Universal Roots was a unique community programme delivered by Nottingham City Museums and Galleries in partnership with Nottingham City Homes. The project was developed and managed by my colleague Melissa Lewis, with assistance from myself and others.

The Universal Roots Steering Group and staff have worked with a diverse group of learners and volunteers who have learnt a wide range of professional creative skills. These include exhibition design, contemporary art interpretation, marketing, events planning, collections research, filmmaking and photography.

With these skills they have curated three exhibitions, developed an events and marketing programme, recorded and transcribed 16 oral histories and developed an education learning resource from NCMG’s handling collection. These are all inspired by the theme of journeys and migration and NCMG’s shoe collection. The project has brought different cultural communities together and developed our understanding of the impact that community learning can have on people’s sense of belonging and the ways in which it can help build understanding and cooperation between different communities.