July 2023 Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund awardees - Museums Association

July 2023 Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund awardees

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

This is the first 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 July 2023’s successful grantees:

Bowes Museum, £95,545 to support the transformation of the museum into a purpose-led organisation, focused on supporting, inspiring, and uplifting communities in the north east of England, utilising the museum’s unique assets and human-centred approaches.

Lakeland Arts, £80,000 to rethink collaborative working practices at Abbot Hall, exploring new strategies collections and asking “how can a deep understanding of landscapes and ecologies local to museums and galleries nurture a symbiotic relationship between collections and communities?”

The Lightbox, £94,000 for “W for Woking”, a live commissioning collaborative programme providing space and expertise to hear and capture the voices of diverse communities in today’s Woking to inform the future organisational strategy.

Museum of English Rural Life, £99,381, for “Further Afield” to give power to rural communities, particularly those historically marginalised, to explore and express their connections to the countryside.

National Museum of the Royal Navy, £99,444 to progress work on tackling complex colonial relationships through a new strategy embedding a participatory approach to collections work.

The Box, £100,000 to undertake a process of critical analysis, participation and collaboration to create a new offer for audiences highlighting the links between colonisation and climate crisis.

Image: The Box, Plymouth, credit to Atkins