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Community Curators at Prescot Museum

Prescot 1597 – untold stories of the town

by Lisa Bennett

A new project, Prescot 1597, has brought together a group of creative and inquisitive people with a love of the town’s heritage.

The Community Curators, will explore and investigate the incredible story of Prescot’s Elizabethan and theatrical history, which culminated in the erection of the only free standing purpose built Playhouse outside London in 1597.

Specialist training and research

The project, which is funded through the National Lottery Heritage Lottery Fund, will deliver an intense year of specialist training in curatorial skills, research trips to museums, galleries and historical collections. This will sit alongside project meetings, research sessions and individual discovery enabling the Curators to uncover untold stories about the town and reconnect the community with its identity.

The Curators will share their findings through pop-up exhibitions displayed across the town, a documentary book, an online archive to be held at Knowsley ARK, along with content and selected loaned objects to be displayed in the new exhibition space at the Shakespeare North Playhouse currently being built in Prescot.

Cllr Shelley Powell, Knowsley’s Cabinet Member fore Communities and Neighbourhoods, recently met the Community Curators at a behind the scenes tour at Prescot Museum where they selected the first objects to be donated to the Shakespeare North Playhouse collection and archive.

Cllr Powell commented:

“We’ve had an overwhelming interest in this project and it’s wonderful to see so many people volunteering to get involved. I really enjoyed meeting the community Curators and finding out about their fascinating work. They are doing something really special that will help connect local people to the heritage and history of Prescot and will help to tell the story of Prescot to the many visitors that the new Shakespeare North Playhouse will bring to the town for years to come.”

The Prescot 1597 project will run from October 2019 to December 2020 and has received £51,000 funding from the National Heritage Lottery Fund.

Follow @KnowShakespeare for updates from the Community Curators and their work.