Last night, Steph and I were very pleased to attend The University of Manchester’s Making a Difference Award Ceremony where endeavours and initiatives in social responsibility within the institution are rewarded for the positive change they bring. The exhibition team were really pleased to be shortlisted for the award for Outstanding Public Engagement Initiative for ‘Gifts for the Gods: animal mummies revealed’ in recognition of the impact that the exhibition has had on its visitors. In total, it is estimated that 400,000 visitors will engage with the exhibition over the three venues; however, visitor numbers at Manchester were higher than anticipated so this figure is likely to rise. Over 10,000 people of all ages and backgrounds took part in public engagement events linked to the exhibition and many more will benefit through events held at our partner venues.
The event last night was a very glitzy affair with 250 guests, presided over by the Chancellor, Lemn Sissay, and the President and Vice-Chancellor, Dame Professor Nancy Rothwell. We were up against some strong competition in what was the largest category, but we are very pleased to say that we won! It was nice to be rewarded for what has been a long, hard slog over 18 months.
The award is really a testament to how successful researchers can work with the University’s cultural institutions to drive forward cutting-edge public engagement with science and arts disciplines.
Sadly, Campbell was unable to be with us on the night as he was busy installing the exhibition at the Kelvingrove. We missed his support in person, but he was keeping track of events on the live streaming! We had a table full of museum staff to keep us company, many of whom were successful in their award categories too!
Steph and I would like to thank all the members of the animal mummies team without whom the exhibition, and this award, would not have been possible. Particularly Anna and Vicky from the museum who spearheaded the public programmes. The learning team, including Menaka, Cat, Emily and Debbie, all deserve a special mention, along with all those who help to deliver these events to the public. Neil and Dan who designed the educational resource pack deserve a massive pat on the back for the excellent work they produced which has gone on to be used by many visitors to the exhibition.
Tomorrow we travel to Glasgow for the opening of the exhibition at the Kelvingrove. Two parties in three days!