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New project with local schools launched, with grant from Heritage Lottery Fund

A new collaborative project between Dulwich Picture Gallery and local schools has recently launched, following the award of a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). Working with six schools across Southwark and Lambeth during the 2017-2018 academic year, ‘Past Stories, Future Voices: Sharing 200 Years of Dulwich Picture Gallery’ is a cross-curricular scheme that marks the Gallery’s bicentenary and aims to open up the collection in new ways.

Engaging young people in understanding, sharing and interpreting the Gallery’s history, as well as its paintings and architecture, is the starting point of ‘Past Stories, Future Voices’. Visits to the Gallery and to other heritage organisations will be organised, and using their newly gained knowledge, pupils will be able to take ownership over the direction of the project themselves. ‘Past Stories, Future Voices’ will culminate in Gallery Takeover Days, in which pupils will lead Mood Tours, using all they have learnt to share their personal perspective on the Collection with schools and other visitors.

‘Past Stories, Future Voices’ will also open a dialogue between students and how the Gallery  unlocks the stories of the Collection for all visitors now and in the future. Continuing the Gallery’s legacy as the first art gallery in the country to be open to the public, these young people will help the Gallery to ensure that its Collection can be enjoyed and understood by many different audiences.

Jane Findlay, Head of Learning, said:

Together with our partner schools we will explore new personal and sensory ways into the collection which will inform not only how schools can access art but how all audiences connect with our collection. The project will also inform our wider offer for schools and create new self-led resources to enable more schools to access the Gallery in a way that is meaningful and relevant to their needs.”

Planning for the project started in June 2017, and its outcomes will be evaluated in October 2018. With support from the Heritage Lottery Fund the Gallery will work with heritage partners including Southwark Library Service, Sir John Soane’s Museum, Camberwell College of Arts and Cecil Sharpe Folk Music Archive. The Secondary Schools involved will be Kingsdale Foundation School and The Charter School, while Primary Schools will be Bessemer Grange Primary School, Rosendale Primary School, Eliot Bank Primary School and St Anthony’s Catholic Primary School.