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PHM Wins at Museums + Heritage Awards for Excellence 2017

PHM Wins at Museums + Heritage Awards for Excellence 2017

18 May 2017

PHM Programme Manager Catherine O'Donnell, Community Curators Heather Davidson and Lu Tolu, and comedian Ian Moore, Museums + Heritage Awards 2017

Museums + Heritage Awards 2017 - Winner, Volunteer Team of the YearThe People’s History Museum is delighted the Community Curators of our changing exhibition Never Going Underground: The Fight for LGBT+ Rights have won the Museums + Heritage Award 2017 for Volunteer Team of the Year!  The results were announced in a ceremony held at the Historic Staterooms of London’s 8 Northumberland Avenue on 17 May – a fitting date as the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT).

The M+H Awards celebrate best practice within the world of museums, galleries, cultural and heritage visitor attractions, attracting hundreds of entries which battle it out to win one of 11 prestigious awards.

Never Going Underground, which reflects the journey towards achieving LGBT+ rights, has taken volunteering to a new level, with individuals given the opportunity to work collaboratively to curate the exhibition at every stage; from the research to the installation.  As a result they were able to bring true representation to a story that is both diverse, complex and for many, intensely personal.

Janneke Geene, Acting Director for the People’s History Museum, says: ‘As a museum that represents people, an award that celebrates the work of volunteers is particularly important to us.  We are incredibly proud of the tremendous work the nine Community Curators have contributed to Never Going Underground and delighted to be sharing this award success with them.

‘This exhibition has been ground-breaking in every sense, not least for the way that the Community Curators have been given the ownership to use their experiences, insights and voices to tell the complex and diverse story of the LGBT+ movement.  They co-created true representation in an imaginative and deeply meaningful way and, as a museum director and an LGBT person myself, this true representation in a museum context is not just innovative but also moving.’

Community Curator Heather Davidson says: ‘This award is fantastic recognition for a project that has been innovative in so many different ways.  Through Never Going Underground the People’s History Museum has enabled people to tell their story in their way through us, the Community Curators, giving us the freedom to use our experiences, to reach and connect different groups, to collect memories and to reflect the challenges faced by so many people to achieve the rights to simply be themselves.’

Catherine O’Donnell, Programme Manager for the People’s History Museum, says: ‘I could not be prouder of our incredible Community Curators.  Their hard work and dedication has created a really special exhibition, and that it should be recognised with this award is the icing on the cake.  Their passion and commitment has helped to create an extremely moving, engaging and powerful experience for visitors to the museum.’

The nine Community Curators are: Adrian Smith, Heather Davidson, Jenny White, Kirsty Roberts, Kirsty Jukes, Lu Tolu, Sarah Wilkinson, Stephen M Hornby and Vivien Walsh.

Four partners are working with the People’s History Museum on Never Going Underground: The Proud Trust, LGBT Foundation, Proud 2 b Parents and Manchester Lesbian and Gay Chorus.  The project is supported by the National Lottery through a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £63,000.

The Never Going Underground exhibition is open daily until Sunday 3 September 2017.  Entry is free, but visitors are invited to make a suggested donation of £5.

  • Visit the Museums + Heritage website to see a list of all the winning venues.
  • Find out more about our Never Going Underground season, a year long programme of exhibitions, events and learning programmes exploring the past, present and future of LGBT+ activism.

Heritage Lottery Funded LGBT Foundation Manchester Lesbian and Gay Chorus Proud 2 b Parents The Proud Trust