A group of people stood on the stairs as a group.

Wilberforce House Museum has been highly commended for its community strategy at the 22nd annual Museums + Heritage Awards, held in London this week.

These global awards celebrate the very best in the world of museums, galleries and cultural and heritage visitor attractions.

The museum’s work with the Wilberforce House Museum Advisory Board and the Wilberforce Institute at the University of Hull to deliver a new community strategy, was highly commended in the Community Engagement Programme of the Year category. The strategy aims to engage underrepresented communities in exhibition development.

Tackling power and privilege, the museum collaborated with people of colour to embed decolonisation into its working practice, developing inclusive exhibitions and spaces where people felt heard and could explore difficult issues.

In 2022-23, they worked together to produce a series of short films, two exhibitions and a re-display of a permanent gallery exploring the legacies of transatlantic slavery. The participants are now acting as a permanent advisory board to guide the work of the museum and partners.

Cllr Rob Pritchard, portfolio holder for culture and leisure, said: “I would like to offer my congratulations to the museums team for this well-deserved accolade. The work the team does with partners is truly outstanding and to have it recognised on a global scale is excellent, not just for the museum, but for the city too. I look forward to seeing the future work that will come from the community strategy.”

Wilberforce House Advisory Board member, Stella Munthali, said:  “The fact that our work has been highly commended for community engagement is such a huge achievement to celebrate. I can’t speak for all members of the board, but personally, it has sparked new ideas for the future and really motivates me to do bigger and better! Big thanks to all who have been on the journey in support.” 

This commendation adds to the list of recognition received recently for the museum’s work with the Wilberforce House Museum Advisory Board and the Wilberforce Institute at the University of Hull. The museum recently won the national Museum Association Museums Change Lives award for decolonisation, as well as the higher education PraxisAuril Award for Supporting Equality, Diversity and Inclusion through Knowledge Exchange.

Published: Monday, 20th May 2024