Fashioning Africa

Panel members look at items from the collection

Making a difference

How the project achieved HLF’s outcomes for heritage:

  • Every item acquired has been photographed and fully documented on the museum’s collections management system and is available on the online ‘Search the Collections’ facility.
  • A dynamic programme of exhibitions, talks and debates, performances, handling sessions and fashion shows helped to interpret and explain the significance of the collection to visitors.
  • A Collecting Panel, set up to advise the project, was key to ensuring project outcomes were achieved.

How the project achieved HLF’s outcomes for people:

  • Four structured volunteer placements in research, museum documentation and marketing were undertaken by members of the museum’s BME Heritage Network, who developed new skills and shared expertise with museum staff.
  • In line with aims of the Collecting Cultures programme, the new partnerships have enabled museum staff to gain new skills and experience, for example, in partnership-working and academic teaching.

How the project achieved HLF’s outcomes for communities:

  • The 2016/17 Fashion Cities Africa exhibition together with the programme of events brought new and a wider range of visitors to the museum.
  • Working more closely with members of Brighton & Hove’s BME communities has greatly enhanced local involvement in the museum; local people say that the collections are more relevant and meaningful to them.
  • The Museum's Programming Team have commissioned a member of the Collecting Panel to explore opportunities for diversifying Brighton Museum's mainstream exhibitions and events programme.

Lessons learnt

Working with local people and establishing a Collecting Panel required extra time and resources. The collaborative approach has created stronger collections that better reflect the needs and interests of local people, and a longer-term commitment from the Museum to continue to work in this way.

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