Working with the community
Ipswich’s communities are at the heart of Power of Stories. The collaborative process of bringing the exhibition to life means that the displays were shaped by local people and included the stories that matter to them.
A team of Community Curators, made up of local people, worked with the museum team to create an exhibition which encourages visitors to think about how storytelling can be used as a tool to unite or divide people. Their input shaped the displays and interpretation.
The story of this collaborative exhibition started in March 2019, when a Community Panel challenged Ipswich Museums to create something which would be more relevant to local people, and which would link to the museum’s historic collections. An open community meeting was held at Cult Cafe, during which around 100 local people came along and shared ideas, thoughts and suggestions.
From this developed a group of black community members and leaders who felt it important to make the most of the profile of the iconic film costumes being displayed in Power of Stories for the benefit of the community. They saw the potential to inspire and motivate creativity, conversation and to bring people together to learn more about black history and culture.
With the exhibition as a springboard, individuals, groups and organisations created a range of activities and opportunities for local people to learn and enjoy in 2021.
Rooted in Suffolk’s Black community, Aspire Black Suffolk is a community-led initiative encouraging positive discussion around and engagement in African-Caribbean heritage and culture.