Brighter Day grants awarded

Round two of the Brighter Day grants, gratefully supported by the Art Scholars Trust, have been awarded to nine AIM members. 

The grant was created to ensure museums at risk of closure, losing vital skills and knowledge, or unable to provide effective collections care, are supported to ensure future viability. The fund supports education, training, curation, and exhibition projects, that address collections care and sustainability of historic and decorative arts collections. With the eligibility criteria revised to enable all AIM members with historic and decorative art collections to apply for funding; applications increased on round one from 21 to 25.

Crucially this grant allows for staff costs and small building work to be included in project budgets. We know from speaking to our members, that two barriers to developing projects and improving environmental conditions are capacity and funding for small building improvements. This grant helps our members overcome those problems and create rounded project proposals.

The nine projects awarded grants in Round 2 will all have lasting impacts on working practices at the member organisations. We look forward to sharing the case studies and the learning outcomes as the projects progress and are completed over the next 12 months.

AIM is grateful to the Worshipful Company of Arts Scholars Charitable Trust for funding the AIM Arts Scholars Brighter Day Grant Scheme.

Braintree District Museum Trust – Potty About Our Pottery!  
A project to digitise the 200+ items in the collection, upskill staff and volunteers and create an exhibition and new learning opportunities.

Dulwich Picture Gallery – Collections disaster, emergency and salvage equipment and training
Purchase of emergency response equipment and the creation of an enhanced emergency plan and bespoke training for museum staff and volunteers.

Helen Hillyard of Dulwich Picture Gallery said on receipt of the funding; “The team are absolutely thrilled! This funding is much needed right now.”

Elizabeth Gaskell’s House – Permanent Collection Storage Project
The project combines the purchasing of racking and storage materials with additional staff hours to manage the audit and reorganisation of the collections store.

Sally Jastrzebski-Lloyd, House Manager said; “This has been something we have wanted to do for ages, and it has made some of volunteers very happy.”

Frogmore Paper Mill – Into the Light: Illuminating the hidden art of watermarks
The project involves staff costs, equipment purchases and exhibition costs.

Letchworth – Arts & Crafts Treasures: Re-invigorating Collections Care in Letchworth
A collaborative project that will train volunteers in collections care and interpret an important collection.

Josh Tidy, Heritage Manager at Letchworth said; “Thank you so much for this wonderful news about the Brighter Day grant – this is going to make a huge difference to our work here – I’m absolutely thrilled!”

Museum of East Asian Art – Collection Care: Environmental Monitoring & Improvements
Small building improvements and collections care equipment purchases.

Nantgarw China Works – Nantgarw China Works Museum Collections Documentation
A project that begins with training led by the Collections Trust, to provide the volunteers with the skills to produce a complete digital catalogue of the collections.

Thames Valley Omnibus Trust – Art and Design On the Buses
Digitisation of 50 pieces of ephemera to form the basis for an online exhibition of early 20th century posters and timetables.

Warrington Museum & Art Gallery – Cabinets of Curious Costume: A project to improve Collections Care
New storage materials for a 1/3 of the costume collection.