Ipswich Museums’ Community Curators for the Power of Stories exhibition were crowned winners at the British Museum’s Marsh Volunteer Learning Award for the East of England recently.
The British Museum and Marsh Charitable Trust celebrated winners of the 2021 volunteer awards at a ceremony in London at the end of November, to recognise the dedication, innovation and excellence of volunteers across the UK.
Colchester and Ipswich Museums’ (CIMS) Power of Stories exhibition was co-created with volunteer Community Curators - Lanai Collis-Phillips, Imani Sorhaindo, Glen Chisholm, Ivy Scott, Daisy Lees and Mike Lawless.
Power of Stories, which opened at Christchurch Mansion in June 2021, saw three iconic costumes from Marvel Studios' Black Panther and Marvel comics exhibited alongside historic museum objects.
The group began meeting with the museum team in 2019 to choose themes and objects for the display, giving their time to shape decisions about the exhibition.
From accessible text writing to Marvel comic books, and from African histories to the history of fighting for equality in Ipswich, the Community Curators used their knowledge, wisdom, energy and lived experience to develop and create the exhibition in collaboration with museum curators.
This is the second year in a row that Ipswich Museum volunteers have won the East of England award. Last year, volunteers were recognised for their ‘Museum from Home’ activity packs distributed during lockdown.
Earlier this year, Power of Stories won the Temporary Exhibition of the Year award at the Museum + Heritage Awards, whilst Elma Glasgow, Community Co-ordinator for Power of Stories, scooped the Radical Changemaker Award at this month’s Museums Association Museums Change Lives awards.
Ivy Scott, one of the Community Curators for the Power of Stories exhibition, said:
“It was a wonderful tribute for all the curators who participated in this unique and inspirational project, demonstrating the real power of community involvement. Working collaboratively with the museum and its staff who listened and developed our stories was superb.”
Councillor Carole Jones, Ipswich Borough Council Portfolio Holder for Planning and Museums, said:
“It is great to see the excellent work of our volunteers recognised once again. I would like to thank the Community Curator volunteers and the museum staff who made Power of Stories such a brilliant exhibition with a lasting and positive impact.”
Muriel Gray, Deputy Chair of the Trustees at the British Museum, said:
“Museums across the UK are grateful for the contribution of volunteers to ensure they reach and inspire as many people as possible. The efforts of volunteers up and down the country in 2021 are an inspiration, helping museums and heritage sites with their recovery from the impacts of the pandemic.”
She added: “These awards recognise the commitment and enthusiasm of volunteers in museums, and we are very grateful to the Marsh Charitable Trust for acknowledging this work.”
Find out more about Power of Stories at: www.powerofstories.co.uk