Here For Culture thanks to the Government's Culture Recovery Fund
Today, the Charles Dickens Museum has been awarded a significant grant as part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) to help face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Museum, at no. 48 Doughty Street, Dickens’s only surviving London house, re-opened to visitors at the end of July, following four months of enforced closure due to COVID-19 restrictions. 48 Doughty Street is the London residence where Dickens wrote Oliver Twist and Nicholas Nickleby, completed The Pickwick Papers and began Barnaby Rudge.
On re-opening, the Museum launched a new special exhibition, Technicolour Dickens: The Living Image of Charles Dickens. The exhibition shows how images of Dickens were consumed and circulated as soon as he found fame, throughout his career and after his death. It brings together a dizzying array of depictions of Dickens, as well as clothing, personal items and descriptions by those who knew and saw him, to reveal Dickens as he actually was and to explore the enduring power of his image.
The Museum is one of 1,385 cultural and creative organisations across the country receiving urgently needed support. £257 million of investment has been announced today as part of the first round of the Culture Recovery Fund grants programme being administered by Arts Council England. Further rounds of funding in the cultural and heritage sector are due to be announced over the coming weeks.
Cindy Sughrue, Director of the Charles Dickens Museum, said, “We are delighted and relieved to receive this grant, which will allow us to continue to welcome visitors over the coming months. While we at the Museum live and breathe Dickens all year round, we’ll soon be turning our attention towards Christmas, a time when his work becomes a part of many more people’s lives across the world. This year, it feels as though Dickens’s messages of generosity of spirit, warmth and community will be needed more than ever, at the end of a sapping year. We have big plans for Christmas and this grant will enable us to look ahead with optimism.”
Recognised by Historic England as one of the top 100 places that tell the remarkable story of England and its impact on the world (Irreplaceable: A History of England in 100 Places, 2018), 48 Doughty Street is a place of pilgrimage and a beacon in a local community that fizzes with Dickens’s legacy.
Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair, Arts Council England, said, “Theatres, museums, galleries, dance companies and music venues bring joy to people and life to our cities, towns and villages. This life-changing funding will save thousands of cultural spaces loved by local communities and international audiences. Further funding is still to be announced and we are working hard to support our sector during these challenging times.”
Oliver Dowden, Culture Secretary, said, “This funding is a vital boost for the theatres, music venues, museums and cultural organisations that form the soul of our nation. It will protect these special places, save jobs and help the culture sector’s recovery. These places and projects are cultural beacons the length and breadth of the country. This unprecedented investment in the arts is proof this government is here for culture, with further support to come in the days and weeks ahead so that the culture sector can bounce back strongly.”