhibition in Gunnersbury Park.

Imperial War Museums: £30,000 for Connecting, sharing, learning: sustaining relationships between collections and older communities. A pilot programme to enable War and Conflict SSN organisations to trial new methods of digital collection-based engagement with older communities – 70+, both living at home and those in residential care – through the Covid-19 pandemic.

Jewish Museum London: £28,000 for The Object Lending Library: An Accessible Collection. To pilot a temporary loans programme to people’s homes and community spaces, in particular to support an event or occasion using objects relevant to modern audiences such as women’s history, black history, migration, interfaith and LGBTQ+ rights.

Museum of the Home: £30,000 for Stay Home. To explore the new collection of lockdown experiences in the context of the wider Documenting Homes collection and develop capacity to collect, share and manage digital material.

Museums of the University of St Andrews: £29,345 for Online storytelling with university museum collections. To develop and implement a new tool for storytelling-based engagement with digitised collections and to make this available as open-source software to other museums.

Museums Worcestershire: £18,996 for Volunteers at Home - access not isolation! To explore safe and risk assessed ways for current volunteers that are isolated by the pandemic to continue to work with museum collections and then offer this experience to those that are permanently isolated.

Newman Brothers at the Coffin Works: £20,850 for Access through innovation: creating a digital museum guide at the Coffin Works. To develop a digital museum guide including collections images, research, and videos to help visitors navigate their way around the museum as an alternative to the guided tour model not possible with social distancing.

Thackray Museum of Medicine: £23,414 for Open Wide – Kick-starting a new digital learning programme. To develop a digital collections-based learning programme in response to the rapidly changing needs of schools post-Covid. Piloted with Prince Albert’s medicine chest, its contents and associated materials, which provide a unique angle on stories of colonialism and social privilege at home and abroad.

Wisbech & Fenland Museum: £19,000 for New conversations. To complete the museum’s first digital audience research project, scoping and testing new ideas in a range of media to create a digital collections strategy.

Cllr Tim Cheetham, Cabinet Spokesperson for Place (Regeneration and Culture) said:

Barnsley Museums are looking forward to supporting vulnerable young people to develop skills and resilience through Draw Hope a project which will allow them to explore and reimagine a nationally significant collection of drawings. We’re excited to learn how the act of drawing can improve the wellbeing of young people emerging from lockdown, hopefully inspiring a new generation of artists, exactly as Michael Sadler, the collector, originally intended.