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Aspire Black Suffolk founder is shortlisted for national museums award!

Elma Glasgow, founder and co-director of Aspire Black Suffolk CIC. Photo by John Ferguson.

ID: Woman of mixed heritage (Black Caribbean and white British) sits at a table dressed in a red floral patterned dress with long sleeves. She cups her chin in her left hand, with her other hand resting on the table between her body and her laptop. A full cop of coffee sits next to the laptop. The bench on which she sits has a high back and is covered in bright green astro turf.

Suffolk-based social enterprise founder, Elma Glasgow, has been shortlisted for a Museums Change Lives Awards, which celebrate the achievements of museums that are making a difference to the lives of their audiences and communities across the UK.

Judges selected Ms Glasgow, co-director of Aspire Black Suffolk CIC, as a finalist for the Radical Changemaker award, which recognises the achievements of an individual in promoting one or more of the themes of the Museums Change Lives campaign in a museum.

Eleanor Root, Collections and Learning Curator at Ipswich Museums, nominated Ms Glasgow for the award. She said: “Elma Glasgow is the linchpin that held together over 30 partners to create and deliver Power of Stories – an ambitious exhibition and events programme celebrating African and Caribbean heritages in Suffolk, which is now touring.

“Her drive to celebrate Black heritage in Suffolk has created opportunities for thousands of people to connect, understand, and explore previously exclude histories. Through collaborating with her, Power of Stories in Ipswich, attracted 24,331 visitors in 16 weeks, 23% more than Ipswich Museums’ last major exhibition."

Ms Glasgow said: “Being shortlisted for the Radical Changemaker award was totally unexpected, mainly because my work wouldn’t be possible without the help and expertise of other dedicated people. And because I’m driven by a passion for fighting racism, which causes so much destruction in society and pain for swathes of people. It’s just fantastic to be recognised by the Museums Association for my work, which I hope helps Black stories be told accurately, intelligently and respectfully. And a huge thank you to everyone who’s supported me and Aspire so far on this exciting journey!”

This year’s awards will take place in Edinburgh on Thursday 3 November as part of the Museums Association’s annual conference.

The awards have four categories in total, including a new Reimagining the Museum award, recognising the best example of a museum using decolonising practice to recognise the impact of the legacy of empire and slavery in any area of its activities.

The Best Museums Change Lives Project award recognises the best project in the past year that reflects one or more of the themes of the Museums Association’s Museums Change Lives campaign: Promoting Health and Wellbeing; Creating Better Places; and Inspiring Engagement, Reflection and Debate.

The Best Small Museum Project recognises the best project at museums with an annual turnover of less than £320,000.

To view the shortlist for the MCL awards 2022 please see Museums Association website. The shortlist information will be available on this page on 11 October.

Aspire Black Suffolk is currently working with Britten Pears Arts, the Association for Suffolk Museums and Marvel Studios to bring the Power of Stories to Snape Maltings from Saturday 22 October to Sunday 19 February. The exhibition combines iconic original costumes from Marvel Studio’s 2018 blockbuster film – worn by the characters T’challa, Shuri and Okoye – with historical museum objects (including from the Britten Pears Archive) and stories from the local Black community in an exploration of storytelling and identity.


Notes to editors

For media enquiries: Elma Glasgow, Founder and Co-director of Aspire Black Suffolk CIC and PR consultant: or 07738004670.

About Aspire Black Suffolk CIC

Aspire Black Suffolk began as the community cultural initiative celebrating Black heritage and culture in the county. The company was born out of the Power of Stories exhibition at Christchurch Mansion, Ipswich, which was a catalyst on many levels for many people. It helps Aspire to build on existing community networks, establish new community relationships and create a new programme of events.

In November 2021, we became a community interest company which is led by four professional Black women who are dedicated to tackling inequality in all its forms. Our focus is on challenging racism, but we are an inclusive organisation.

Our services include:

● D&I training for large and small employers in all sectors.

● Teacher training for teaching Black history in schools and colleges.

● Anti-racist communications training.

● Facilitation of heritage, arts and cultural events, and youth projects.

We work across all protected characteristics in accordance with the Equality Act 2010. Registered company in England and Wales no.: 13765611.

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