Guest post from Andrea Winn, Manchester Museum – working on Community Engagement for the Courtyard Project
Manchester Museum is a partner in the British Museum’s Object Journeys programme – a three year Heritage Lottery funded programme, in which the British Museum will engage with their local community, regional museums and community partners in the regions to explore the British Museum’s collections. The project will produce a series of installations across the UK including at the British Museum, Manchester Museum and Leicester Museums.
Manchester Museum is pleased to be working with Community on Solid Ground, a local organisation that is driven to improve the life opportunities, personal development, health and wellbeing of its local community. They are currently working on ‘Traditional Best Times of South Asian Women’, this Heritage Lottery Funded project aims to capture, recreate and then retain the hobbies and past times of South Asian Women. The project provides the opportunity for inter-generational learning within the group and for the wider community to learn about South Asian traditions. Through Object Journeys and working with Community on Solid Ground, we have the opportunity to share our work with the British museum and to work with a local community group to better understand our own South Asian collection and start of series of workshops consulting with the South Asian Community.
In April the group visited the British Museum’s stores to explore their textile collection and then visited Manchester Museum in May to look at our South Asia collection – from these visits embroidery and traditional textile techniques have emerged as specifically interesting to the group. They have chosen three Pakistani textiles from the British Museum to be displayed alongside objects from the Manchester Museum collection, the group are also responding to these objects by creating new versions of the objects to be shown alongside the historical artefacts. We will also be working with the group to co-produce a series of events at the Museum in 2017.