Power of Stories at Ipswich Museum shortlisted for prestigious Museums + Heritage award

Shortlisted for the Temporary or Touring Exhibition of the Year category in the prestigious Museums + Heritage Awards 2022 is the Power of Stories exhibition, which was exhibited at Christchurch Mansion, Ipswich from June to October 2021. These awards celebrate and recognise leading lights and institutions in the Museums and Heritage sector.

Three spectacular costumes from Marvel Studios’ Black Panther were featured in the shortlisted exhibition. The outfits of T’Challa, Shuri and Okoye sat alongside Marvel comics and historic museum objects, allowing visitors to explore how storytelling has shaped our lives through history and across the globe. The exhibition was a hit, attracting more than 24,000 visitors to Christchurch Mansion’s Wolsey Art Gallery. 

Power of Stories was made possible by a community effort. Six Community Curators collaborated with the Museum’s team to create the exhibition, and a varied events programme was coordinated by Elma Glasgow, co-director of Aspire Black Suffolk, and in partnership with several cultural organisations and community members. 

Colchester + Ipswich Museums have been shortlisted alongside other major museums in their category, including the Natural History Museum and V&A. The winners of the Museums + Heritage Awards 2022 will be announced at a live ceremony on Wednesday 11 May in London.

Last year, the Museum won the Museums + Heritage Community Impact Award for creating and delivering more than two thousand activity packs to children in partnership with other local organisations. Ipswich Museums is proud to be recognised for serving Ipswich’s communities, which are at the heart of its future plans.   

The announcement of the nomination comes as Power of Stories embarks on a tour of Suffolk museums following popular community demand for the costumes to stay in Suffolk. Supported by Suffolk County Council, each museum taking part in the tour will re-imagine Power of Stories to suit each venue space, culture and local stories.

Power of Stories is currently hosted at Moyse’s Hall Museum in Bury St Edmunds until Thursday 28 April and will be displayed at the Food Museum (formerly the Museum of East Anglian Life) in Stowmarket from June and Snape Maltings in Aldeburgh from November. 

Cllr Carole Jones, Ipswich Borough Council Portfolio Holder for Museums, says:

“This is excellent news for both the Museums service and for Ipswich. Power of Stories was a ground-breaking exhibition, and to see its success acknowledged through national recognition alongside some of the biggest names in the heritage sector highlights the quality of our town’s cultural offering for local people and visitors from further afield. 

“This is a wonderful achievement by our Museums team and the community curators – congratulations and thanks to everyone involved.” 

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