We are looking for key partners to join us in shaping The Imagination Museum, a networking organisation seeking to bring more dance and movement into museums, archives and heritage sites.
What is The Imagination Museum?
In 2017, dance company Made By Katie Green (MBKG) received Strategic Touring funding from Arts Council England to support The Imagination Museum: Mayflower 400 (TIMM) project, with part of that funding allocated to testing what a new dance-heritage network might look like in the future.
Evaluation of the TIMM project in 2021, overseen by Clearcut, showed once again the ways in which working with dance in museums, heritage sites and community settings has the potential to:
- engage new audiences, with opportunities to involve those audiences in the process of co-creation
- encourage people to consider history in new ways, on a more personal level, therefore opening up multiple perspectives on collections or specific sites
- build meaningful relationships with communities that enable people to grow in pride, confidence, develop new skills and understanding and to enjoy being part of something bigger than themselves
- develop new collaborative relationships between different cultural organisations, leading to innovation of practice
therefore contributing strongly to Let’s Create Creative People and Cultural Communities Outcomes.
Contemporary dance is incredibly important in making change for people. There are local stories, stories within the museum, stories that people hold within the community that haven’t been explored and to have the opportunity to do that through dance is incredibly exciting.
You can read our full evaluation of the Imagination Museum: Mayflower 400 project here:
TIMM Strategic Touring evaluationRead our full report (ePub)
You can also watch our TIMM evaluation film (10 mins) here, directed by Roswitha Chesher:
Discussions with TIMM partners, and with the 129 people (from across dance, art, heritage, museums, archives, galleries, education and community organisations for example) who gathered together as part of ‘Imagination Museum Consortium’ events during the TIMM project, evidenced a significant appetite to make more of this work happen in the future.
We don't have the in-house experience we need to work with dance. To have an agency we could go to, or a network where we could find out readily what was available and what the current thinking is...that would be ideal.
Therefore, we are seeking to formalise The Imagination Museum as a network, hub and co-commissioning partner that will:
- Advocate for this collaborative dance/heritage work
- Develop best practice
- Support collaboration
We are planning to constitute The Imagination Museum separately from Made By Katie Green, putting in place an operational structure which allows the network to be run cooperatively by experts from across dance and heritage. There will be many opportunities to get involved. For example:
- We have put in place an Executive Committee with members drawn from across museums, museum development and other heritage networks, dance organisations and universities to help us develop The Imagination Museum operational structure, and to work out our shared vision and aims.
- We will be supported by Arts&Heritage as an expert affiliated organisation who will offer mentoring, advice as part of the Executive Committee, and guidance putting in place our first round of dance/heritage co-commissions, which we expect to announce in 2024 (subject to funding).
- We will be commissioning people to write a series of dance/heritage resources as part of our initial set-up year in 2023, exploring themes such as decolonisation of practice, engagement in museums/heritage, access, sustainability and the digital opportunities for dance in museums.
- These resources will be published on our updated website and linked to a training programme which we expect to test with our first cohort of dance/heritage co-commissioning partners.
- We will continue to update, share practice, and consult with the broader Imagination Museum consortium group through networking opportunities (online/in person), as well as the offer of small group coaching or ‘surgery’-style sessions at which people can ask questions about their project plans and explore case studies.
To get involved and find out more:
- Sign up for our Imagination Museum network mailing list here, or follow our social media accounts to stay up to date
- Respond to our short Google Form to tell us what you want/need more of in order to bring more dance and movement into your museum
- Visit The Imagination Museum website to read some of the fantastic case studies we collated while supported through Strategic Touring funding (we have 25 published so far, with another 20 on standby to go online). You can also see some of our case studies on our YouTube Channel here.
- Our current resources are collated here.
- Contact email@example.com with any questions, or to share your ideas for being part of The Imagination Museum.
We look forward to hearing from you!