Northumberland Museums sharing stories and learning

Northumberland Museums sharing stories and learning

By Museums Northumberland: bait


The digital edition of ‘bait time to celebrate’ in which stories and learning are shared from across the Museums Northumberland bait programme in South East Northumberland.

Welcome to this digital edition of ‘bait time to celebrate’ in which we share stories and learning from across the Museums Northumberland bait programme in South East Northumberland. The current programme funders are Arts Council England and Northumberland County Council Public Health.

We are in the final phase of our 10 year Creative People and Places programme and our aim is to achieve four things:

  • more people taking part in arts and cultural activities and events;
  • more people involved in making decisions and shaping the programme;
  • positive impacts on wellbeing and
  • finally a legacy of groups and organisations running their own creative projects.

We started phase three back in November 2019 with public consultation to find out what the big themes are that local people want to explore through creative projects. The themes of connected communities, isolation, the environment and sharing culture and heritage emerged as priorities.

At the beginning of 2020 we were working with a decision making group of 20 people to develop these ideas, ahead of commissioning artists. Then in March, the country went into lockdown and like everyone else, we had to adapt. A closed Facebook group was set up for the decision makers with the goal of keeping everyone connected. Members of the group collaborated online with artists and developed ideas which are now acting as creative springboards for projects in 2021. We also kept in touch with partners and supported local groups and organisations to adapt their own plans in response to the pandemic.

The last six months have been very different to what we anticipated at the start of phase three but we continue to be guided by the four parts of our ten year mission and have plenty to share and celebrate.

  • We have evidence that more people are taking part and the data also shows the majority are from traditionally medium or low engaged groups (p5)
  • The story of the decision making group during lockdown is an example of how local people are shaping the programme (p7)
  • Tom shares how taking part has had a positive impact on his sense of wellbeing (p13)
  • Inspirational examples of how some of our partners are continuing to develop their own projects throughout the pandemic (p 14).

There are opportunities to get involved in the programme in 2021 and please get in touch if you’d like to find out more (see p.15 for contact details).

 Photo: Sophie Sutherland

Rachel Adam, Project Director, bait

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Increasing Reach
Resource type: Case studies | Published: 2021