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FUTURE/POWER: Empowering young people through museum research

We’re excited to announce our new FUTURE/POWER learning project in partnership with Museum X, a Black-led cultural organisation exploring Pan-African history and culture in Britain and driving sector change.

We’re delighted to have been awarded a generous grant of £74,120 from ‘Mindsets + Missions for Museums and Science Centres of the Future’. This learning programme is funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) in partnership with the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and delivered by the Museums Association in partnership with The Liminal Space and the Association for Science and Discovery Centres. The ‘Mindsets + Missions’ programme uses the concept of ‘future citizens’ to bring together diverse and plural perspectives at participating spaces such as the Fitzwilliam Museum. It encourages young people to engage with, influence and develop the knowledge our future societies will be built on.

FUTURE/POWER is a partnership between ourselves and Soham Village College, a local secondary school part of Staploe Education Trust. Together we’re forming an innovative in-school youth collective of 15 students and generating creative, interdisciplinary co-research spaces within their school, our museum and online. These young people will be invited to explore our upcoming exhibition ‘Black Atlantic: Power, People, Resistance’, which is the first in our series of planned shows and gallery interventions between 2023–2026 examining the legacies of empire and enslavement in Cambridge.

Working collaboratively alongside professionals with lived experience, our FUTURE/POWER project aims to empower young people to look afresh at research practices through the lens of Black history; discovering compelling new ways to re-examine material legacies within our collection and experimenting with innovative storytelling tools that can help harness and facilitate the sharing of untold stories. Through engaging with our museum research, exhibitions and collection, FUTURE/POWER participants will explore how empire shapes our past, present and collective future. We believe museum learning can inform, inspire and equip our young global citizens with the skills they need for the future.

Co-designed with the Soham Village College and facilitated in collaboration with Museum X, planned activities include tours of our exhibition, discussions with the ‘Black Atlantic’ curators, Design Lab sessions, behind-the-scenes access to the museum and object handling sessions, as well as weekly after-school creative workshops with the Museum X team and freelance creatives, curators, art historians, tech specialists and more. In partnership with a local theatre company, the project will culminate in a live performance piece, designed by the FUTURE/POWER youth collective, here in May 2024.

Discover more about the ‘Mindsets + Missions’ project here.

29 February 2024

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