Statements and responses

29 June 2020

People’s History Museum (PHM) is looking forward to getting back to what it does best; welcoming visitors to explore the museum’s fascinating collections and unique building.  We are planning to reopen on Tuesday 1 September 2020 and we can’t wait to see you at the national museum of democracy.

The wellbeing of our staff, volunteers and visitors is our top priority, and PHM is not rushing to reopen until we can do so safely and responsibly.  The team are hard at work behind the scenes, reviewing the best available public health advice and sector guidance.  You will find PHM introduces clear safety measures so that visitors can enjoy the best possible experience of PHM’s stories, objects and archives that illuminate the world of the revolutionaries, reformers, workers, voters, citizens and radicals who championed, then and now, for change, rights and equality. 

Visitors will be able to explore the two main galleries, see the 2020 Banner Exhibition and discover the recently launched augmented reality (AR) experience exploring radical history makers on strike.  PHM’s shop and The Left Bank cafe bar will be open, with space also available for those who want to bring their own food and drink. 

PHM will continue to shine a light on migration, the museum’s headline theme for 2020-2021.  This includes our work with the Community Programme Team, six people whose own lives have been shaped by migration, which will unfold following the reopening, with ideas and activities to inspire action.  Contemporary collecting continues to be an important focus for PHM, as we ensure that the museum’s future collections reflect the unprecedented events and collective action of 2020.

Sign up to receive the e-newsletter to keep up to date with all the details on how to plan your visit. 

Those who are unable to visit the museum can continue to take part in Ideas Worth Exploring, featuring events, activities and resources produced during lockdown to connect people and share hope, conversations and creativity.

The work and role of PHM has never felt more important and we have ambitious plans for how we engage people with the museum’s stories of ideas worth fighting for.  If you are able to add your support to help PHM reopen, it will make a real difference.

17 June 2020

People’s History Museum (PHM) has been closed to the public since March 2020, though our teams have remained busy planning, creating, amplifying and connecting with communities.  We are also working towards a time when it will be safe to open the museum doors again to visitors, and will share further news when we are able to.

Public events usually taking place at the museum have found a new life online, including those focused on PHM’s headline theme for 2020; migration.  Discover Ideas Worth Exploring at home and online, for a range of activities you can participate in remotely.

In the last few weeks we’ve stood in solidarity with people around the world united behind the call for change led by #BlackLivesMatter. One of our first actions has been to actively collect materials from the anti-racism events and protests taking place locally, nationally and internationally.

The museum has also started documenting and collecting around some of the campaigns in response to the Covid-19 pandemic; migrant health workers and the NHS, the experiences of disabled people, PPE shortages, and the role of key workers.

If you would like to contribute to the collection of the national museum of democracy in any of these areas you can contact:

Look out for updates on this website, sign up to our regular e-newsletter, subscribe to the blog, and find us on Twitter @PHMMcr, Facebook @PHMMcr, and Instagram @phmmcr.  The work and role of PHM has never felt more important, so if you are able to add your support it would be greatly appreciated.  We look forward to welcoming you to the home of ideas worth fighting for when we are back open.

1 June 2020

#BlackLivesMatter is more than an idea worth fighting for; it is a human right.

People’s History Museum (PHM) believes in a fairer world for all, where people are inspired and motivated to take action against inequality and injustice.

We stand in solidarity with communities in Minneapolis and around the world who are making their voices heard in order to bring about change.

#BlackLivesMatter #BeTheChange

5 May 2020

Like the rest of the world, People’s History Museum (PHM) is having to do things very differently at the moment as we all collectively seek to minimise the impact of Covid-19.  During this time the museum stands in solidarity behind the message #StayHomeSaveLives.

To continue our exploration of the world of radical heroes that PHM brings to life, the team has curated a selection of fun activities and learning opportunities that can be enjoyed online.  Ideas Worth Exploring is a digital doorway through to our events programme and learning projects and includes some PHM favourites that have been taken online for the first time, digital learning resources and brand new initiatives.  There are ideas for those with little ones to entertain, ways to add creativity to home schooling and inspirational home learning for adults all brought to you by the PHM team and the freelance artists that we work with.

Alongside this we are continuing to look at new ways of approaching the museum’s headline theme for 2020; migration.  This is being co-created with a Community Programme Team that is made up of people whose lives have been shaped by migration experiences.  Some of this activity will be delivered online and some will take place at the museum when it is able to re-open.

We will continue to share updates and hope that you will continue to stay in touch; look out for news on this website, sign up to our regular e-newsletter, subscribe to our blog, and find us on Twitter @PHMMcr Facebook @PHMMcr, and Instagram @phmmcr.  In these difficult and challenging times for all, our work has never felt more relevant, so if you are able to add your support it would be greatly appreciated.  We look forward to welcoming you to the home of ideas worth fighting for when we are able to open to the public again.

31 March 2020

We are all having to do things very differently at the moment, as everyone seeks to minimise and overcome the impact that coronavirus (COVID-19) is having across the globe. The museum is joined in solidarity behind the message #StayHomeSaveLives.

People’s History Museum has been closed since Thursday 19 March 2020 and the team are now working remotely, exploring new ways of inspiring people with the stories of ideas worth fighting for.

This includes rethinking and reshaping our approach to the museum’s headline theme of migration for 2020, which is being co-created with a Community Programme Team made up of people whose lives have been shaped by migration, and features many community-led projects and exhibitions.

We are certain the challenge of continuing to deliver a programme of activity will bring creative solutions and we are currently exploring alternative ways as a team and with our freelance artists of shining a light on stories of migration, sharing ideas and engaging in conversations.

Please do keep in touch and support us how you can; look out for news and updates on our website, sign up to our e-newsletter, subscribe to our blog, share on social media, make a donation if you can, and visit us when we’re back open again.

18 March 2020

People’s History Museum in Manchester has, like other museums and organisations across the country, closed for a period of time following the UK government’s announcement of measures to try and combat the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19).

This is an unprecedented situation for all, and we will continue to follow government and Public Health England instructions and do everything that we can to assist in the interests of staff, visitors and the wider public.

We will keep in touch via social media channels and this website as to when we will re-open, and we hope to welcome you all again soon.

27 January 2020

People’s History Museum (PHM), the national museum of democracy, has been following the story of Brexit as it has evolved.

In 2016 the museum unveiled an interactive installation The Euro Tunnel, which aimed to engage people with the referendum and encouraged them to use their vote.  PHM has been actively collecting Brexit material from the leave and remain campaigns, both before and since the referendum, for the museum’s object and archive collections.  This has included the acquisition of the Jo Cox Memorial Wall, which will go on display in summer 2020 as part of a wider community project entitled More in Common.  And this year within its headline theme of migration, PHM will reflect on life for migrants living in post-Brexit Britain.  All material in PHM’s collection is available for research and will be used to inform and inspire future programmes.

19 September 2019

On Friday 20 September 2019 People’s History Museum, the national museum of democracy, is joining the Global Climate Strike by carrying out an #ArtStrike.

Exhibits in the Disrupt? Peterloo and Protest exhibition will go on strike for the day in support of those demanding action to prevent further global warming and climate change, sharing the message ‘You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone’.  The #ArtStrike initiative is led by the UK Student Climate Network.

Disrupt? Peterloo and Protest tells of those protesting for rights and representation 200 years ago.  The exhibition has been chosen as the focus for the #ArtStrike so that People’s History Museum can stand in solidarity with a campaign that is seeking to secure significant change for a common cause in today’s world.

Alongside the historical artefacts featured in Disrupt? Peterloo and Protest sits the very contemporary Protest Lab; conceived as a space for individuals and community groups to create and share details of current campaigns.

13 March 2019

After two years of negotiations between Britain and the EU, Brexit is scheduled to take place on 29 March 2019 and as yet, there is no agreement in place. The Museums Association has warned of the “highly damaging impact on: the communities that museums serve; the people who work in and with museums, and the sharing of collections, ideas and expertise across European borders”, particularly in the event of a ‘No Deal’ Brexit. In planning our programmes for the years ahead and in our work as the ‘go to’ place for democratic engagement, People’s History Museum (PHM) must echo these warnings.

People’s History Museum is the national museum of democracy, and we have deep concerns about the impact of leaving the EU on our work as a cultural organisation, on the nation’s vibrant democratic engagement, and at this time of division, on the negative effects there could be on cohesion amongst communities.

These are defining times for our nation, which in years to come will be reflected through PHM’s archives, collections and programming as we record and inspire our nation’s democratic journey through history.

In the coming weeks we urge the nations elected officials to reach a resolution that brings the best possible outcome for all.

3 July 2019

People’s History Museum supports the ongoing fight for equality through our work with the community and activists campaigning for disabled people’s rights.

Peterloo represents the shared history of all, so in the year of the 200th anniversary of this milestone it is important that every aspect of the way it is marked is inclusive and accessible to all.

We hope that through peaceful protest and discussion, the voices of the disabled community are heard and that the Peterloo Memorial is representative for all.

14 June 2019

People’s History Museum (PHM) recognises the climate crisis as defining issues of the present day.  PHM’s commitment to environmental care, responsibility and action continues through all streams of our work.  PHM is a member of the Happy Museum Project, committed to being active stewards of people, place and planet.  We have joined the Culture Declares Emergency campaign and are passionately committed at all levels of the organisation to embedding sustainable practices into the museum’s day to day operations.  The museum places audience engagement at the heart of its sustainability approach; we believe the greatest impact we can have in addressing the climate emergency is to engage audiences to inspire action, whilst also working towards our own target of becoming a zero carbon museum by 2038.

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