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Museum’s Big Saturday celebrates what makes Manchester wonderful

17 Jan 2017

Celebrating the values that bring us together, rather than those that set us apart, Manchester Museum is partnering with Common Cause Foundation which published research earlier this year on what those of us living in the North West value

Manchester Museum Saturday

At Manchester Museum’s monthly ‘Big Saturday’ on 21 January, Manchester Museum will be asking visitors to come and consider their values and input their own ideas about how we can all work in the Museum to celebrate and express what matters most to us, the people of Greater Manchester.

Common Cause Foundation’s research, titled Perceptions Matter, found that three-quarters of us prioritise ‘compassionate’ values over ‘selfish’ values. It also showed that over three quarters of people in the UK under-estimate the importance that their fellow-citizens place on these compassionate vales.

“There’s a focus on earning money, and that’s what’s valued” is a typical comment from a survey participant in Greater Manchester. Another said: “Our society can be quite image-driven, it’s focused on money, and clothes.”

The research found the more we overestimate the significance that others attach to selfish values, the less likely we ourselves are to have voted in recent elections, the lower our intentions to volunteer or support the work of a charity, and the more socially isolated we are prone to feel.

Manchester Museum and Common Cause Foundation suggest our perceptions of what others value are shaped by our experience of the world. One of Manchester Museum’s ambitions is to become a ‘museum for life’, strengthening community and building wellbeing.  As part of this ambition, the Museum will be working in collaboration with Common Cause Foundation to reflect shared compassionate values, and to communicate a simple insight: these are the values to which most of us living in north west England attach greatest importance.

Shanna Lennon, Common Cause Foundation Coordinator at Manchester Museum said: "This project will be developing ways which a Museum can address this widespread misunderstanding about what others hold to be important and convey an accurate perception of the values of others which is key to citizens everywhere feeling empowered to be more civically engaged in building a better world."

This project is supported by the Minor Foundation for Major Challenges.

Big Saturday: Our Wonderful World

Saturday 21 January (11am - 4pm)

Drop in, free, all ages

Manchester Museum is kicking off 2017 by celebrating the big and the small things that make our world wonderful! Come along and bring the whole family for a day of activities all around kindness, connection and care! Join artists, storytellers, museum staff and volunteers for a day of fun activities that bring us all together. Explore and share with us what makes our world wonderful - the kindness of others, the beauty of the world, creativity - share your stories and discover some of ours too. 

Manchester Museum, The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PL