Welcome to our 2021-22 Annual Review
Following the third national lockdown, we were finally able to reopen the museum service on 18th May 2021 and have worked extremely hard to re-establish all areas of the Museum and Tourist Information Centre service while rebuilding our audiences and increasing physical access to our collection again.
We are thrilled that the extension of 'Mystery Warrior: The North Bersted Man' allowed many more visitors a chance to see the exhibition (just shy of 32,000 visitors in total). The response to the exhibition was tremendous and the Mystery Warrior is now on permanent display in our first-floor gallery alongside an enhanced display of prehistory objects from our collection.
It was a pleasure to see our First Floor Foyer Gallery be used as a space for community production with Chichester Community Development Trust's Graylingwell Chapel exhibition, bringing other voices and perspectives into the museum. 'From Field to Fork to Lockdown' brought a contemporary perspective on food and sustainable farming through a display, collaborative documentary film and associated activities, and our 'Woolstapling' display was very well received at Midhurst Museum. We look forward to developing further community exhibitions in future.
We were delighted to bring 'Brick Wonders' to the museum, which transported visitors around the world to wonders old and new through 500,000 LEGO® bricks. 33,800 visitors came to the exhibition between 5 December 2021 and 5 June 2022. For the first time, we charged admission to a temporary exhibition following positive responses to public consultation. We look forward to bringing other high quality, blockbuster exhibitions to Chichester.
Our award-winning annual Chichester Roman Week returned with a blended programme in May half term, including a series of new films exploring a day in the life of a slave, gladiator, medic and wealthy lady in the Roman empire. Numerous other events helped to re-enliven our public programme, including the return of Chichester Starlight Trail, a newly commissioned Wizarding School at The Guildhall and space themed events at the Cathedral as part of their Luke Jerram, 'Museum of the Moon' programme.
We have successfully secured a range of important grants this year, including funding from The V&A Purchase Grant Fund and Headley Trust to acquire an early medieval gold ring and late Roman coin hoard for the collection. Thanks to a grant from The Museums Association's Digital Innovation Fund we were able to expand our Virtual Field Trips, which were shortlisted for a national Museums and Heritage Award for Best Learning Programme, and a national Digital Culture Award in the category of Content Creation. Our South Downs National Park Authority grant allowed us to launch a pilot online shop, adding a new e-commerce platform to our service. A grant from the Pilgrim Trust will enable us to complete the conservation of the Mystery Warrior's sword and a significant grant from Arts Council England will support the development and delivery of an exciting exhibition called 'The Art of Chichester: 60 Years of Creativity' next year.
Our Annual Review seeks to demonstrate our impact in the context of our 5 Key Objectives. We would like to thank everyone who has continued to support our service in 2021/22, including the thousands of visitors who have taken the time to visit and share their thoughts with us.