Our partnerships

These are examples of the type of partnership work we have been involved in. Contact our Community Engagement Team by email if you're interested in partnering with us.

Black Presence Explored

Black Presence Explored, a digital project for Black History Month 2020, invited Leicester’s black community to respond to art and sculpture in Leicester Museum and Art Gallery.

Working in partnership with community arts organisation Opal 22 and local poet ‘The Orator’, participants explored images of black people in the museum's art and sculpture collections. Many of the artworks had not been on display for some time, and others were new to the museum. The group created responses to the images in the form of poetry. The poems, artworks and a short film can be found in the Black Presence Explored Showcase in the news section of this website.

A Lesson in Trust, Bill Ming
A Lesson in Trust, Bill Ming

India’s Gateway

This photographic exhibition looked at Mumbai and Gujarat through a range of vibrant photos of people, and of places. Gujarat is the area from which many of Leicester’s Asian population originated. Museum staff wanted to bring a Leicester perspective to the exhibition, and so held a public event at Belgrave Library to recruit a group of community curators to help to develop a local aspect for the exhibition.

The group worked with the museum for six months, choosing key themes and objects, borrowing objects from local people and sourcing photos of kitchens with links to Gujarat which were displayed as postcards. The group brokered invitations into the kitchens of people who cook Gujarati foods – not only Asian kitchens as Gujarati recipes are very popular with many Leicester residents! We were able to collect the participant’s recipes and photograph them cooking them to create a recipe book which is available here for you to download and print at home.

Relabelling Project

As part of planning for Journeys Festival museum take-over in 2018 we worked with the Leicester City of Sanctuary Creative Writing Group and Dr. Angela Stienne on an extensive project in the World Arts Gallery. Thirteen members of the group made a series of visits to Leicester Museum & Art Gallery where they each chose an object from the exhibition which had meaning for them personally. They wrote a short label for their chosen object, and these new labels were printed professionally and displayed alongside the object to offer their reinterpretation. These community labels remained in place for over six months.

See the blog and also read the labels that were produced as part of this project.

From the Relabelling Project
From the Relabelling Project

Print workshop/Roots Group/Focus Youth Group Richard III

An example of the links created by partnerships with JFI is the community exhibition which ran alongside the loan of the Richard III portrait from the National Portrait gallery. This loan was part of the NPG’s project to lend key portraits to the places with strong links to the subject of each painting. Their title for this was ‘Coming Home’.

Roots Group holding a Leicester collage
Roots Group holding a Leicester collage

The museum decided to use the theme of ‘home’ to work with a group of refugee artists who had come together through Journeys Festival to create giant collage portraits of themselves using images which reflected their feelings about home and identity. They worked with a local print artist from Leicester print Workshop, George Sfougaras, himself from a refugee background, and developed silk screen printing skills. The collage portraits were photographed and the screen prints digitally added, then the works were printed on large mesh banners to create a stunning exhibition which ran alongside the Richard III exhibition.

Big Ideas Unremembered Wreaths

National partnerships such as that with the Big Ideas Company have also led to exciting new projects. One example was the Big Ideas ‘Unremembered’ project which asked community groups to make wreaths to commemorate the role played by the Labour Corps. in the First World War. These were men and women who worked and died to support the troops and yet had no memorials to record their sacrifice. Many were from British colonies, including the Indian sub-continent. In Leicester we chose to use recycled sari fabrics to make wreaths to commemorate the Indian labour Corps. An event day and work with two community groups created four wreaths which were laid on the war memorials in London and Leicester on Remembrance Day.

Wreath made by Pukaar  Group
Wreath made by Pukaar Group