Why do we need a Story Museum?
We believe that stories lie at the heart of human culture. Stories help us to develop the vital language, imaginative and emotive skills we need to understand the world and connect with each other.
We believe that stories are particularly essential for children and young people, whose life chances are improved by being exposed to stories.
Our mission is to create an inspirational centre that will highlight the importance of stories in all their forms and demonstrate their power to teach and delight.
How can I get involved?
We’re always happy to welcome new volunteers to the team, to help in our shop and café, to steward our events and exhibitions, or to help in the office. If you would like to be part of the team, find out more. The Story Museum is a work in progress, and we rely on the support of donors to continue our journey. Donate.
Why does The Story Museum charge for entry?
Like many other cultural organisations, we rely on both earned and donated income. We aim eventually to raise around £400,000 a year to subsidise our programmes and keep tickets affordable. The money we earn through ticket income is invested in our education and events programming.
However, parts of the Story Museum are free to enter and enjoy. We also organise a number of free regular events. These include the ever-popular Alice’s Day, ‘relaxed visits’ for those with autism, learning disabilities or sensory and communication disorders and Christmas Light Night.
Are you open all year round?
Yes. Following the opening of our refurbished learning space, café, shop and offices, we’re now able to run a year-round programme of events and exhibitions, whilst continuing to work towards transforming the rest of our building. Our shop and café is open from Tuesday-Sunday. Our exhibition and installations are open to the public every day during Oxfordshire state school holidays and from Friday-Sunday during term time. Schools have exclusive use of the Museum spaces Tuesdays-Thursdays during term time. For information on our events, visit our What’s On section.
How do you work with schools?
We run pupil events, including performance and author workshops, as well as creative professional development for teachers. We also take outreach workshops to schools around the country. Cath Hogan is happy to talk about tailor-made sessions for your school. We also have a number of resources for teachers and educationalists on our website, including a wide range of audio stories. Find out more.
How is The Story Museum funded?
We are a registered charity and rely on public and private donations to run our activities and to support our transformation project. We have raised more than £6m since the Story Museum began in 2003. This has enabled us to acquire and renovate our set of buildings, and develop our work in schools and the community. Find out more about our current supporters.
We need to raise around £400,000 a year to maintain our creative learning programmes, build our collection of stories, and produce a programme of affordable, exciting and inspirational events. Thanks to the support of our donors, our activities currently reach 20,000 people a year. We need to do much more to complete our transformation, which includes a capital fundraising goal of £6m. Find out how you can get involved.
When will The Story Museum be finished?
We’ve completed the first chapter of our story with the opening in April 2014 of newly-refurbished spaces on the ground and first floor, including a learning space, shop and café. To develop the rest of our site and continue our programme of events, exhibitions and education work, we aim to raise £8m over the next three years. We hope to complete our transformation by 2019/20.