Introduced in January 2017, the Rural Diversity Network (RDN) was initiated as part of the Arts Council England supported Change Makers leadership programme with Dr Tehmina Goskar, and is now coordinated by the team at Cornwall Museums Partnership.
Through the Rural Diversity Network, we are trying to tackle geographic exclusion. Cultural policy around diversity has often been centered on the visible diversity of big cities. The Network aims to balance this by providing another view and campaigning for equity for rural regions. Where investment in culture in the rural regions has been biased towards creating an offer for tourists, resulting in inclusion challenges for organisations engaging with local communities the Rural Diversity Network will help to challenge, inform and develop new practice.
“Our charity exists to create positive social change with museums and for this to happen we need to understand, and respond to, the full diversity of the communities museums exist to serve. We realised that the rural dimension was often missing from national strategy and
policy, and so our commitment through the Rural Diversity Network is to create the space for expertise and perspectives, drawn from rural communities nationally and internationally, which help shape better museums for everyone.” Emmie Kell CEO Cornwall Museums Partnership
We want to start a conversation and get people talking.
Starting from January 2020 until December 2020, we are using the powers of social media to get the hashtag #RDNetwork used as a place for conversation. Each month, we will bring in a guest host for an hour on the Cornwall Museums Partnership’s Twitter page where, using #RDNetwork, we aim to get a topical discussion going.
We are pleased to share with you our exciting campaign report which highlights the first 6 months of our #RDNetwork takeovers.
Please click here to take a look at this report to get a feel of our engagement figures so far, and some the conversations that were had.
Age UK Cornwall guest hosted in January where the topic was social isolation and loneliness. The questions asked were;
In February we had St. Petrocs guest hosting where the topic was housing / social and economic deprivation. The questions we asked were;
Fiona Wotton, Director of Cornwall 365 took over the reigns of the Cornwall Museums Partnership’s Twitter page at the end of March, where the topic was ‘tourism’. We discussed diversity and inclusion in this context which is different to the visible diversity of big cities on which cultural policy is usually based. Now, with the onset of the coronavirus we asked how museums and tourism businesses can work together to support the visitor economy and their communities. Here are the questions we shared on Tuesday 31 March 2020 between 7-8pm;
On Wednesday 29 April, Director of External Affairs of SS Great Britain, Nerys Watts, hosted our takeover on Twitter to discuss health and wellbeing and rural isolation. Here are the questions we asked during our #RDNetwork hour;
We are looking forward to introducing Kids in Museums to our #RDNetwork takeover on Wednesday 27 May between 7-8pm. The topic of conversation was, you’ve guessed it; children and young people. The questions we asked are below;
We were delighted to welcome Sophie from Queer Kernow to our monthly #RDNetwork takeover in June where the topic was LGBTQ+ in rural and isolated communities.
The questions we asked were;
1. Do you feel there is adequate support for the LGBTQ+ community in Cornwall and IoS?
2. How could museums and galleries do more to support the LGBTQ+ community?
3. Is there enough support for young people in the LGBTQ+ community, especially in rural communities?
4. How do you feel museums and galleries could better play a role in the LGBTQ+ community?
We were excited to announce that July’s #RDNetwork guest host was Tehmina Goskar, Director of the Curatorial Research Centre. Tehmina brought with her a wealth of knowledge on volunteering, and with being one of the Rural Diversity Networks original coordinators back in 2017, we were delighted that Tehmina could join us for the July takeover.
The theme was volunteering and below are the questions we asked…
For August’s #RDNetwork takeover, we were delighted that Pool School Gallery guest hosted took over our Twitter to talk about education.
Below are the four questions we asked…
We were excited to have had Wo King of Hi9, a Tech Agency providing bot Design & bot Workshops, join us for our September #RDNetwork takeover, which happened on Tuesday 29 September.
The topic we discussed was ‘digital’ and the following questions were asked…
We were absolutely thrilled to welcome British writer and poet of Ghanaian and English heritage, Louisa Adjoa Parker to our #RDNetwork Twitter takeover on Tuesday 27 October where we discussed the Black Lives Matter movement and how museums and galleries can make a positive impact.
The questions Louisa will be asking are…
We are thrilled to welcome Dr Ruth Pethybridge to our #RDNetwork takeover on Monday 30 November between 8-9pm. Ruth is a Dance Artist, Researcher and Senior Lecturer in dance at Falmouth University, she has worked extensively as a practitioner in the Community Dance sector. Her research interests centre on the body as a form of cultural knowledge and the politics of participation in dance.
This month, our takeover looks at cultural engagement. Check out the questions we will be asking below and do join the conversation;
Please join the conversation and be sure to use the hashtag #RDNetwork
Watch this space for updates of forthcoming months, including details of the topics up for discussion and who will be guest hosting.
It’s simple! All you need to do is head over to Twitter, follow us and join in the conversations using #RDNetwork during the coming months. We will let you know via our social media pages and newsletter when to expect the takeover, and then it’s a case of getting online and engaging with us. We want to hear from you so don’t be shy, let’s get the conversation started.
If you’d like to get involved or guest host for us then please contact our Marketing and Impact Officer, Jody Woolcock. Jody will happily chat to you about ways in which you can get involved.
Please email Jody here; email@example.com