Wessex Museums, a partnership of museums in Dorset and Wiltshire, has been awarded a grant of £61,000 from The National Lottery Heritage Fund for an exciting heritage project titled, Lost & Found: Redefining the folk arts and traditions of Wessex. This grant, made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, aims to reconnect people to the rich folk heritage of the region.
The project will challenge preconceptions of folk by encouraging people to rediscover and find new meaning in this underappreciated cultural heritage. Through exploration and research of the partner museums’ collections, the project will shed new light on regional folk material and its significance to people and places today, paving the way for contemporary collecting and the co-creation of ‘new folk,’ led by our diverse local communities. The project will also create new digital material, including film capturing the regional folk calendar, folk songs, and a digital exhibition.
CEO of Wessex Museums, Kristina Broughton commented on the award: “The Wessex Museums are absolutely thrilled to receive this support from the Heritage Fund. Thanks to National Lottery players, our partner museums and their local communities can now rediscover our rich, regional folk heritage through a shared approach, and in the process connect more people to Wessex folk art and traditions in new ways.”
The project will culminate in a touring exhibition and associated events programme across four Wessex partner museum sites (Swindon Museum & Art Gallery, Poole Museum, The Salisbury Museum, and Wiltshire Museum), between January 2025 to May 2026, bringing Wessex folk heritage to a wider and more diverse audience.