Diversity Matters

Our Diversity Matters programme will encourage museums to embrace ACE’s Creative Case for Diversity and engage a more diverse range of visitors with the collections they hold, as well as support them with long standing issues about the diversity of their boards and workforce.

As part of the programme we will run an annual briefing or training event which will showcase examples in embedding best practice in diversity, through board and workforce, running programmes to target specific under-represented audiences and how to deliver the final transformational change of a more diverse core visitor base regularly engaging with displays and collections.

Support will be provided for museums to develop an Equality Action Plan (EAP) setting out the work they will do to make these changes. 11 museums over the 2018-21 period will benefit from a £1,000 grant with which they can implement one of the projects in their equality action plan – the priority for grants will be projects which engage diverse visitors with collections and displays, for instance a contemporary collecting project or co-produced exhibition. Where the grant fund does not stretch to cover all museums making an application, MDO support will be available to help museums identify other funding sources for proposed projects.

In all 4 museums per year between 2018 and 2021 will be supported to:

  • Enable non-national museums to embrace and embed diversity practices
  • Increase engagement with museum collections and exhibitions from visitors of all backgrounds
  • Increase participation in public programmes and activities from visitors of all backgrounds
  • Increase the diversity of the museum sector’s workforce
  • Increase the diversity of the museum sector’s board of trustees.

The Diversity Matters Programme is open to the following London museums:

  • Non-national non-NPO accredited museums
  • Non-national non-NPO museums who are officially working towards accreditation
If you have any questions about the Diversity Matters Programme please do contact: [email protected].

Year Two April 2019 – March 2020 Programme

Diversity Matters Grant Programme

Grant launch date: Monday 20 May 2019.
Related Skills Plus training session: Tuesday 18 June 2019

Developing an inclusive museum - Public programming, collections and collaborative practice

Find out more about this training session on our Skills Plus training page.

The London Museum Development (LMD)’s Diversity Matters Programme will build on the national diversity and Creative Case for Diversity agenda. The programme will support London’s non-national museums to embrace and embed diversity practices to increase engagement with their collection and participation in their public programmes for visitors from all backgrounds and protected characteristics groups (i.e. through contemporary collecting practices, co-produced exhibitions, and targeted programming), as well support museums to diversify their workforce and board of trustees.

As part of the programme we will be offering 4 museums grants of £1,000. In Year Two we will continue to prioritise grants that enable museums to address how their museum could diversify its public programmes, events, exhibitions and collections to enable it to be more representative of its local community. For applicants that are unsuccessful in gaining these grants, LMD will be offering 1:1 meetings to signpost alternative sources of funding and provide tips, mentoring and feedback for museums writing bids to support this diversity work.

Grant guidance and application forms can be found here from Monday 20 May 2019 and will close on Tuesday 02 July.

The related Skills Plus training will include:

  • The picture of diversity in London and key areas of diversity practices that can help develop a more inclusive museum,
  • How a museum could diversify its public programmes/events, exhibitions and collections, with case studies from Year 1 of the Diversity Matters programme.
  • Using audience data to support the work and how to develop an Equality Action Plan.
  • How a museum could build a board that lead on equality and diversity.
  • How a museum could recruit and retain a diverse workforce.
  • Guidance and support with the Diversity Matters application.

Attending the training session is strongly advised if you are considering applying for the grant. Places can be booked here. Grant guidance (PDF 218kb, opens in new tab) and application forms (Word 64kb, opens in browser) are now available from Monday 20 May 2019 and will close on Tuesday 02 July 2019.

Year One April 2018 – March 2019 Programme

In June 2018 London Museum Development ran its first annual Diversity Matters Briefing Session. Delegates were then invited to apply to the associated Diversity Matters Grant to support the museum with developing their diversity practice. London Museum Development received a number of applications from museums wishing to apply to the programme. The assessment panel was impressed with the number of strong applications submitted and, ultimately, decided to fund the following museums:

  • Brent Museum & Archive
  • Kingston Museum
  • Royal College of Music Museum
  • The View, Epping Forest

All projects were completed between February and March 2019. These will be available as case studies by the end of May 2019.

Diversity Matters Case Studies

In July 2018, London Museum Development asked for case studies to showcase the great diversity practice going on in London’s non-national museums.

Together these case studies start to create a picture of how London’s non-national museums respond and support the national diversity agenda, as well as increase opportunities for people from protected characteristic groups to engage with their collections and programmes.

You can read how some of London’s non-national museums have developed their diversity practice below. It is hoped that by reading these case studies other non-national museums will be inspired to develop their diversity practice within their museum. Each case study provides the following information: the project’s original aims; who the museum worked with; what the project entailed; what the project achieved; the impact of the project; lessons learnt; and tips for other museums undertaking their work.

Case Studies

If your museum is undertaking great diversity practice, please help London Museum Development to celebrate and share it with other museums.

Submitting a Case Study

London Museum Development continues to look for museums who are willing to share their experience of developing responsive programmes, exhibitions, collections, audience initiatives, workforce and trustee boards to showcase how their organisation has become more diverse and more representative of their respective local community.

In particular we are looking for case study examples around the following four key areas of diversity practice:

  • How your museum has worked with diversity groups to diversify its public programmes, events, exhibitions and collections to ensure it is more responsive to its respective local community.
  • How your museum has reached more diverse audiences and its audience is more representative of its respective local community.
  • How your museum has developed a more diverse board of trustees that is more representative of its respective local community.
  • How your museum has recruited and retained a diverse workforce which is more representative of its respective local community.

We know that there is excellent work happening in our region, so help London Museum Development to shout about it!

It’s a great way to advocate for your fantastic work (both internally and externally) and help inspire others to become more diverse too. You can download the Case Study Form here (PDF 161kb, opens in new tab). This is a rolling deadline, so please email your completed form along with any pictures at any time, to: [email protected]. Please note it will take London Museum Development roughly six weeks to get your case study up on the website.

If you have any questions please contact: [email protected] for more information.