Lunar21 and our live events host Derby Museums Trust have been working together for over eight years since our first event, held in the Joseph Wright Gallery in 2008. Recently we formalised the relationship to enable both of us to make further advances against our common goals. Head of Derby Museums, Jonathan Wallis, speaks more about this new opportunity:
When Lunar21 Founder, Graham Bennett, approached us about the idea of Lunar21 we soon realised the common ground held between his concept and our organisational aims. Using as inspiration the ideals first upheld by Derby’s historic local groups such as the Lunar Society, Derby Philosophical Society and the Derby Mechanics Institute were woven into both our fabrics.
Derby’s role in the development of the 18th Century Enlightenment period, via the Silk Mill and Joseph Wright, and its modern role today as a centre for high technology industry put us in a unique position in being able to look back at our own history, reflect on the present and plan for our best possible future in a society where the role of the high-tech will be increasingly important, perhaps in ways which we have yet to imagine.
Society is changing fast, and the pace will only speed up. Derby Museums Trust is run for an on behalf of the people of Derby. “Derby Museums’ mission is for people to find their place, in the world. Together we make museums for the head, heart and hands.” Similarly, Lunar21’s vision of ‘together, stimulating forward thinking for Derby’, develops upon this and allows us to interact with Derby’s citizens and communities in a different way, as well as linking in with the museum’s 19th Century aim of broadening the minds of Derby’s working people.
The diversity of the events that Lunar21 have held over the last eight years particularly highlight our current mission. Divergent points-of-view, ideas and thoughts are crucial to breaking down the barriers created in the 19th Century between arts and science that still even today challenge our ability to think and work holistically across disciplines. The importance of this was recognised in the recent Heritage Lottery Fund award for the Silk Mill developed to advance the idea of STEAM; science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics.
Lunar21 working alongside Derby Museums Trust allows us to further our common mission together. Over the last eight years, Lunar21 has engaged with a wide audience on a number of topics, all relating to Derby and it’s future. Formalising our working partnership strengthens our position in the city with Derby as a catalyst for inspiration and change, by providing chances to reflect and think on issues that affect us all.
Derby Museums Executive Director, Tony Butler adds, “never has the notion that we embody a ‘whole history of forward thinking’ been so apt in our connection with Lunar21. We’ve been inspired by the Lunar men of old, who had a thirst for knowledge, a desire to share and a penchant for iconoclasm!”
“Being part of the Trust’s volunteer network is already generating opportunities to improve the planning, promotion, and coordination of Lunar21 events. We are also delighted that Lunar21 can help to support the valuable work of the Trust, by joining with the extraordinary creativity and commitment of their staff and volunteers.”
Graham Bennett, Lunar21 Founder
Derby Museums Trust looks forward to the future with Lunar21, and the people of Derby to think about just what shape that might take, for the benefit of all within the city. To change with society, the ability to reflect and respond are crucial; and similarly Lunar21 and Derby Museums have a chance to reflect back at one another new ideas and ways of thinking to stimulate progress forwards.