Supporting Practice in Participation

Supporting Practice in Participation

Supporting Practice in Participation Arts Council England is funding a joint enterprise called "Supporting Practice in Participation" that aims to support museums and cultural heritage organizations wanting to forge participatory relationships with the public.  IPUP has continued to develop work on bridging research and practice in the field of participation and widening engagement with heritage.  IPUP has strengthened the focus of this work in partnership with the Diversity in Heritage Group, The Collections Trust, and the British Museum.  The organizations in the partnership will scope, pilot and evaluate a user-friendly, research-rich data portal, and run a series of regional networking meetings. See Press Release about the Arts Council Funding at:

The Collections Link to Host Supporting Practice in Participation (SPP)

This is the national network for professionals working in museums, libraries and archives and is run by the Collections Trust. The ‘Participation Portal’ will have maximum impact for sharing participatory practice, as the Collections Trust already provides crucial support to the cultural sector and engages with cultural collections and a wide group of users both in the UK and overseas. For the SPP project the partnership is working across the sector to collect resources for the portal on participation.  These can be articles, evaluations, case studies, reports, blogs, films, podcasts etc.  See the blog written by Nick Poole, CEO of Collections Trust, about the forthcoming launch of the Participation Portal:

The Participation Portal - Crowd Sourcing request

How you can help if you are coming to this page from a University, Publisher, Museum or Heritage Institution, or are a Freelancer/Consultant working in this area:

  • It would be excellent if the Collections Link’s Participation Portal could hold, or link to, resources produced as part of your research, or that of your colleagues. If you have some guidance or case studies on good participation that others can learn from please contribute to Collections Link: (category: crowd sourcing).  It would also be really good if you could put a call out among your networks for resources for the portal.

How Collections Link will acknowledge and promote your organisation:

  • Contributors will be credited on the Collections Link website and can also have a profile set up so that resources you have contributed are linked to you. See the example for DHG here:
  • If your resources are behind a paywall, we simply link to it and our short reviews give users an idea of how that resource can help them

What we mean by participation:

  • When we say participation, we mean only activities where the community or external participants share power with the organisation, ie where the participants and organisations are deciding together, acting together, or the organisation is supporting the participants to pursue their own agenda. So, for example, consultation would not be included unless it was clear that the group had decision-making control.
  • We are looking for guidance, case studies, evaluation or any other type of resource, in any format: film, blog, articles, reports, etc.
  • Key words that might guide you towards the type of resources we are looking for: power-sharing, empowerment, co-production, co-creation, co-curation, shared interpretation, involvement, democracy, civic empowerment, community led...

If you have any questions about contributing or linking to the Participatory Portal please be in direct touch with the Project Manager, Professor Helen Weinstein:


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