People’s History Museum selected as finalist for biggest museum fund in the world

  • People's History Museum is one of five shortlisted to win art fund museum of the year award 2022
  • Winner to receive £100,000 in world’s biggest museum prize

The People’s History Museum has been selected as a finalist for the Art Fund Museum of the Year 2022.
The Manchester museum is one of five on the shortlist, in competition with museums across England and Wales.

The award is the world’s biggest museum prize rewarding the winners’ “resilience, creativity and imagination”.
Katy Ashton, director of the People’s History Museum, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be shortlisted for museum of the year, which is such amazing recognition of the brilliant work of the whole museum team.
“I’ve always been incredibly proud of our museum and truly believe there is something very special about PHM and the work it does in collaboration with communities; celebrating people’s stories, sharing our collections, bringing people together and playing an important role as a space for social action and change.”

One of many progammes found within the People’s History Museum. Image: People’s History Museum

Jenny Waldman, art fund director, said: “An abundance of applications to be art fund museum of the year 2022 shows the creativity and resilience of museums right around the country, despite the immense challenges of the last two years. 
“The five superb finalists are all museums on a mission who are tackling the vital issues of today – from combating the climate emergency to improving literacy or exploring migration – and reaching diverse communities as they do so.

“Each is working hard to encourage the next generation to get involved, both to inspire them and to equip them with essential skills.”  
Exhibitions in the People’s History Museum focus on the unheard voices of communities and individuals.
In 2021 the museum unveiled “one of its most ambitious programmes” to date, challenging narratives around migration and the role migrants have played in shaping activism and rights in the UK.


The Passport Trail, a key feature of Migration: a human story. Image: People’s History Museum

The museum  encourages people to take a stand on social issues, such as the recent Kill the Bill protests that occurred across the country, campaigning against the Nationality and Borders Bill.
It exhibits objects with significance to the Peterloo massacre, the suffragette movement, and the fight for LGBTQ+ rights, with many other social and political movements being highlighted within the museum.

Mural Raising awareness of the Peterloo Massacre, viewable from the Albert Bridge. Image courtesy of the People’s History Museum

Muhsuem chair Bernard Donoghue said: “This is a huge honour and means so much to our staff, volunteers, supporters and stakeholders.

“As an activist and campaigning museum we live our values and take inspiration from our collection and the stories they tell.

“We are about ‘ideas worth fighting for’ and that’s never felt more relevant or urgent than now. We are very grateful for this recognition; it will spur us to provide more opportunities for individuals and communities to tell their stories and inspire change.”
The winning museum will be announced at a ceremony at the Design Museum in London on 14 July and will receive £100,000. The other four shortlisted museums will each receive £15,000 in recognition of their achievements.