New Stories New Audiences projects announced

We’re delighted to announce the first recipients of AIM’s New Stories New Audiences funding. This funding scheme is intended to help small museums stay relevant to their audiences and increase their impact and each of these successful projects will result in a wider range of people being involved in heritage.

Funded by National Lottery Heritage Fund, New Stories New Audiences was open to all AIM small museum members. These projects will be completed by early 2023 – look out for more news and case studies in the coming months.

The next round of applications for New Stories New Audiences will open in summer 2022. Click here to find out more about the eligibility criteria>>

Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome – Nature: Near and Now

Nature: Near and Now is an exciting initiative that pulls together the strengths of Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome (SMGWA) – its volunteers, its partners and the beauty of its undisturbed natural environment. Working with important stakeholders, the project will encourage new audiences to the site – young people, families and wildlife enthusiasts – to engage with the untold story of this teeming ecosphere.

Provan Hall – Discovering the stories of Provan Hall

Provan Hall is an A listed medieval building in Easterhouse, Glasgow which is undergoing a £2m restoration to safeguard it as a community heritage asset. Restored Provan Hall will support community learning and skills development with dressed rooms and interpretation space alongside exhibition and education space.

An archaeologist and dendrochronologist have recorded the restoration works and have identified exciting new opportunities to research and develop the stories of the building and people of Provan Hall. This project will collaborate with local communities to interpret these stories and inspire future generations to learn about their heritage.

Museum of Youth Culture – Tell ‘Em: Representing Young People’s Perspectives in Museums

Working with a group of 10 16-25 year olds from the Black African and Caribbean community in Hackney, the Museum of Youth Culture will co-curate an intergenerational heritage project. The young people will take part in a series of 10 masterclasses teaching heritage and creative skills, co-produced with Future Hackney. The young people will then lead on a heritage project collecting stories, and curate and produce an exhibition from those stories in the Museum. As a legacy, the project will develop a resource for future intergenerational collecting practices for the Museum that will be available to other organisations.

Royal Crown Derby Museum – Collecting Home

This project will explore the significance of Royal Crown Derby collections within local, regional and national minority communities. Though museum visitors and online supporters are over 90% white, the team know that Royal Crown Derby is collected by people from diverse cultural backgrounds and this project focusses initially on British Caribbean collectors before reaching out to a wider audience.

National Paralympic Heritage Trust – Paralympic Stories – The Finmere Show

This project will capture the incredible community history of the Finmere Show that raised funding for over 40 years enabling the Paralympic Games to develop. Working across three rural communities (Finmere, Westbury and Tingwick), a Paralympian, disabled artist and Finmere school pupils the project participants will research, record oral histories and co-curate an exhibition celebrating a forgotten event responsible for the Paralympic Games. In doing so participants will have their attitudes towards disability challenged and learn how small communities can literally change the world.

Scottish Fisheries Museum Trust – Cry of the Forth – Forgotten Stories and Future Voices

This project will use the compelling human and natural history of the Firth of Forth to engage new audiences with Scotland’s stunning marine heritage – and to inspire them to protect its future.

One Story, Two Audiences, Three Eras:

  1. Past (fascinating stories from the Forth and its islands)
  2. Present (the plight of the seabird colonies)
  3. Future (what it will look like if we do – and don’t – act to protect it)

The stories will be told via a range of engagement activities including storytelling via images, talks and images; co-creating stories with target audiences; touring exhibition and events.

Judges’ Lodgings Museum – Facing the Past: New Commissions and Young People’s Exhibition 

A partnership project to decolonise and re-interpret collections relating to the Transatlantic Slave Trade and Slavery through new commissions and community education with Lancaster Black History Group, Lancaster University and the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN). The project will:

  • Commission a series of new portraits of enslaved Africans based on historical descriptions of Lancaster’s ‘runaway slaves’, to be displayed opposite existing portraits of slave trading families.
  • School workshops with the chosen artist and an exhibition of children’s work at the museum.
  • Creative learning sessions about the museum’s fine art and furniture collections.

Corwen Museum – Slate and the Making of Glyndyfrdwy

The project will share the origin story of the village of Glyndyfrdwy through a range of immersive experiences and events that will tell stories, past and present, and cultivate a new audience for Corwen Museum and local communities. The project will shine a light on the lesser-known heritage of the Moel Fferna quarry and how workers and families transformed a landscape, formed a community of interesting characters and will ask what we might learn from this story today.

Birkenhead Priory – A virtual experience

Developing an interactive, digital learning resource for Birkenhead Priory, in collaboration with schools and religious communities across Wirral and Liverpool City Region.

Birkenhead Priory is a key heritage site for Wirral and an ideal access point for thinking about different faith histories in the area. A 3D virtual tour of the Priory will provide an opportunity to engage new audiences and widen access to the site. The tour and learning resources will support the curricula of KS1 and KS2 children, as well as fostering tolerance, acceptance and understanding of different faith narratives in our community from an early age.

The UK Antarctic Heritage Trust – Immersive Antarctica: pioneers of climate science and discovery 

The funding will pilot a new digital resource creating access to incredible stories from Antarctic history for a new audience of young people in Scotland who cannot physically access the museum.

Partnering for the first time with Education Scotland and building on the momentum of their work with Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) to digitise their remote sites, museum and archives, this project will help to transform access to Antarctica’s heritage. It will share new stories on the climate crisis and untold tales of Scottish Antarctic pioneers which are often overlooked. They will bring archival records to life through immersive technologies and create a digital learning resource for over 400 schools to break down barriers to engagement for young people who may not access heritage at home.

Bradford Police Museum – Diversity and Policing: A Shared History

The Bradford Police Museum will reach out to new audiences from minority ethnic communities in the Bradford district in partnership with the Bradford Race Equality Network (REN).

A new exhibition will be created that will tell the evolving story of the relationship between the police and minority ethnic communities and the impact of policing on people’s lives.

This will be supported by a programme of engagement and outreach in local communities. As a result, the museum will develop new and more diverse audiences who will hear their stories. The museum will be more accessible, inclusive, relevant and diverse.

Castle Bromwich Hall and Gardens – Home is here now: Global stories of plants and people

A 350 year old stately house garden with 600 species from ‘all over the world’ has lots of stories to tell about why those plants are ‘at home’ here.

Birmingham, a City of Sanctuary, is rightly proud of its cultural diversity. The Gardens, now part of a big city, nestle amongst some of the most diverse communities; those well established as well as those newly arrived, wrenched from homes elsewhere in a troubled world. Working with individuals and communities, the team will explore, celebrate and share the connections and journeys that brought people and plants here to ‘make a home’.

Comann Eachdraidh Uibhist a Tuath, (CEUT) North Uist Historical Society – Island Hands Across the Atlantic

CEUT will establish this innovative young people’s story exchange project in partnership with the BMHS, Barbados and Open Virtual Worlds, St Andrews University. They will co-create a website, where teenagers can find out about each other’s lives, using innovative ways of storytelling and exchanging their ideas about island heritage and environment. The project will work towards three digital events where participants will tell each other about how past cultures and traditions inform their presents, exploring how important these are to each’s sense of place and belonging, using digital exchanges in drama, film, music and photography.

Sturminster Heritage Trust – The Swanskin Seafarers of Sturminster 

Sturminster Heritage Trust will work with young people living in this rural town to strengthen community understanding and empathy for the stories of people who leave their homeland to seek better lives.

The project will research and represent the lesser-known lives of those who left Sturminster from the 1600s-1800s to work in the fisheries of North America and will draw links with more recent 21st Century migration into the town. They will work with an inspirational arts company to run historical and creative workshops and produce exciting fresh interpretation for our two heritage sites. The project will culminate in a live event, with film projection, performance and music.

Pictured from left: Photography work at Museum of Youth Culture, dining room at Judges’ Lodging, opera in the orchard at Castle Bromwich. 

New Stories New Audiences is made possible with The National Lottery Heritage Fund. Thanks to National Lottery players, we have been able to provide this funding scheme to AIM members.