Throughout the Curating for Change project our partner museums are hosting exhibitions and events designed by Curating for Change Fellows and Trainees reflecting their discoveries in museum collections.

Exhibitions and events

Concealed/Reveal: Disabled, D/deaf and neurodivergent artists driving creativity

Bristol Museum & Art Gallery
From 30 September 2023 to 28 April 2024

Throughout galleries and museums, disabled, D/deaf and neurodiverse experiences have been concealed. This new exhibition at Bristol Museum and Art Galleries Concealed/Reveal exposes these hidden stories and challenges preconceptions. Featuring artists such as Henri Matisse and local stories like performer Patrick Cotter O’Brien, it highlights how disability can be a creative force and questions why the experiences of disabled people are socially stigmatised.

It has been curated by Curatorial Fellow, Jo Barlow, and Curatorial Fellowship Assistant Freya Purcell, and produced with Curating for Change. Throughout the exhibition you can access an audio described tour through headsets. As well as further audio description through QR and Navilens Codes.

Find out more

The words Stored Out of Sight over a selection of items from the exhibition

Stored out of Sight: Hidden History of Disabled People

Hastings Museum and Art Gallery
From 16 September 2023 to 16 December 2023

Disabled people have always been part of history, but their stories have often been in the background. This exhibition has curated by Jack Guy, Curating for Change Fellow, and co-produced with a disability heritage engagement group from Hastings. The exhibition explores objects hidden in the store that relate to Hastings’ disability past. Through these stories and those of contemporary activism, the exhibition highlights the social and environmental barriers that disable people daily.

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Past events

Illustration of Billy Waters on the docks by some boats.

Illustration of Billy Waters on the docks.

Dockyard Talks: Billy Waters

The Historic Dockyard Chatham
30 August 2023 / 14:00

Free with a ticket to the Dockyard

Join Suchi Chatterjee, Curating For Change Fellow as she discusses Billy Waters, an African American residing in Georgian England. He became famous in his own right when he busked in London, but his naval career was forged in Chatham.  Billy is just one example of Chatham’s hidden stories that are waiting to be told.

Well known in the history books for his life as a busker in London where he wooed the crowds outside the Adelphi Theatre with saucy songs such as “Kitty Will You Marry Me” and other street favourites.

His time as a non-disabled seaman who served on the HMS NAMUR under the command of Jane Austen’s youngest brother Charles is an overlooked piece of history, and the fact he reached the rank of Gunners Mate before becoming disabled is nothing short of a miracle due to his race. Billy was severely injured in an accident aboard HMS GANYMEDE. This resulted in him becoming an amputee.

Book on arrival at ‘Plan Your Visit’

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Image credit Museum of London

Curating for Change Sector Forum

How can induction, mindful line management and career development practice enable D/deaf, disabled and neurodivergent people to thrive in their museum careers?

Building on the success of our first sector forum and action plan for equitable recruitment in the museums sector; “We Are Not All the Same”, our next 2-part forum focuses on retaining disabled talent within the museum workforce.

Part 1: Re-framing induction processes for D/deaf, disabled and neurodiverse staff.
Wednesday 19 April 2023
11.00-12.30, free, online conference
This event has now passed but you can watch the event videos here

Part 2: What does it take for D/deaf, disabled and neurodivergent people to thrive in their museum careers?
Wednesday 14 June 2023
11.00-12.30, free, online conference
This event has now passed but you can watch the event videos here

Kyle Lewis Jordan, Curating for Change Fellow at The Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.

Bring Baby Lecture: Disability in Ancient Egyptian Myth.

Tuesday 14 February at The Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.

As part of The Ashmolean’s new “Bring Baby Lecture” series, join our Curating for Change Fellow, Kyle Lewis Jordan (Ashmolean Museum and the Pitt Rivers Museums, Oxford) as he explores themes of disability in Ancient Egyptian myth and literature, using objects from the Ashmolean’s collections to help tell the stories.

Through exploring these stories, Kyle aims to demonstrate how disability has been a universal experience throughout human history, and how many ancient cultures – like the Egyptians – recognised those differences and how we may begin to understand the many nuanced feelings they had towards them. Through doing so. Kyle believes we can begin to understand not only how disability was reacted to, but also how it has helped actively shape cultural understandings of the world in many different times and spaces.

The “Bring Baby Lecture” series is aimed at new parents or carers with babies under 12 months (although older children are welcome) who wish to still partake in cultural events. This space provides them the opportunity to do so in a baby and toddler-friendly space.

Purchase tickets here.

exterior of Ashmolean with doric columns

One World Family Festival 2023

The Ashmolean Museum’s annual One World Festival, is a free weekend of events celebrating Oxfordshire’s many diverse communities and faiths. As part of the many events taking place our Curating for Change Fellow, Kyle Lewis Jordan will be running a number of activities, including a discussion on the intersection of disability and faith, from his conversations with disabled members of Oxfordshire’s faith communities and his research into the disability histories present in the Ashmolean’s collections.

You can find out more about the One World Family Festival 2023 and download the events programme here.

Extra.Ordinary: Disabled voices in MERL’s collections

Community case exhibition: Until January 2023 at the Museum of English Rural Life, Reading

This exhibition case, curated by Curating for Change Trainee, Verity Shillabeer, explores and celebrates the identity and culture of disability, especially in rural communities. During her Traineeship, Verity has investigated objects that amplify disabled voices present in The MERL’s collections. This exhibition seeks to showcase those collections and reveal the powerful and personal stories of disability which connect. This exhibition has been developed as part of The MERL’s involvement in Screen South’s Curating for Change project: a mentored training programme for deaf, disabled and neurodivergent people. This initiative aims to transform and make museums more inclusive, addressing the lack of representation of disabled employees in the sector. The MERL is thrilled to be one of twenty organisations taking part.

Explore the online exhibition

Read more here

Level 3 Gaming Festival

11 – 12 November, the Glassworks

FREE – book here (NB, now finishing at 5pm on Saturday)

An event from our friends at the Hi3 Network – the Level 3 Gaming Festival is happening 11th & 12th November at the Glassworks. It’s a two-day event exploring and celebrating a range of games & virtual experiences created by and for autistic, learning disabled, & neurodiverse people, and is open to attend by all.

Engage with playable artworks, participate in accessible workshops, experience VR installations, and attend talks and panels with the artists. This workshop’s outcome, in combination with others by Level 3 in Brighton and Hastings, will be used to create an evolving communal artwork, and the festival itself used as an opportunity to improve upon the accessibility of playful media.

Edward Rushton, by Philip Garrett, Courtesy of the Museum of Liverpool

Edward Rushton Display

Tuesday 22 November 2022 – Thursday 5 January 2023 at the Museum of Liverpool

For Disability History Month 2022, the Museum of Liverpool is displaying a bust of Edward Rushton, founder of the Royal School for the Blind in Liverpool

The large bronze bust of Rushton is accompanied by a smaller tactile model of his head and face, along with a standing panel of text information with a smaller braille sign. The display is not audio described.

The display was developed in part by the museum’s Curating for Change Curatorial Fellow Iris Sirendi as her first project with the Museum of Liverpool.