A Message from our Chair: The Museum of Cambridge in 2021

Your bi-monthly update from our Chair, Lucy Walker

2021 is already proving a challenge for all of us, but the team at the Museum of Cambridge is absolutely determined that this is going to be the year when we can be bolder and more confident about the museum’s future, and the significance of the cultural role it provides in the city.   

We are guardians of a special heritage – many thousands of objects and documents, and the local history website Capturing Cambridge – which opens windows onto the lives and hearts of people in Cambridge and the surrounding area.  We also co-curate lively and challenging exhibitions with community groups, giving people a public voice in a public space.  This exciting and unusual combination makes the museum an important cultural hub, which inspires and connects. 

And we have absolutely no intention of letting this go!  On the contrary, we are going to build upon it and develop our vision for the museum as a place which brings people together, dissolves boundaries and enables creativity and a sense of belonging. We are lucky to have a wonderful National Lottery Heritage Fund grant to enable us to do that. 

While we are undoubtedly facing financial challenges, we have already begun to develop partnerships to secure the museum’s sustainable future, and to extend our relationships and our offer, building upon our welcoming ethos, so that everyone in the city and all our visitors, adult, student and child, wherever they come from, can find something here for them – both online and in-person. 

Covid-closures have hit us very hard, and, because we are an independent organisation with no core funding, right now we urgently need funds to enable us remain operational in the short term.  We are extremely proud that Cambridge residents have been so very generous in their support of our fundraising campaign. So far, we have managed to raise £20,000, and we hope to reach £50,000 by the end of March.   

Our next challenge is to put in place a sustainable business model which will enable the museum to pay for itself rather than be dependent on short term grants.  We want to strengthen the long term cultural and social role of the museum, and develop and extend our partnerships and relationships, knowledge and experience – the very stuff of a museum – without which we can’t flourish, but with which we can engage meaningfully and creatively with so many more people. 

To do all this we have put in place a great team of staff, trustees, advisers and volunteers such that 2021 could be our golden year.  We hope you will join us on this journey.  

A Message from our Chair: The Museum of Cambridge in 2021