City Voices, Gloucester History Festival and Gloucester Heritage Forum are delighted to announce that their collaboration project of Gloucester Looking Up has been shortlisted for the National Museum and Heritage Awards.

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.

‘ It’s wonderful that the collective effort of so many of Gloucester’s wonderful Heritage, community and creative organisations has been recognised. A great endorsement of what we can achieve when volunteers are valued and celebrated and culture and community work together’

The three lead partners in the project, City Voices, Gloucester History Festival and Gloucester Heritage forum 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. Other artists part of the project include: Ellie Shipman, Elle Bry Thomas, Phil Campbell, Dominic Lofters and Ratson. 

The shortlist for the Pandemic Pivot Award comprises:

  • 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.


Gloucester Looking Up created a unique opportunity for new and existing, local, national and international audiences to be inspired by the City where three strands of interconnected artworks were commissioned. This resulted in an interactive online map which lead audiences to film, photography and downloadable resources. These resources showcased local people as they shared stories about the spaces they love. A Living History programme, in which libraries, archives and heritage sites worked with the community to collect and share their experiences of lockdown was created and a series of cultural commissions, co-created with artists, venues and communities brought alive the stories of the City in new and innovative ways.

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 stories were fantastic – we traced the descendant of a kindertransport child, and installed his image in 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; we showed our support for Black Lives Matter by sharing We See You ( Do You See Us?) in heritage venues across the city; we told the stories of all the people of the city, from the cleaners to the town crier, the poet to the veteran through interviews, poetry and commissioned films, and in novel and accessible ways, including an animated  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.

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 national online awards ceremony takes place on Thursday 1 July – please wish us luck and we will let everyone know the outcome as soon as we know.