The People’s History Museum is celebrating receiving two prestigious awards, that each recognise the collaborative work and approach taken by the national museum of democracy in helping people to explore and tell their histories and stories.
The first award was the Museum & Education Partnership Award at the inaugural North West Cultural Education Awards 2018 organised by Curious Minds, given to the People’s History Museum for an art-led project with Manchester Secondary Pupil Referral Unit (PRU).
21 pupils from Manchester Secondary PRU took part in the project to explore what representation means to them. In a world dominated by social media platforms, they creatively examined how they are seen by others, and how they see themselves. In doing so they exploded myths, asked questions and challenged people to look beyond the social media filter.
The result is Who Represents Me – a bold, colourful and powerful piece of artwork that currently features as part of the museum’s headline exhibition for 2018, Represent! Voices 100 Years On, which explores the ongoing fight for representation, including issues such as the votes for women campaign and Repeal the 8th. One of the students who participated received one of only two Personal Achievement Awards for their part in the project.
The second accolade received was at the first ever National Democracy Week Awards, with the People’s History Museum named National Collaboration of the Year. Organised by the National Democracy Week Council in conjunction with the Cabinet Office, the ceremony was held at the People’s History Museum, with six different awards recognising those working to increase democratic engagement in the UK.
The National Collaboration of the Year title was awarded to the People’s History Museum for its collaborative work for both the current crowdsourced Represent! Voices 100 Years On exhibition and Never Going Underground: The Fight for LGBT+ Rights exhibition, which took place in 2017. For this multi award-wining exhibition, nine community curators led the story telling behind the displays, which told of the fight for LGBT+ rights 50 years on from when the 1967 Sexual Offences Act partially decriminalised homosexual acts in England and Wales.
Katy Ashton, Director at the People’s History, Museum comments, “In all the museum’s interactions; the visitors and schools that we welcome, the community engagement programmes that we run, the exhibitions and events that we organise, we are encouraging people to discover and tell their stories and histories. So we are delighted that the North West Cultural Education Awards and National Democracy Week Awards are both recognising the museum’s collaborative approach with partners, communities and audiences and the amazing work of the PHM team.”