December 2023 Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund awardees - Museums Association

December 2023 Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund awardees

We’re delighted to announce the latest recipients of the Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund, joining almost 200 projects we’ve funded since 2011.

This is the second set of grantees to be awarded under the new criteria of the fund, demonstrating the potential to use museum collections to connect with communities and be guided by them to create more democratised and inclusive museums.

Here are December 2023’s successful grantees:

Beamish, The Living Museum of the North, £70,000 to share collections with expert community panels to better represent multiple perspectives of working class life and work in the north east; adding greater complexity and nuance to the existing narrative.

Ceredigion Museum, £91,697 for “Perthyn ‘belonging to/possessing’: An exploration of how collections can create community in Ceredigion” to broaden and increase collections engagement leading to a capital redevelopment.

Mansfield Museum, £99,213 for “Nature Power”, to improve people’s mental health, working with social prescribers, voluntary organisations and community initiatives to help connect highly vulnerable adults with natural history and climate justice.

National Paralympic Heritage Trust (NPHT), £98,493 for work with Paralympic collections linked to British Blind Sport, Cerebral Palsy Sport and Dwarf Sport Association UK to engage, learn and give underrepresented disabled communities a platform to lead change for a more diverse, inclusive heritage sector.

Paisley Museum & Art Gallery, £100,000 to support staff and partners through a collaborative process to create a democratic approach to collections development, knowledge exchange and decision-making using the African collections.

Sheffield Museums, £100,000 for “Green Connections”, to engage communities in Darnall with natural science collections to improve wellbeing, explore the environmental crisis and develop the museum service’s community led approach to participatory practice.

Timespan, £41,725 for “PMA x Coastal Commons” to explore collections collaboratively, looking at extractivism, land justice, and climate crisis in Helmsdale and Sutherland.

Image: People working with Ceredigion Museum, as featured in our Museums Change Lives case study