Art Fund calls for museum partners in new UK-wide programme

Art Fund calls for museum partners in new UK-wide programme

Two people install an artwork in an exhibition
Installation of 'Hair: Untold Stories', Horniman Museum and Gardens, December 2021. © Eric Aydin-Barberini/ Art Fund.
Apply to Going Places, a new initiative to help you engage new audiences with your collections through collaborative working and touring exhibitions.

Today (29 August) applications have opened for Art Fund’s new programme, Going Places, which is investing in small to medium-sized museums across the UK.

The programme will enable museums to collaborate with each other and their local communities to create new and innovative touring exhibitions. 

Art Fund recognises the value of touring and sharing collections as one of the most inclusive and sustainable ways of bringing art to new audiences. 

Jenny Waldman, Director of Art Fund 

Collaborative working

Art Fund are inviting applications in this first phase of the project. It will establish five networks of between three and five museums, with each network developing bespoke touring exhibitions. The focus is on engaging and involving under-served audiences with museum collections. 

Jenny Waldman, Director of Art Fund, said: “Through our growing range of support for collaborative initiatives, Art Fund recognises the value of touring and sharing collections as one of the most inclusive and sustainable ways of bringing art to new audiences.” 

The application process

Applications must be made on the Art Fund website by 24 November 2023

Network-building workshops will take place in September and October 2023 (both in person and online), and applicants are encouraged to attend if possible.

Looking to the future

We’ve supported the first phase of the programme with £252,839 development funding, ahead of Art Fund making a delivery grant application at a later date.

The second phase of the project is due to start in 2025 and will run for five years. The programme will be shaped collaboratively with the participating museums, and will include funding for the museum networks to enable: 

  • delivery of up to two touring exhibitions per network 
  • community consultation, co-creation, co-curation and engagement 
  • training and mentoring opportunities 
  • programme evaluation 
  • development of a wider fundraising strategy around exhibitions and the sustainability of the networks 

Eilish McGuinness, Chief Executive of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “These museums are integral to their place, allowing under-served communities a chance to engage with these collections. Through this project, these museums will be able to support one another in developing their skills and resources to plan towards their future, particularly bolstering their programming through touring exhibitions.” 

Strengthening resources 

Each museum network will receive support to develop new approaches to community engagement and ambitious exhibition planning, benefitting from training, mentoring and skills development. 

They will embed collaborative working and best practice in environmentally sustainable approaches to exhibition making and touring. The participating museums will also be supported to build long-term fundraising strategies to sustain their activities. 

Going Places is in addition to the Museums and Galleries Network of Exhibition Touring (MAGNET), a network of 12 museums which will develop three collections-based exhibitions to tour between 2025-2030 with support from Art Fund and Arts Council England. 

We're committed to supporting collections 

Our recent Dynamic Collections campaign supported and encouraged museums to take innovative and imaginative approaches to their collections. We're keen to see more applications in this area through our National Lottery Grants for Heritage programme – find out more about our work in museums, libraries and archives.

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If you query is regarding our application portal, please contact our support team.