2020 Collections Innovation and Engagement funding awards - Museums Association

2020 Collections Innovation and Engagement funding awards

Since launching in 2011, the Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund has awarded over £10m to 145 projects.

Collections Innovation and Engagement grants offer up to £90k over around two years for outstanding ideas with a strong link between the collection and community, and between the activities and the context of the organisation.

We award the fund on behalf of the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation to projects that demonstrate the significance, distinctiveness and power of collections to people.

Here are 2020’s successful grantees:

David Livingstone Birthplace

£84,800 for “Power Play: Exploring narratives of privilege and power through people, places and objects”, a project to work with local young people and members of the African diaspora in Scotland to explore the stories that make up the Livingstone narrative through a lens of 21st century issues.

Fitzwilliam Museum

A man and a woman look at some text on a wall of an exhibit
Josh Murfitt

£89,431 for “Working together to confront the legacies of empire”, a programme of work to confront the legacies of empire and enslavement within collections.

Mansfield Museum & Art Gallery

£89,680 for “Creative Women Together”, a project to empower women at risk to take positive control of their lives through a programme of engagement with the painting, jewellery and ceramics collections.

Museum of Free Derry

A man speaks with another man behind the reception desk at the Museum of Free Derry

£75,432 for “Museums and Conflict Legacy”, a project to develop a network of heritage and legacy institutions in the north of Ireland, and to help build capacity in those involved to look after and develop their own collections.

National Museums Liverpool

£88,000 for “House of Memories: Connecting with Yemeni Elders Heritage”, a digital community collections project, enabling young participants to capture, preserve and digitise familiar and untold community stories, traditions and culture linked to museum collections.

Waterside Arts

A woman digitally scans a model of a badger
© Cosgrove Hall Films Archive

£56,600 for “Engaging With Animation”, a project to share the Cosgrove Hall Films Archive with communities across Greater Manchester and beyond, to increase wellbeing, learn about heritage and develop animation skills through the collection.



Supporting museums and their workforce with over £1m of funding every year