Woodhorn Colliery Museum

Comedian-in-residence among successful Happy Museum projects

Rebecca Atkinson, 05.08.2013
Ten museums and galleries awarded £100,000 of funding
A comedian-in-residence scheme at the Woodhorn Charitable Trust in Northumberland is one of 10 successful projects to receive an award from the Happy Museum’s £100,000 third funding round.

Woodhorn will use its £13,500 award to explore how comedy can help facilitate meaningful connections between people and their heritage, art and environment.

The Happy Museum project, which is funded by Arts Council England and Cymal in Wales, supports projects that show how museums can contribute to wellbeing and a sustainable society.

Among the other 10 projects to receive awards in this third round of grants are Derby Museums, which received £20,000 to fund a co-produced redevelopment of the Silk Mill with the local community, and Torquay Museum, which will use its £19,978 award to develop a team of young community sustainability champions.

A joint project between the Museums, Galleries and Archives of Wolverhampton and Craftspace was awarded £14,000 to deliver a programme of creative engagement sessions with children and their carers at Bilston Craft Gallery.

Kirkstall Abbey in Leeds received £12,000 to create a wellbeing workshop programme with opportunities for meditation, food growing and music, while an £11,000 award to the Royal West of England Academy in Bristol will help support a new strategic and capital plan.

The Happy Museum has also awarded Slough Museum £9,800 for a community conversation project with Aik Saath, a local charity that works with young people.

Elsewhere, Ceredigion Museum in Aberystwyth will carry out £6,325-funded project to promote social enterprise through traditional crafts; Abergavenny Museum in Monmouthshire will use its £5,000 award for a weaving and bee-keeping project; and Narberth Museum’s £3,000 award will support workshops celebrating ancient skills.

Tony Butler, director of the Museum of East Anglian Life and director of the Happy Museum, said:  “Museums have a real opportunity to imagine a positive future where we might consume less, be more mindful of our relationship with a natural environment, and create a kinder, gentler but no less interesting world.”

The 10 commissions were chosen by a panel that included Butler, Nick Winterbotham, a consultant, and Mandy Barnett of MBAssociates. The Happy Museum has funded a total of 22 projects, including the successful applicants in the most recent round.

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