Traveling Museum Of Communities

A heritage Based Project being delivered by High View School in collaboration with Take A Part; taking creative approaches to uncovering stories and amplifying voices in communities that are often not represented when discussing the history of Plymouth.

Traveling Museum of Communities is a heritage based project funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and lead by High view School in partnership with Take A Part and two other primary schools in Plymouth between May 2022 and September 2023.

Working across three schools and their communities the project will gather social histories undertaking research question “What is your favourite community story?” this question will be underpinned by the themes of memory, story, tradition, family and place. We will use the question as a jumping off point and piece of action research to explore the heritage of these communities, enabling young people to learn about and discuss their family, community and national history with those close to them. We’ll use records from Plymouth’s Archives, footage from SWFTA, exploration of the built environment and interviews with older residents, children and those newer to the area to explore and interpret the heritage of these communities.

A family based arts group and a focussed group of children from each of the three schools will lead the project in collaboration with artist Tom Goddard. The project will be working with High View School and the Community of Efford, Salisbury Road School and the communities of St Judes and Coxisde, and Whitleigh Primary School and the community of Whitleigh.

Utilising the stories and histories uncovered in the research process, objects will be created by the families and children which will will represent what is told and collected. The creation of objects to mark the stories will offer opportunities for the families and children to reflect on the histories and make personal connections to them. The full set of objects will then be accessioned into the ‘Travelling Museum’ which will be designed and built by a creative maker. The Travelling Museum will have a road show, firstly to each of the 3 communities and then down to Plymouth City Centre to sit outside The Box over a weekend and share the stories of what makes these places and people important to Plymouth. Beyond this tour, the content and output will be shared across the programme on social media platforms and school websites, etc. As legacy for the stories that are collected, and the associated outcomes and responses, content will be housed on Take A Part’s website; so it can be widely disseminated and signposted to and so that these contemporary stories are held and shared for the future.

The ambition for this project is that by uncovering and sharing local communities' built and social heritage we can support vulnerable children, parents and families to connect, learn and celebrate diverse identities. The Travelling Museum of Communities will celebrate and share the heritage of these three communities that are historically underrepresented and underserved by Plymouth’s museums and archives; helping to address barriers they face to accessing heritage and amplify their voices and their stories.

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