National Museums Northern Ireland

Urban Villages
National Museums Northern Ireland (NMNI) has developed a social inclusion programme targeting people from deprived areas in Belfast and Derry-Londonderry.

Working with partners including the Urban Villages initiative, the programme included visits by curators for handling sessions at libraries and community centres, bringing many people into contact with a museum for the first time. In other activities, groups have visited museums.

The Seniors Group from the Markets area of the South Belfast Urban Village, for example, went to the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum to meet curators and have a ‘behind the scenes’ tour of the museum store, sharing their own stories with the staff.

“We are committed to making our collections as accessible to as wide a range of audiences as possible,” says Arlene Bell, capital programme manager, NMNI.

“Connection with authentic heritage objects stimulates interest in history, art and nature and can act as a catalyst for many different types of engagement.”

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