Barking and Dagenham Council has announced it will move forward with plans for the development of its Women’s Museum, set to open later this year in Barking Town Centre.

The new museum will be linked to the borough’s accredited local history programme at the nearby Valence House Museum and Archives.

Though an exact opening date is yet to be announced, its inaugural exhibition has already been announced. It will focus on the history of the Abbesses of the local former royal monastery Barking Abbey, and is conceived by curator and artist Nephertiti Oboshie Schandorf, informed by research funded by the National Heritage Lottery Fund.

Prior to opening, an inaugural artist commission by designer Claire Mason has been installed on the façade of the future museum space, which will run until Autumn 2023.

A newly commissioned girl’s empowerment programme led by local youth theater group Arc Theatre, aimed at local young people aged 11 years and older, is also set to launch as part of the museum’s programme in November 2023.

Councillor Saima Ashraf, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Community Leadership and Engagement, said the museum “will play a significant role in developing partnerships locally, regionally, and nationally as part of the wider remit of our museum and cultural offer here in the borough. I look forward to seeing the plans come to fruition over the coming months.”

The museum is distinct from the East End Women’s Museum, which in February cancelled a planned capital project to create a location in Barking town centre.

East End Women’s Museum cancels plans for permanent location

Art Fund – Going Places – Oct 2023
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