Consortium of heritage organisations - Museums Association

Consortium of heritage organisations

Making the Future is a collaborative cultural heritage programme using museum collections and archives to explore issues of the past and create a vision for future change.

Delivered by a consortium including Nerve Centre, National Museums Northern Ireland, the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland and Linen Hall Library, each institution shares its resources and expertise to look at topics as diverse as the Troubles, women in the archives, partition, the Decade of Centenaries and modern-day issues of culture and identity.

Collections from each institution are used to pose challenging questions about the past, to take the temperature of where we are as a society and to help participants and communities project ideas of the future.

Looking at the Troubles through art made me rethink and change my opinions

Through exhibitions, events and sustained community engagement programmes, participants from across Northern Ireland and the border counties work together to explore a topic, gain exclusive access to archives and collections, and develop their own creative responses. 

More than 1,500 people have engaged to date and outputs have included virtual reality films exploring Belfast’s suffrage history, alternative graffiti art inspired by the Troubles, cemetery walking trails uncovering the stories of unheard women, and self-styled publications by young people reflecting important aspects of their culture.

Participants have said the programme had reawakened their interest in history and enabled them to explore their own views. One said: “Looking at the Troubles through art made me rethink and change my opinions.”