This week Leeds Museums and Galleries hosted a visiting delegation of museum directors from Germany, to share best practice and experiences on community-led projects run by the museums service.
The delegation learnt about how Leeds Museums and Galleries regularly works with members of the community to co-curate exhibitions, events, displays and workshops. One particular area of focus is a number of projects taking place under the theme of Leeds Migration Stories which will work with different youth and community groups in Leeds to showcase the stories and experiences of those who have migrated to Leeds in the past 250 years.
Another area of discussion was around how arts and culture can play an important role in the health and well-being of local communities, something that has become an increasingly important part of the activities led by Leeds Museums and Galleries.
The delegation were also treated to a tour of Leeds City Museum, one of the eight museums and galleries run by Leeds City Council. The city’s museum service saw their highest visitor numbers since records began in 2018, as more than 1.7 million people visited attractions in the city.
Commenting on the day John Roles, Head of the Museums & Galleries Service, said:“This was a fantastic opportunity to showcase the great community-led activities Leeds Museums and Galleries is involved with to an international audience.
“With projects like The Growing for Colour, a community gardening project at Leeds Industrial Museum, or the Leeds Migration Stories Project at the city museum we’re continuing to take a proactive role in ensuring community participation is at the heart of our work.
“In many continental countries, museums tend to be oriented towards a much more academic-led approach with little community participation so hopefully this will have been a useful opportunity to learn more about the approach in the UK.”