The Blackpool Museum Project has secured a £97,000 fund to house and preserve artifacts from the Tower Circus.
Marvels and Mayhem will showcase The Tower Circus Collection within the new £26m museum, which is set to open in the Winter Gardens’ Pavilion Theatre in 2018. Artifacts, documents and images from the circus will now be catalogued, digitised and preserved by a team of volunteers in a two and a half year project. Members of the local and regional circus community will be invited to the collection to share their stories, experiences and expertise – adding to the understanding of the collection and the history of circus.
The grant is the largest awarded in a round of funding from the Esmee Fairbairn Collections Fund, which aims to engage local communities and impact positively on society. Students at the School of Society, Health and Childhood at Blackpool and the Fylde College will explore how the circus collection can be used to support the community.
“They will be looking at approaches to social care and how access to Blackpool’s historic and cultural collections can support people’s wellbeing,” said curriculum manager Joanne Hall.
“The project will see B&FC students immersed in the town’s history and contributing to an important collection for the wider Museum Project – but considering the material in ways that will benefit the community in more practical ways rather than how it might be looked at by historians or artists.”
The partnership, between the college and Blackpool Council, will culminate in students planning, researching and delivering activities inspired by the circus collection within their health and social care area.
Marvels and Mayhem will also work with Blackpool Council Arts and Library Services to produce a creative writing and storytelling offer for schools. It aims to use the fun of the circus to inspire children and boost their confidence and creativity.
Cllr Gillian Campbell, Deputy Leader of Blackpool Council said: “This is an exciting opportunity to invest in the Blackpool Tower Circus Collection, which has international significance and is so important to the history of Blackpool,” said Gillian Campbell, deputy leader of Blackpool Council, which bid for the funds.
“It is the 250th anniversary of circus in 2018 and the project will play a part in wider celebrations around the country and make sure Blackpool Tower Circus is a part of this milestone.”
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