Art Fund Grant To Reach New Audiences During COVID-19 Crisis.

Museum of East Anglian Life

The grant, which was awarded through Art Fund’s Respond and Reimagine programme, will help the Museum of East Anglian Life in Stowmarket to assemble groups of people from different communities and involve them in shaping the museum’s future as the Food Museum.

At a time like no other, the museum has been adapting its offer to meet the challenges that have arisen from the current crisis. With visitor attractions up and down the country having to close their doors to visitors, the museum has thrived in the digital space with over 170 online volunteers from across the globe taking place in its ‘Search for the Stars’ project to help digitise the museum’s collection. The next step is to build upon this work, putting multiple voices at the centre of our digital and collections work.

Sally Dix takes on the role of Audience Development Officer, who will be trying to engage new audiences and work with young people to deliver a programme of consultation on the collection, resulting in the creation of a wide-ranging and inclusive Collections and Interpretation strategy which will underpin the work of the museum in years to come. Sally has already started on the consultation process, hosting a series of online workshops. For anyone who would like to get involved contact Sally on

Art Fund’s Respond and Reimagine grants offer responsive funding to help museums adapt to the challenges of the Covid-19 crisis and reimagine future ways of working. The UK’s museums provide inspiration, joy, and education, enriching lives and bringing communities closer together, but the impact of Covid-19 has been catastrophic for many.

Since the first lockdown began, Art Fund has awarded a total of £2.25m in emergency funding, enabling 67 institutions to respond with innovation to the pandemic. Unfortunately, this amount isn’t nearly enough – only 15% of applicants have been successful, with Art Fund receiving a total of 451 applications totalling £16.9m.

With six in ten (60%) museums Art Fund surveyed worried about their survival, and the new national lockdown likely increasing this figure, the charity is urging the public to support their fundraising appeal Together for Museums, which aims to raise £1 million to help more museums.

Art Fund is appealing to the public to make donations of any size. From just £15, unique objects and artworks are available as rewards, donated by leading artists including Cornelia Parker, Jeremy Deller, Lubaina Himid, Anish Kapoor and David Shrigley.

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