Help secure People’s History Museum’s future
The future of People’s History Museum (PHM), the national museum of democracy, is under threat.
We really don’t like to ask for help, but the events of 2020 have pushed us into a situation whereby to be able to continue to operate the museum in the unique way that we do, we sadly have no alternative. We are hoping that our friends will give us whatever support they are able to, whether by donating to this campaign or helping to spread the word.
As an independent museum and charity the incredible challenges resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic have placed the museum and its work in a precarious situation. We are the only museum in the country that explores the past, present and future of British democracy, championing ideas worth fighting for such votes for all, equality, co-operation, social justice, and a fair world for all. In doing so we bring people and communities together to inspire change, discussion and the sharing of ideas.
The museum’s survival is now at risk
The lockdowns that have taken place and regional restrictions have meant the doors of the museum have remained closed for most of 2020, meaning that the revenues that we rely upon through visitors, events, learning sessions, conservation, venue hire, the PHM shop and cafe have not been generated. Whilst we were grateful to receive emergency funding from Arts Council England and The National Lottery Heritage Fund, the museum still faces tremendous uncertainty.
Throughout the closures, PHM’s workers, volunteers and visitors have stayed home and supported the museum from near and far. Exhibitions, events and learning sessions have been taken online where possible, and the galleries, collections, archives, conservation studio, shop and cafe had to close. Collecting contemporary material continues, reflecting in particular the significance of the Black Lives Matter movement and Covid-19.
PHM’s team took herculean steps to reopen the museum when it could do so safely, and we welcomed back our visitors with excitement, solidarity and hope. We were deeply disappointed when PHM again had to close its doors due to the second national lockdown and regional restrictions. Further uncertainty now looms.
We need your help to get through the Covid-19 crisis
With the dramatic and overnight loss of venue hire bookings, cafe and shop sales, and visitor donations, PHM’s income has dropped significantly; we have lost over £210,000 income since March. We have taken steps to dramatically reduce outgoings, but it still costs £903 a day to maintain our online presence, look after the collections, and take care of our historic listed building.
The museum is an important community hub. Groups of all ages usually meet at the museum. PHM’s programmes are co-created with diverse communities who research their histories, share their stories and voice their experiences. PHM is bold, inclusive, and exists to inspire action towards a fairer world. All of that is now at risk.
Please show your solidarity and donate whatever you can, or help to share our fundraising campaign. Like the ideas worth fighting for that People’s History Museum represents, we hope that you will recognise it as a museum worth fighting for.