Museums Galleries Scotland (MGS), the national development body for the sector, has awarded £175,000 to five organisations to support collaboration with communities.

Berwickshire country house Paxton House, museum ship HMS Unicorn in Dundee, biographical museum David Livingstone Birthplace in Blantyre, Glasgow Life Museums alongside the Glasgow School of Art have been awarded grants through the Sustainable Co-Production Fund.

The fund is part of Delivering Change, created by MGS and partnering museums, galleries, and community groups. Its goal is to “restructure as organisations based on anti-oppressive principles” and is funded by National Lottery players and People’s Postcode Lottery players.

The fund was developed by MGS to support learning in the sector around developing sustainable participatory practice and co-curation.

It helps museums to “take the next steps to fully embed co-production in their organisation.”

Paxton House has received £40,000 for their Caribbean Connections Creative Partnership to work with their partners, Descendants, which will bring together Grenadian artist Billy Gerard Frank, Edinburgh Caribbean Association, Grenadians, and local communities to make artwork and heritage resources available for local and global audiences.

David Livingstone Birthplace has received £39,206 to collaborate with Empower Women for Change: Thistles and Dandelions on a participant-led programme of workshops, activities and community displays.

Stephen Allen, Interim Director of David Livingstone Birthplace Museum and Asma Abdalla, CEO & Founder of Empower Women for Change explained: “The key aim of this collaboration is to harness and elevate existing skills of participants to create opportunities to increase personal development, gain transferable skills and to explore pathways into heritage.”

Glasgow Life Museums has received £40,000 to work with the Mental Health Foundation’s refugees and asylum seeker team. They will deliver a Person of Colour Youth Group from the Gallery of Modern Art. The group will provide a “safe and inclusive space for young people to develop their interest and knowledge in art and deliver exciting new programming that will engage with diverse audiences”.

HMS Unicorn has received £26,016 to co-produce exhibits and materials with Ukrainians who have relocated to Dundee following the Russian-Ukraine war. The sessions will “be a place for the local Ukrainian community to develop transferable skills including language and social integration, as well as explore heritage together.”

Glasgow School of Art has received £29,778 to work with their community partners to “reflect, refine, and record their work to date and explore new approaches to co-production”, said Museums Galleries Scotland.

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