The pandemic brought a new way of working and we needed to adapt. We moved towards a digital landscape. Our young Curators co-designed exhibitions, heritage tours and alternative museum guidebooks, without even seeing the heritage spaces.
The Black Lives Matter movement shaped the future of Don’t Settle and highlighted how important it is to continue our work to change the system. Our Curators responded with exhibitions such as ‘Black Is Beautiful. Black without apology’ at Aston Hall, created space for sharing and healing within Lunar Campfires, a Black heritage audio tour at Roundhouse Birmingham, and held the sector accountable.
Finally, we could organise in-person events. ‘Black is beautiful. Black without apology’ launched the exhibition with the same title that celebrated Black women at Aston Hall; ‘All this CCTV, but do you even see me?” Lunar Campfire at BOM in partnership with Up: rise and Baff Akoto; ‘Turn on the light’ launched the Birmingham by Night exhibition and the ‘Herstory of Birmingham’ zine at Roundhouse Birmingham.
Through the Youth Accelerator Fund, Don’t Settle expanded further into Black Country, adding Multistory and Wednesbury Museum & Art Gallery as partners. All these, whilst starting our youth governance strands with our partners and young consultants, and working with young people to create a heritage manifesto for young People of Colour and launching the ‘Time and Time Again’ report in collaboration with National Youth Trends.