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Lancaster City Museums awarded a £5,000 grant by The National Lottery Heritage Fund for ‘In the Spotlight’

Lancaster City Museums are delighted to have been awarded over £5,000 from The National Lottery Heritage Fund for a travelling exhibition looking at ‘Black Entertainers in Morecambe’.

This fascinating, but little-known history, is being researched by Kirsty Roberts, a Lancashire Black historian. Kirsty is a PhD student with the University of Central Lancashire which is working in partnership with Lancaster City Museums to look at Black histories within the Lancaster area.

The exhibition, 'In the Spotlight', made possible by National Lottery players, will reveal a galaxy of entertainers who performed in Morecambe from 1850-1950, including stars from the United States associated with the Harlem Renaissance and the Cotton Club.

The project will also work with early career Black artist, Lela Harris and Great Wood School in Bare to imagine posters and postcards promoting these artists which will later form part of the display.

Exhibition Curator, Kirsty Roberts said: "I’m incredibly excited and honoured to be facilitating the return of these fabulous, internationally acclaimed performance artists to Morecambe. Morecambe was a destination to which Black artists repeatedly returned with enthusiasm for over 100 years, and I can’t wait to celebrate this often-overlooked part of the town’s storied history with its present day residents and visitors."

Carolyn Dalton, Lancaster City Council’s Museums Development Manager, said: “This is a part of Morecambe’s rich history that very few people are aware of. I am delighted that our museums have been able to secure the funding to make this exhibition possible and showcase some of the amazing Black entertainers who performed here.”

Professor Alan Rice, Director of the Institute for Black Atlantic Research at UCLan, said: “It is wonderful to get funding to showcase what is excellent research about a little-known aspect of Black British history.”

The exhibition will visit Lancaster City and Maritime Museums, Morecambe Library and Lancashire Archives from late autumn this year.

Last updated: 03 June 2024

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