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 event which will showcase best practice in embedding board and workforce diversity, how to run 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 equality action points and/or projects for their Forward Plans/Learning Plans/Audience Development Plans/Access Plans and/or Equality Action Plans to develop and embed their diversity practice. 11 museums over the 2018-21 period will benefit from a £1,000 grant with which they can implement the action points identified in their relevant plans. 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: Rachael Crofts, Museum Development Officer Audiences: [email protected]. All Year Two projects were completed between February and March 2020. You can find a summary of the projects that we funded between April 2019 – March 2020 here (PDF 1.28MB, opens in a new tab). More detailed case studies of the projects can be found below.

Year Three April 2020 – March 2021 Programme

Given recent global events and the advent of the Black Lives Matters movement, this year’s programme will focus on enabling museums to work with BAME artists/groups. The grants will support projects that enable museums to:

  • Work with artists and/or groups from BAME communities to co-curate, co-produce and co-create a public exhibition
  • Provide a public platform (through an exhibition) that gives BAME artist(s)/group(s) space to review, reflect and respond to museum collections either by: enhancing existing collections through a re-visiting collections project, whereby the artist(s)/group(s) responds and reflects on the museum’s current themes and objects; or enabling a contemporary collecting project, which gathers oral testimonies, objects etc. from the artist(s)/group(s) so the museum’s collections are up to date and relevant.

Alongside the grant programme, LMD will also run a training series in the autumn to support London’s non-national museums to embrace and embed diversity practices. As well as supporting museums to understand ways to increase engagement from people from all backgrounds and protected characteristic groups, it will also support museums to develop meaningful and realistic equality action points for plans going forward. More information on the training series will be available over the coming weeks.

Diversity Matters Grant Programme – Applications are now open
Closing date for applications: Midday (12.00noon) on Monday 7 September 2020

The London Museum Development (LMD)’s Diversity Matters Programme grants will build on the national diversity and Creative Case for Diversity agenda. Museums are now welcome to apply to the Diversity Matters Programme grants. We have allocated £3,000 to support 3 London non-national museums 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.

In Year Three LMD the grants programme will focus on museums working with BAME artists/groups to diversify its exhibition programme through a contemporary collecting or revisiting collections project. The project and resulting exhibition should showcase the museum’s work with a BAME artist/group and enable the museum to be more representative of its local community. You can find more information and tips on developing a contemporary collecting or revisiting collections project here (PDF 140kb, opens in a new tab). Alternatively, please speak to Rachael Crofts, Museum Development Audiences – Tel: 07540 122540 / Email: [email protected].

For museums 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.

Is the Diversity Matters Programme grant for you? Can you answer ‘yes’ to the questions on our question factsheet? (PDF 255kb, opens in new tab). If so, LMD would welcome an application and encourage your museum to apply to our Diversity Matters Programme grant.

For more information on eligibility as well as the type of projects the grants programme will support, please download the Guidance for Applicants (PDF 200kb, opens in a new tab). If you would like to apply, please complete and return an Application Form (Word 64kb, opens in a new tab) to [email protected] no later than Midday (12.00noon) on Monday 7 September 2020. Applications submitted after this deadline will not be accepted.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss your museum’s proposed project or eligibility for the programme, please contact: Rachael Crofts, Museum Development Officer Audiences – Tel: 07540 122540 / Email: [email protected].

The Year Three projects will be completed by March 2021, when London Museum Development will share the projects funded and lessons learnt.

Year Two April 2019 – March 2020 Programme

In May 2019 London Museum Development (LMD)’s Diversity Matters Programme launched its second year of the Diversity Matters Grant. This continues to 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 as support museums to diversify their workforce and board of trustees.

This year’s briefing session was delivered as part of a training workshop about developing inclusive museums, taking a holistic approach. Delegates covered the following topics: definitions of diversity; the picture of diversity in London; areas of diversity practice including ACE’s Creative Case for Diversity; planning for diversity activities and initiatives; and developing an action plan. Alongside this information delegates were introduced to the new Diversity Matters Grants. As part of the programme we have offered four grants of £1,000 to eligible museums.

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 delegates 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.

There have been number of strong applications again this year. The assessment panel was impressed with submissions and decided to fund the following museums:

  • Brent Museum and Archive
  • Musical Museum
  • Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)
  • The Museum of the Order of St John

All Year Two projects were completed between February and March 2020. You can find a summary of the projects that we funded between April 2019 – March 2020 here (PDF 1.28MB, opens in a new tab). More detailed case studies of the projects can be found in the last section of the page.

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 Year One projects were completed between February and March 2019. You can find a summary of the projects that we funded between April 2018 – March 2019 here (PDF 1.19mb, opens in a new tab). More detailed case studies of the projects can be found in the last section of the page.

Diversity Matters Case Studies

Throughout 2018-2019 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, including case studies from the Year 1 Diversity Matters project.

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.