Read how The National Caribbean Heritage Museum celebrated Black History Month
Museumand is The National Caribbean Heritage Museum, a creative organisation dedicated to celebrating the Caribbean contribution to life in the UK. We were keen to work with Together TV because we know they are as passionate about community as us. Together TV is the UK’s leading TV channel for inspiring positive change, they celebrate the quirks of British life whilst motivating their viewers to do more for themselves and those around them through entertaining series and documentaries.
With both our organisations being dedicated to people and their stories, and enthusiastic in amplifying Black History Month, working together seemed a natural collaboration.
Together TV’s demographic is one our museum would want to engage, the lived experiences and knowledge of their audience would only enhance what we produce, so presenting their viewers with snippets of the museum’s work was opportune during the exciting period of Black History Month.
Rather than the usual long form content Together TV planned to air, and given the unique challenges set by the pandemic, they invited our staff on as Digital Guest Editors, essentially taking over their social media platforms. The channel marked this occasion by adapting their branding to a dedicated black and orange look, and from our side, Museumand helped prepare for this new look by providing a variety of heritage content that could be easily adapted.
This collaboration being so in tune enabled us to reach new audiences from across the UK and further afield, as viewers continually shared this new online content with family, friends and colleagues.
As a result, we’ve received wonderful appreciation via social media and WhatsApp, with a number of people even donating items to the museum. Many have also suggested aspects of history, heritage and culture that could be added to the museum’s programme, which will undoubtedly help to enhance our work. Others have got in touch after being inspired to share their own stories, and many have expressed interest in getting involved with the museum once Covid-19 restrictions allow people to come together.
Watch interview to Museumand’s Director Lynda Burrell on Black History Month:
Together TV echoed the reach and impact of this initiative, celebrating that:
“The Facebook post introducing the newly developed Black History Month content received incredible engagement, reaching up to 31k views and over 1,300 comments. The two organisations worked closely together to bolster and continue the initial buzz throughout the month.”
Notably many viewers reached out to us to say it has helped them deepen their understanding of Caribbean and African culture.
Collaborating with Together TV to co-produce digital content has given us a unique opportunity to develop a wider range of content for multiple channels, spanning TV, online and social media – reaching both existing and untapped audiences.
It has also enabled us to share highly topical content with people in an affordable, accessible way – particularly pertinent in light of Black Lives Matter. A movement that has been valuable in our own digital content production and will surely continue to influence our programmes in the future. Crucially, our collaboration has given communities we work with the opportunity to continually share their own stories and experiences with a UK wide audience.
Francesca, Head of Marketing at Together TV emphasized this point, saying how exciting it was to be able to consistently share masses of fresh content from Museumand with their channel viewers:
“We’ve filmed hours worth of content to bring the voices of Black British artists, public servants, care workers and many others to life visually and filling the Together TV schedule with meaningful shorts, echoing the integral role of these communities today.
On a daily basis, we were able to release information on a new heritage object, from Museumand’s vast collection of over 24,000 items. They also wrote four insightful interesting blogposts and we aired for the first time their 30 minute long documentary titled Nine Nights as a deeper dive into the direct experiences, memories and traditions of Caribbean communities in the UK, both past and contemporary.
Moreover, our viewers really appreciated Museumand’s list of 31 must-see Black Culture Films that are important to watch, and a curated playlist of 31 tracks by Black artists.”
Watch a clip from Nine Nights:
This content reaching Together TV’s general, mainstream audience was vital, as we hoped to reach an audience that Museumand has limited access to, therefore sharing this alongside Together TV’s usual programming was intentional. The role of influencers in this cause should not be under-estimated, Together TV’s followers being exposed to cultures they do not usually interact with aids us in our aim of reaching people who would not often engage with Black history, heritage and culture.
We have worked with TV companies and podcast producers in the past, but mainly on a local level. Our collaboration with Together TV has given us the opportunity to build on these experiences and take it to a national audience. Having now witnessed the public response to this initiative, we have realised the power and reach of national TV and are keen to maximise these opportunities further.
Our mission as a museum is to make a difference to people’s lives, by empowering them to think about their own history, heritage and culture in ways they haven’t before, and to celebrate and share African Caribbean culture in the UK across all communities, as a rich and vibrant part of our shared British past, present and future.
As a museum without walls collaborating with Together TV has been a unique, exciting way of doing this. The confines of walls can be a roadblock between people and their heritage, and Together TV has helped us overcome this a little more, by exposing us to a larger, broader audience. We will continue to curate and create relevant, tailored, and accessible content, and ultimately take history, culture and heritage direct to communities.
What is the social impact of Together TV? Some viewers’ have discussed how their lives have changed thanks to the inspiration they got from this TV channel:
Together TV is on Freeview 87, Sky 170, Virgin 269, Freesat 264.