Education and Outreach
AWARD WINNING LEARNING AND ACCESS DEPARTMENT
The Learning and Access Team at Cecil Higgins Art Gallery and Bedford Museum provide an award-winning education service for schools. The Department delivers taught sessions on site and has attracted around 15,000 educational visits each year. It also works with 1,000 pupils through its outreach programme.
The Department has also developed an ongoing, informal learning programme for families, children and adults; a series of community-led exhibitions; and pilot projects for new audiences. In recognition of these achievements, they have recently been awarded a special grant*.
This grant will give staff the resources to help people of all ages in harder-to-reach communities to engage with their heritage and experience the Art Gallery and Museum.
Consultations are taking place with potential project partners through meetings, initial introductions to the Art Gallery and Museum and networking events. Creative activities with different groups have been set up in community and children’s centres and a number of organisations are planning their own temporary displays within the Museum during 2009. These new visitors will also have the opportunity to offer their opinions on the refurbishment plans.
The Learning and Access Department now includes a community historian. One focus of the project will be the collection of stories of local people, so that new displays will reflect the heritage of Bedford’s current diverse communities, and recent history of the area.
It is hoped that the re-developed Cecil Higgins Art Gallery and Bedford Museum will act as a welcoming meeting place for community gatherings and activities that reach beyond the collections.
*This grant-funding of £310,000, over four years, was awarded by Heritage Lottery Fund, The Bedford Charity (The Harpur Trust), Bedford Borough Council, Art Gallery Trustees and Lousada PLC.