Tuesday 19 th April saw the launch of a street exhibition and treasure hunt around
Blackhall that connects the former mining village in East Durham to thousands of years
of history in the University’s Museum Collection.
Back in 2020 arts engagement programme East Durham Creates joined forces with Durham
University for a project called Street Gallery, which took place in Dawdon and encouraged local people to curate their own exhibition and turn the windows of their home into a gallery. Thanks to support from the Museums Association Digital Innovations and Engagement fund, the University’s Culture and Museum teams returned to East Durham to work together with East Durham Creates and Blackhall Community Centre on Street Museum.
Street Museum is about bringing objects normally seen in museums into people’s homes,
businesses and community spaces. It is all about greater access, removing barriers and getting communities to engage deeply with collections and institutions they might not normally.
Since October 2021, the Street Museum project has worked with the communities in Blackhall to shape an outdoor exhibition where 3D printed objects from across history will appear in the windows of homes, shops and community hubs. Through pop up events, visits to the Collections and community curation Blackhall have designed a treasure hunt weaving thousands of years of history into everyday places and spaces with the spirit of their community at its core.
The street exhibition and treasure hunt launched on Tuesday 19 th April and will run until
Sunday 24th with treasure hunt maps available for collection from Blackhall Community Centre.
Participants can explore the village, uncover the story and find all of the objects to collect a
prize. Taking part is free and you can find out more by ringing the Community Centre on 0191 5867396.
Alison Paterson, Manager of Blackhall Community Centre said: “We are so excited to bring the village to life with culture over the Easter break. It has been a truly amazing project and
exceeded our expectations. So many people have learned so much about ancient history, both local and far afield!” Alison added. “We are definitely going for Blackhall getting the Village of Culture title!”
Jess Hunt, Director of East Durham Creates said, “This project has been truly community driven and an opportunity for people in East Durham to connect with the fantastic collections of the University right on their doorsteps and bring something to their communities which is normally only seen in cities, museums and galleries.”
Liz Waller, Director of Libraries and Collections and Durham University said, “We are really
committed to doing more in the wider county with communities who might not always have the opportunity to access or engage with the University – this is just the first of many really
innovative projects we intend to run with communities like Blackhall.”
For more info and the full map visit http://eastdurhamcreates.co.uk/streetmuseum/
Community led programming like this will be a key feature of Durham County’s UK City of
In March 2022, it was announced that Durham was in the final four shortlist. To find out more about County Durham’s bid and to leave messages of support, visit
www.durham2025.co.uk and follow @Durham2025 on Facebook, @Durham_2025 on Twitter
and @Durham2025_ on Instagram.