We are into the final 6 months of Snapping the Stiletto. Hopefully, you’ll agree that the project has uncovered some fascinating stories, thanks to the work of the project volunteers, the partner museums and the wonderful Pippa.
As you are aware, we were limited by the funding to only looking at existing collections. While this did provide a large quantity of material, there were some noticeable gaps in collections:
– museums generally have little material post the 1960s
– working class women
– BAME women
– LGBTQ+ women
Given the success of the project in engaging the general public, we are interested in maintaining the momentum and following up with a second project, actively collecting to fill those gaps. 2020 is the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act 1970, so we want to use that as a catalyst to explore equality more generally. We would also want to link in with the Essex 2020 Year of Science and Creativity, particularly through exploring women in engineering.
Would your museum be interested in being involved?
The proposed project should fit with your local authority’s priorities around learning, communities and wellbeing. It also meets the Arts Council’s “Creative Case for Diversity”, which may be useful to you in future funding applications and to include within your Accreditation return.
This second project will run for 18 months from early 2020, with a full-time project manager and part-time learning officer and are looking at an overall budget of about £200 000. This means that although it is a shorter project than the first, there will be much more staff time and resources available. We would be applying the National Lottery Heritage Fund, so the project is open to non-Accredited museums.
I know that several of you are already seeking to engage with/collect from BAME and LGBTQ+ communities. This project is an opportunity to increase your capacity and resources to do so. Through the project network and steering group meetings, there will be opportunities to learn from and share practice with colleagues from other museums.
Commitment-wise, you would have to agree to:
– working with us to actively collect artefacts, ephemera and oral histories and taking them into your collection (this would be based on your collections policy and organisational capacity)
– supporting volunteers to research the objects and working with us to make them accessible via a display in your museum and through other mediums. Volunteers can be currently involved with your organisation or project volunteers but each museum will be expected to engage with, and support, volunteers on site
– supporting us to deliver two festivals at the University of Essex (like the one we ran in March) by giving talks and/or having a stall
– co-hosting with us at least one community event over the course of the project
– co-deliver with us projects with at least one school and one youth organisation, including participating in Takeover Day and Teen Twitter Takeover. The budget is still in draft form, but there should be about £4000 available per museum to facilitate this (please note you will be fully supported in doing this by the project team)
– co-deliver with us a targeted community engagement craftivism project, building relationships which will facilitate collecting. As above, the budget is still in draft form, but there should be about £2000 available per museum to facilitate this (and you would be fully supported by the Project Manager)
– attend a minimum of 4 steering group meetings (to be held quarterly, expenses to be reimbursed)
– participate in project evaluation
Our expectations of your input will be related to the size and staffing structure of your museum but once signed up you would need to be certain that you can deliver what you have agreed to. We will be building expenses into the project budget.
Museums who register interest will be asked to input into a NLHF application and help shape the project outcomes and outputs. Our intention is very much that the benefits will be far greater than the effort we are asking from you. For example with Snapping the Stiletto, we have managed to engage over 200 volunteers who have delivered what we calculate to be over £28 000 worth of time across the project to date. We would also be able to use it to help you recruit new long term volunteers and even diversify your trustee base (if applicable).
We are in the early stages of project development, but aiming to submit our application by 20th August, so things will be moving briskly as we develop the bid.
If you do decide that you are interested, please let me know the name/role of the person at your museum who will be leading on this confirm that the senior team/trustees of the museum are, in principle, happy with this (they will need final sign off on the partnership agreement) by 26th July. I am happy to book phone calls during the next couple of weeks if you’d like to talk further before making a bid to take part.
We are capping the number of museums at 6 so it may not be possible to include all those interested as we will need to ensure a good geographic mix as well as a range of museums.
For more information or to get involved, please get in touch.