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Pres phm manchester

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Pres phm manchester

  1. 1. Community Gallery exhibitions at the People’s History Museum 6th January 2012 Kayleigh Carr, Exhibitions Assistant Kayleigh.carr@phm.org.uk
  2. 2. Presentation Structure: • Introduction to the People’s History Museum and Manchester • Why do we do Community Exhibitions? • Application process and criteria • The exhibition space and support • Positives and challenges of hosting Community Exhibitions • Future plans • What we hope to achieve from participating in this process
  3. 3. The People’s History Museum Our museum tells the story of the development of democracy in England over the past 200 years. We look at the role of ordinary people, who worked together to improve their working and living conditions. Our collections of museum objects and archives were designated as being of national importance by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) in 1998. We have significant collections of political poster, badges, political tokens and medals to name a few. The museum also holds the largest collection of historic trade union and political banners in the world and is the UK’s leading authority on the conservation and study of banners.
  4. 4. The People’s History Museum Brief History • The People’s History Museum originated in the 1960s with the Trade Union, Labour and Co- operative History Society, who gathered a collection and set up a small museum in London in the 1970s- 80s. • After the museum in London closed the collection was offered a home in Manchester by the City Council and opened as the National Museum of Labour History in 1990. It moved to our current location in the historic Pumphouse in 1994. In 2001 it was decided the museum would take the name The People’s History Museum.
  5. 5. Manchester • 2010 estimated population of 498,800 • City ranked 4th most deprived area of England in the Index of Multiple Deprivation 2010 •Large community of ethnic minority groups •National museum but have many relevant links with the Manchester and Greater Manchester area
  6. 6. The People’s History Museum2007 after a successful funding bid the museum closed to undergo a multi-million pound redevelopment. We re-opened in February 2010 with 2 brand new main gallery spaces, a Changing Exhibition space, and a Community Exhibition gallery.
  7. 7. Our Audience • We had 82,918 visitors between February 2010 and February 2011 • 78% of our visitors describe themselves as White British • Based on information given by our visitors, 13% fall into the working class category. This is not representative of Manchester’s population, but this is a common occurrence in British museums. • Overseas visitors account for 11% of our total visitors
  8. 8. How did we start displaying Community Exhibitions? • Groups were approaching us asking to display their work. • Displayed work in small area by café and reception. • Small scale, only one or two exhibitions a year. • During redevelopment it was felt Community Exhibitions should become a more formal part of our exhibitions program.
  9. 9. Why do we do Community Exhibitions? • Give groups the opportunity to display their work • Adds a voice and opinion to the museum that is not our own • Opportunity to develop connections in the wider community • Helps keep our exhibition programme fresh as there is always something new to see • Encourage new audiences into the museum
  10. 10. Application process • Guidelines and simple form sent to interested parties along with next submission deadline • If requested a member of the exhibitions team will meet and discuss ideas before submission
  11. 11. Selection Criteria We choose exhibitions that; • Link to our story - interpreting labour history in its broadest sense ie ‘people’s history’ • Allow working people and disenfranchised groups a chance to tell and examine their history • Are mainly from Greater Manchester • Are good quality – display details discussed with PHM staff in advance of installation • Encourage wide access, increase visitor numbers and raise the museum profile, creating new audiences
  12. 12. Selection Process • Programming meeting once a year • Assess every application that comes • Representative from Senior Management Team, Exhibitions, Marketing & Learning departments present • Applications assessed and a balanced programme is selected • Generally have had 4 or 5 applications for every slot
  13. 13. Duration • Can vary - initially exhibitions changed every 6 weeks. • Recently extended to run for approximately 10 weeks.
  14. 14. The Engine Hall Our Community Gallery Exhibition Space
  15. 15. Support for exhibitors • Space is provided free of charge • 2 days curatorial time • 2 days technicians time • Produce labels, small text panels etc in house for exhibitors • Provide display materials (showcases, case furniture, display boards, plinths etc)
  16. 16. Open Book by Venture Arts
  17. 17. Mapping Memories
  18. 18. Kings
  19. 19. International Women’s Day exhibition
  20. 20. Voices
  21. 21. Hands On
  22. 22. Retracing Salford
  23. 23. Events We encourage the groups we work with to hold events to accompany their exhibitions, this can take the form of an opening event, talks, workshops and other related activities. Photograph of a talk taking place on the Engine Hall to accompany the Antifascistas exhibition
  24. 24. Events Recent opening event for the Aids Day Memorial Quilt exhibition
  25. 25. Positives • Build lasting positive relationships • Brought in new audiences • Positive responses from visitors • Positive response from exhibitors • Always something new for visitors to see • Enriches the PHM events programme when groups hold their own yours/talks/workshops etc. and boosting visitor figs. • Passion of exhibitors is evident to visitors & draws new press coverage etc • Opportunity to mark anniversaries, link to national initiatives through exhibition program • Encourage new talent
  26. 26. Challenges • Managing exhibitors expectations • Complications of the space - limitations on what we can show • Lack of ability to support exhibitions financially • Pressures on staff time • Feeling of lack of control over progress, content etc • Limited equipment • Difficulty in turning proposals down
  27. 27. Future plans • Funding bid has been submitted to make improvements to the environment, equipment and signage • Interested in involving community representatives on selection panel • Strategy meeting to be timetabled – to discuss how to make the process more manageable • Looking at programming less far in advance – to be more responsive • More formal evaluation process to be implemented • Looking into the possibility of working in conjunction with groups on projects – funding and staffing issues
  28. 28. What we would like to gain from participating in Grundtvig project • An insight into what other institutions are currently achieving in regards to Community Exhibitions, both in England and Internationally • Develop good working relationship with other institutions • A means to develop our own Community Gallery work in cooperation with other institutions

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