February and March online activities from the national museum of democracy

People’s History Museum (PHM) has a packed programme of online activities to bring people together through conversation, stories, music and creativity taking place in the coming weeks.  From the little radicals in your family to the grown ups, all of the Ideas Worth Exploring reflect the spirit of the national museum of democracy and are inspired by stories of the revolutionaries, reformers, workers, voters and citizens who have championed for change and rallied for rights and equality for all.

Family Friendly events

Helping the youngest members of the family to find their voices is My First Protest Song, a fun session in which babies, tots and their grown ups are invited to join singer-songwriter Matt Hill for an interactive online performance.  With guitar in hand Matt will perform toe tapping songs that have helped to lead calls for change that you can sing along to or add musical accompaniment, the noisier the better! Running on Thursday 4 February, 11.00am to 11.40am and Saturday 6 March, 11.00am to 11.40am, the event is bookable in advance via Eventbrite.  Places are £6, £2 or free.

Taking its place as a regular online event for families from March is PHM’s bedtime story, with one of a special selection of tales created by the museum the focus of the fun each month.  For March Bedtime story: Mr Ordinary’s Prize will be on Thursday 18 March, 6.00pm to 6.30pm. Join actor, author and storyteller Emily Capstick, find a comfy spot and settle down for this adventure with a twist.  Each session is followed by some creative ideas to explore with your grown up reflecting the themes from the story.  Suitable for under 5s, this is a free event and welcomes donations, with booking details available here.

Creative activities

Whether you are a beginner or a skilled sewer you are invited to join artist Helen Mather for a gathering where stitching and chatting make the perfect combination.  February (Saturday 27 February, 2.00pm to 3.30pm) and March’s (Saturday 27 March, 2.00pm to 3.30pm) The Fabric of Protest sessions will be taking their influence from the banners reflecting past and present migration movements in PHM’s 2020-2021 Banner Exhibition.  Taking place on Zoom the sessions are suitable for over 11s, and anyone under 18 must have an adult present. Booking is essential in advance via Eventbrite, with places £6, £2 and free.

Younger creatives are invited to step into the imaginative world of Doodle Den, which begins with building your own special den as a space to relax and lose yourself in the fun and freedom of doodling.  Pick up a pen and pencil anytime you have some free time and scroll through the list of Doodle Den resources to see what inspires you.  Climate change, equal pay, migrant workers and votes for all are just some of the ideas to get you doodling, with all free to download and designed for those aged 5 years to adult.  The full Doodle Den collection is available here.


Radical Lates

February is LGBT+ History Month, which PHM will be marking with an evening of online talks as part of the OUTing the Past Festival on Thursday 11 February, 6.00pm to 8.30pm.  The evening will particularly look at how migration, the museum’s headline theme throughout the year, has influenced LGBT+ history and the fight for LGBT+ rights.

In Migration, Race & Empire: LGBT+ histories tour Maggy Moyo and Jenny White will explore PHM’s galleries and collections virtually, discussing issues such as how British colonialism exported homophobia around the world.  This is followed by a talk by artist Youcef Hadjazi, titled Queer Journeys’ Project and Beyond, in which he will share more about a project to explore and illustrate queer migrant journeys through zine-making.  The evening will finish with a performance, Category Mistake, by performance artist Mandla Rae and a Q&A session with all contributors facilitated by Zofia Kufeldt, PHM Programme Officer.  The event is bookable in advance via Eventbrite; full details of the programme, which is suitable for 18+ are available here, with donations welcome.

March’s Radical Late event (Thursday 11 March, 7.00pm to 8.30pm) will be the first chance to find out more about People’s History Museum’s More in Common project, one of the focal points for its exploration of migration throughout the year.  Inspired by the legacy of murdered MP Jo Cox (16 June 2016), More in Common is made up of a group of over 30 people from different backgrounds who have each made Manchester their home, coming together to share knowledge, experiences, and conversations.  There will be the chance to hear Kim Leadbeater, Jo Cox’s sister, talk about Jo’s vision and if the museum is back open take a virtual tour of the exhibition co-created by the project group, More in Common: in memory of Jo Cox.

Jo’s words “We are far more united and have far more in common than that which divides us” will be leading much of the work taking place at PHM this year.  This free online event, with a donation suggested, will take place online with further details and booking information available here.

Online learning

You can join more than 8,000 people who have taken part in online course Peterloo to the Pankhursts: Radicalism and Reform in the 19th Century developed by People’s History Museum in partnership with Royal Holloway, University of London.  Expert archivists, curators and historians present a series of learning resources that begin at the formation of modern democratic ideas and end with the campaign for votes for women.  Materials from the collection of History of Parliament Trust, Parliamentary Archives and The National Archives are also featured. 

The course, which has received excellent reviews, takes four weeks to complete, is suitable for those aged 16+, requires five hours of study a week, and is free to join on FutureLearn. 

At present the doors of PHM are closed due to the national lockdown, however, online activities continue with all listed as part of the Ideas Worth Exploring programme here, including a 3D tour of the museum and more learning resources.  Many of PHM’s events are free and some have a small charge, but are designed to be fully accessible to all with lower price tickets for those on low incomes and free tickets to those who are unwaged or seeking asylum.  Online orders are available from PHM shop, which features items inspired by PHM’s collection, where all purchases support the museum.  You can keep up to date with the latest news by signing up to receive PHM’s e-newsletter, subscribing to the blog, or following the museum on social media on Twitter @PHMMcr, Facebook @PHMMcr, and Instagram @phmmcr.