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Street museum comes to Blackhall bringing heritage and art celebrations to the community

Feb 28, 2022 | Local News

East Durham Creates is working together with Durham University on an innovative new project that connects a former mining village in East Durham to the university’s collections.

In October 2021, the Street Museum project was launched, an exciting initiative allowing local people to create and curate a trail of 3D printed objects normally only seen in gallery and museum spaces. These 3D printed objects will form a street based exhibition around Blackhall, connected to the village’s values, heritage and community but spanning thousands of years of history.

Since its launch, hundreds of local people have taken part in events that have helped to shape this exhibition, exploring periods of history ranging from Ancient Egypt to Modern Day. The university team has popped up at events, hosted workshops and even taken local people to visit the University’s Museums as part of the project.

Working closely with Blackhall Community Centre a small army of local curators have chosen a range of objects from the vast collections to be 3D printed ahead of the launch in April 2022. This half term another pop up event took place in the Community Centre to continue to develop the exhibition, including highlighting the places and spaces in Blackhall that matter to local people and should display the historic objects.

Jess Hunt, Project Lead for East Durham Creates said: “This project has really helped to connect a local community not only with the wealth of history in the University’s collections but also with their – the exhibition they’re curating is genuinely shaped by their stories, heritage and the things that matter to them.”

Alison Paterson, Manager of Blackhall Community Centre said: “We’ve worked together with East Durham Creates for many years now to develop our centre as a place where culture happens. It’s been fantastic to develop this exhibition with Durham University that is relevant and genuinely chosen by our community. We are definitely going for Village of Culture!”

Ged Matthews, Cultural Engagement Manager for Durham University said: “We are really committed to doing more in the wider county with communities who might not always have the opportunity to access or engage with our fantastic collections or us as a University – this is just the first of many really innovative projects we intend to run with communities like Blackhall.”

The Street Museum project is now looking for local people and businesses who might be interesting in hosting 3D objects during April. If you would like to get involved or find out more email Project Manager Ellie at eleanor@eleanormathieson.com

County Durham’s expression of interest to be UK City of Culture was submitted by Durham County Council, with principal partner Durham University, on behalf of Culture Durham. In October 2021, County Durham made it through to the final eight and submitted their countywide bid in February 2022.

To find out more about County Durham’s bid and to leave messages of support, visit www.durham2025.co.uk and follow @Durham2025 on Facebook, @Durham_2025 on Twitter and @Durham2025_ on Instagram.

*** Images supplied by Alan Sill Photography