Gloucester History Trust Win Pandemic Pivot Award (fewer than 20 paid FTE employees) at the Museums and Heritage Awards

City Voices, Gloucester History Festival and Gloucester Heritage Forum are delighted to announce that their shortlisted collaboration project of Gloucester Looking Up has won the Pandemic Pivot Award at the National Museums and Heritage Awards on Thursday 1 July.

The National Museums and Heritage Awards have celebrated the very best within museums, galleries and heritage visitor attractions across the UK for over 10 years and the partners are incredibly proud that this wide-ranging project based on collaboration and partnership with the city’s cultural and heritage locations and organisations has been recognised. 

“In a year where the Pandemic resulted in isolation and separation for so many, for this deeply collaborative project celebrating connection and city-wide appreciation for our heritage and history to win, is incredible for Gloucester,  and a symbol of what partnerships can achieve even in the face of great challenge,”

says Jacqui Grange, Project Manager for Gloucester Looking Up.

The three lead partners in the project, City Voices, Gloucester History Festival and Gloucester Heritage forum worked closely with Gloucestershire Archives and were supported by film production company Squeaky Pedal and marketing consultants Flying Geese to ensure that Gloucester Looking Up project reached as many people as possible and deepened engagement with the City. 

In total, Twenty five artists, 125 volunteers, and over 40 organisations collaborated within an extraordinarily tight period of time to create an astonishing range of work. The descendant of a kindertransport child was traced,  and his image installed  in his former hostel – the Polish tenants who now live there were so proud they took the day off work; colourful artworks were installed across the city in windows for people to encounter on their daily walks; support for Black Lives Matter was shared through We See Gloucester ( Do You See Us?) in heritage venues across the city; the stories of all the people of the city, from the cleaners to the town crier, the poet to the veteran were told through interviews, poetry and commissioned films, in novel and accessible ways, including a British Sign Language Tour, downloadable artists maps, and activities for families and children.

To deliver this, a tiny team worked round the clock, with just 2 months to pull together the content, and create a new website for Gloucester History Festival to showcase in September 2020.

Richard Graham, Gloucester MP says,

“This award is a real boost to the exciting community based projects that bring alive the City Voices strand of our Gloucester History Festival. A great day for pride in our city, its stories, diversity and togetherness.”

As well as being well received critically by local and national audiences, this new digital content allowed the partnership to build and grow new and more diverse audiences. Over 26k people watched the films, and new social media activity generated a reach of 1.3M people – all of whom are now more aware of the special stories that Gloucester has to tell than they were before. 

The Gloucester Looking Up project was funded by Historic England. 

City Voices congratulates all the Museums and Heritage Awards winners!

Pandemic Pivot category shortlistees:

  • Northe Front – for demonstrating how heritage sites have an important role to play during the pandemic 
  • Thelma Hulert Gallery – for their project the Creative Cabin – art and nature on tour
  • Ourselves
  • Chawton House – for their project transforming Chawton House: The Covid year
  • South West Museum Development – for their Pest Partners project.