Creating A Stir successfully engaged Gressenhall Museum with lots of traditionally hard-to-reach groups. The immediate and local legacy of the project is threefold:
- an increased awareness of (and visits to) our museum from those groups and others like them
- an increased sense of ownership of the museum from local people
- an increased understanding of real life for different types of people living and working in the Victorian Workhouse.
Participants in the project will also have been encouraged to think about the contemporary relevance of issues we spoke about, such as poverty, rural isolation, institutionalisation, the welfare state and so on.
A particularly strong outcome for Creating a Stir was the new working relationship built between Gressenhall Museum and HMP Wayland. Piloting this simple model in which museums are shown to work so positively with prisons has potential for much wider significance: watch this space!
And Looking Forward-
My next Learning & Engagement Project is called 'Brick By Brick'. There will be three parts to each session:
- Groups will visit Gressenhall to look at the fabric of the beautiful Georgian building and how it changed after 1834 to accommodate the new Poor Law, including the graffiti left by the residents.
- We'll also be thinking about the intended function of walls in general; how they protect, divide, exclude, group, isolate, support, imprison and so on.
- Finally we'll be thinking about the invisible walls that people build around themselves. We all hold secrets, and things are rarely the same on the inside as they seem on the outside. Participants will each make and decorate a cardboard brick, putting a secret, a wish or a memory inside it, and sealing it up.
Oooooooh, sounds intriguing, doesn't it? Please contact me if you are in Norfolk and you'd like to visit with your group!