The Happy Museum Project is led by Tony Butler, director of the Museum of East Anglian Life

Happy Museum Project launches new £60,000 funding round

Geraldine Kendall, 11.09.2012
Applications open for projects on wellbeing and sustainability
The Happy Museum Project has announced a second open application fund of £60,000, which is available to museums based in England.

The fund offers grants of between £6,000 and £20,000 for projects that "demonstrate how building links between sustainability and wellbeing can leave a legacy of cultural change within their organisations and communities".

Proposals may include temporary exhibitions, changes to interpretation or display, events, participatory online activity or new strands in learning programmes.

Six projects received funding in the first application round last year, including a co-curator project for people with mental health issues at The Lightbox in Surrey and open days to encourage physical play at Manchester Museum.

The Happy Museum Project was inspired by a 2011 manifesto for wellbeing, co-written by museum commentators and the New Economics Foundation thinktank, that suggested a strong link between people's wellbeing and economic and environmental sustainability.

Tony Butler, director of the Museum of East Anglian Life, who leads the scheme, said: “We are obviously delighted that the project has received a second round of funding.

“By offering more commissions we’re not only able to broaden the reach of the project but we also have a further opportunity to test the premise of our ideas about the relationship between sustainability and wellbeing.”

Butler said that the next funding round would bring a greater focus on research, linking to other studies on wellbeing conducted by organisations such as the Office for National Statistics.

During this funding round, the project will also run open workshops that any museum representative can attend and training seminars for project participants.

A second Happy Museum symposium will take place in early 2013, giving the sector a chance to learn more about the commissions and discuss research and ideas.

The deadline for applications is 12 noon on 5 October.

Click here for more details on how to apply