Monthly Archives: March 2014

The Youth Arts, Culture and Heritage Event @thinktankmuseum

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Guest Blog by Holly Beaumont-Wilkes

1969132_10152674295817388_1324597657_nThe Youth Arts, Culture and Heritage Event aimed to provide young people across the West Midlands with a forum for debate about leadership and decision making opportunities in art, heritage and culture. Organised and run by Priority 5, an Arts Connect West Midlands pilot research project formed entirely of young people, ‘The Event’ also aimed to mobilise the next generation of young leaders by encouraging and inspiring them to have their say about local arts, heritage and culture.

1383793_10152674287787388_1507369606_nAs a Steering Group member, it was great to be part of a project that embraced young, creative talent instead of patronising or dismissing it. We were able to express our opinions and help create an event that we would actually want to attend. Young people were pressed to utilise their talents by taking control of different parts of the day, such as being in control of social media or designing the event space.

Special guests included Jake Orr, Artistic Director and Founder of A Younger Theatre, who spoke about his own experience of youth leadership and decision-making. We also had inspirational speeches from Anisa Haghdadi, Founder and CEO of Beatfreeks, and Dan Bridgewater, Founder and CEO of Fourth Wall Theatre Company. It was really motivating to hear speeches from young people who had already made their mark on the West Midlands arts, heritage and culture scene.

1234664_10152674289657388_1958559226_nThere were debates, workshops and performances throughout the day as well as opportunities for young people to share their stories and ideas. Arts, heritage and cultural organisations from across the West Midlands were also invited to provide information on volunteering, internships, apprenticeships and careers. The day was rounded off by an after party with an open mic that showcased local talent.

‘The Event’ was a truly inspiring day packed full of passionate young people who were dedicated to help shape the future of arts, culture and heritage across the West Midlands. It made me feel like my opinions do truly matter by creating a safe medium in which I could share them. It has inspired me to continue to look for leadership opportunities in this sector as I now believe my skills and experiences are valuable, and can help to make a difference. I am very proud of everyone who worked so hard to make this event happen, and very privileged to have been given the opportunity to be a part of this project.

If you would like to join the Steering Group and be part of the movement, please contact Ruth Richardson on Ruth.Richardson@wlv.ac.uk or 07837 734275 for more information.

Guest Blog: Geffrye Museum Youth Panel as seen from a Member @GeffryeYouth

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Photogirls Wallace Event 24Jan14 16My name is Rosie Bayliss; I’m 17 and I’ve been a member of the Geffrye Museum Youth Panel (called the ‘YAP’) for approximately nine months now. The YAP is a way for young people (aged 14-24) to volunteer, leading them to gain a vast range of skills, which will later on be transferable to many different roles in the working world. The Geffrye Museum YAP is a very friendly and welcoming group, which means that everyone gets a chance to voice their opinion on the points of discussion. In our last YAP meeting I signed up for a training day on ‘Networking and Presentation Skills’ which was run by the East London Business Alliance (ELBA); this is an example of one of the many opportunities offered.

I joined the Geffrye Museum YAP as I am aiming to gain a career in museum/ gallery education, and I feel highly passionate about getting young people more involved with galleries and museums. I believe it is important for younger generations to grow up and appreciate history and to see how we have learnt about this history i.e. through sculpture, painting and architecture and also to appreciate the arts. The Geffrye Museum Youth Panel allows me to get involved with this; it allows me to get involved with creating events but also the other aspects behind the event, such as the marketing side.

The YAP Take-over event – ‘Royal Wonders @ the Wallace, The Wallace Collection:

 Wallace Event Jan14 92A typical Youth Panel meeting begins with an introduction, everyone is given an agenda sheet, which summarises the different points we will be talking about. During our meeting on Monday 13th January, we discussed further details of our upcoming event at the Wallace Collection, ‘Royal Wonders @ the Wallace’. We had two members of staff from the Wallace Collection attending the meeting, whom we have been collaborating with over ideas for the event over lots of YAP meetings in order to make the event a huge success. I was particularly keen on being involved with this event, as it is similar to the work that I would like to pursue. 

Our event at the Wallace Collection, ‘Royal Wonders @ the Wallace,’ was really successful. The Wallace Collection is a national museum that displays works of art that were collected in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries by the first four Marquesses of Hertford and Sir Richard Wallace, the 4th Marquess of Hertford’s son. It was exciting to be able to hold an event here amongst many great works of art and it was the perfect place to hold our Royalty-themed event. In our YAP meetings we decided on having six different activities, all set in different rooms. These workshops ranged from ‘The Royal Treatment’, where you could dress up in armour, accessories and gowns and then have a photograph taken capturing your new royal look, to ‘Regal Portraits’ where you could have a caricature artist draw you as a current or past royal figure.  The YAP was really pleased with the outcome of the event and had a great time pretending to be a royal for a night!