Since 2011 Happy Museum (HM) has brought together thinking around well-being and sustainability and investigated the particular role of museums in supporting individual, organisational and societal resilience.  It places its work firmly in the context of, and in response to, current global challenges such as climate change and social justice.  In this context we believe there is a vital need to develop resilience in museums, in the individuals and communities who engage with them and in wider society as a whole.

In late 2014 we gathered the core HM team together to look forward at the future of HM thinking and activity and to consider what our longer term plans should be.  We agreed to focus our activity on the development of a 5-year programme at the completion of we intend to disband.  The programme aims to achieve the following outcomes:

  • Well-being and Sustainability are as familiar and relevant to museum thinking as Learning and Participation.
  • Through a focus on Well-being and Sustainability we will have played a key part in supporting organisational resilience in the museum sector.
  • In turn museums will have supported the development of resilience in their staff and communities and in wider society as a whole.
  • The value of culture in developing a sustainable global future will be better recognised.

To support these ambitious aims we have drafted a Happy Museum 5 year plan (June 2015) detailing a programme of activity working with new and existing partners and supported by a broad base funding base.  This plan is underpinned by our ongoing Story of Change, and will be adapted and refined throughout the life of the programme.

In this first year, the Happy Museum Project is working with People United to help us to establish a structure, plans and partnerships to enable us to deliver our aims to 2020. We are excited about this mutual collaboration and the possibilities of reaching and supporting museums across the country.

We will be launching our 5-year plan on the afternoon of 2nd June at Manchester Museum alongside the Launch of Rules for a Playful Museum….