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Diversity Matters

Our Diversity Matters programme will encourage museums to embrace Arts Council England's Inclusivity and Relevance Investment Principle.

This principle builds on the Creative Case for Diversity to encompass programming, talent development, workforce, leadership and governance. It means identifying who is under-represented and which communities are under-served and taking action to address this. The aim is to collectively create a cultural sector that is relevant to more people and better placed to realise its creative ambitions, drawing on talent from all our communities.

In addition to the Diversity Matters grant programme, we now run a discrete 'Developing an Inclusive Museum' seven-part training series, as part of our Museum Development London training programme. These sessions 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.

If you have any questions about the Diversity Matters Building an Inclusive Museum programmes please do contact Museum Development: [email protected]

Year Five April 2022 - March 2023 Programme

Diversity Matters Programme Grants – Now OPEN for applications

Closing date for applications: 5.00pm on Monday 4 July 2022

Museum Development London has £6,000 (3 grants of £2,000) to allocate to London’s non-national museums in 2022-2023. This year’s programme will once again focus on enabling museums to work with ethnic minority artists/groups.

The objectives of the Year Five programme are 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.

The grants will support projects that enable museums to:

  • Work with artists and/or groups from ethnic minority communities to co-curate, co-produce and co-create a public exhibition
  • Either, provide a public platform (through an exhibition) that gives ethnic minority artist(s)/group(s) space to review, reflect and respond to museum collections 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, provide a public platform (through an exhibition) that gives ethnic minority artist(s)/group(s) space to review, reflect and respond to museum collections by 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.

Projects will need to be completed by Sunday 5 March 2023. More information on eligibility as well as the type of projects the grants programme will support can be found in the Guidance for Applicants, which you can read here. If you would like to apply, please complete and return an Application Form, along with any supporting documents to [email protected] no later than 5.00pm on Monday 4 July 2022. Applications submitted after this deadline will not be accepted.

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

Year Four April 2021 - March 2022 Programme

The Year 4 grant programme has now closed, and grants have been awarded.

In July 2021, we launched our Year Four Diversity Matters Grant programme. Once again the grants focused on enabling museums to work with ethnic minority artists/groups.

Following an assessment panel, MD London decided to fund the following museums:

  • Brent Museum and Archives
  • Central Saint Martins Museum and Study Collection
  • Gunnersbury Park Museum
  • Orleans House Museum
  • Redbridge Museum and Heritage Centre

The Year Four projects were completed by March 2022. Museum Development will shortly be sharing detailed case studies of the completed projects.

For information on previous Diversity Matters programmes, see the Previous Programmes link on our Resources page.

Diversity Matters Case Studies

The following case studies showcase the great diversity practice going on in London. Together they 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.

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

Museum Development London 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.

We know that there is excellent work happening in our region, so help Museum Development London 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 Museum Development London roughly six weeks to get your case study up on the website.