Categotry Archives: teens in museums

Engaging Young People: Top Tips for Starting a Youth Panel @GeffryeYouth

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By Eileen Gbagbo, member of the Geffrye Museum Youth Advisory Panel

photo 8On Monday 6th October 2014, I and 5 other members of the Geffrye  Museum’s youth programme and Youth Advisory Panel, also known as the ‘YAP’, co-led the Kids in Museums  ’Starting a Youth Panel’ workshop in order to give our opinions on the Youth Panels, like what makes them successful and how they are run, etc. I volunteered to speak at the workshop, because I have really enjoyed being part of the YAP and I do believe that organisations such as museums, that aren’t exactly associated with or appealing to young people, should have something along the lines of a youth panel in order to break the stereotype. Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect from this workshop.

Before this event, the YAP had created the ’10 Top Tips for Starting a Youth Panel’ booklet. This is meant to be a tool designed to help anyone who is thinking about starting up a youth panel realise the important elements from the young people’s perspective.  The tips ranged from making sure that there was enough food at every meeting to making sure everyone put ideas forward, but in my opinion, the most important ‘Top Tip’ to me was about having unique opportunities within the museum or youth panel so that members could feel rewarded for their contribution. Our booklet was very eye-catching and informative at the same time; you can read it here.

photo 11The workshop started at 1pm, but we met at 12 o’clock just to run over some last-minute things. When the guests had arrived, we and the Kids in Museums staff introduced ourselves and all of the delegates took it in turn to say their name and where they’re from. Next, with the help of Vanessa (Young People’s Programme Coordinator at the Geffrye), we then spoke about each of the ‘Ten Top Tips’ in some detail and explained why we felt they were important in running and setting up a youth panel. After this daunting task, which seemed to take forever, we then sat at a table each in order to talk to those on the table and answer any of their queries.  Then it was the Kids in Museums’ infamous ‘Five Minute Blasts’. This involved 5 speakers, who have had experience with different youth groups, speaking for 5 minutes.  All the participants were then encouraged to write any questions they had on post-it notes, which were then sorted into different categories during the break.  After the coffee break, the delegates then sat on the table with the category which they were most interested in. YAP members sat on each of the tables and answered as many questions as possible. This was really interesting as we really engaged with the guests as they were really interested in running youth panels.  Afterwards, the participants wrote themselves a promise on a postcard which the Kids in Museums staff will post to them soon as a reminder.  Then we all filled in evaluation cards and the event ended around 4.30.

At the event, I learnt a lot of interesting things about youth panels, especially about the financial aspects. Its very hard for museums to get money to fund youth panels, so we talked about possible fundraising opportunities and ways to save money. Overall, speaking at the event helped my confidence and gave me the chance to speak about something quite important to me. Being part of the Geffrye YAP has given me many opportunities and has helped me grow in confidence and skills such as time management and planning and supporting large-scale events. Earlier this year, I also had the opportunity to complete a Silver Arts Award, and through that I have gained a lot of creative skills and arts knowledge.

 

Teens present ‘Sores, Spores & Sickly Bugs’ at Centre of the Cell @CentreoftheCell

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DSC00006On Tuesday 5th August, a group of 14-18 year olds from across East London came together at Centre of the Cell  to present ‘Spores, Sores & Sickly Bugs’, an exciting new workshop for families about the medical history of the East End. Since October 2013 the group, who are part of Centre of the Cell’s Youth Membership, have been busy conducting research, developing their ideas and creating a set of hands-on workshop stations, resulting in a performance that is entertaining as well as educational.

Funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund provided the young people with the opportunity to conduct research in a number of different and exciting ways. They visited the Royal London Hospital Museum and Archives, helped host a lecture on the history of drugs and even took a historical tour of Whitechapel to investigate its hidden medical mysteries. They also enjoyed training with the Head of Learning and Project Coordinator to develop practical workshop leading skills, and visited the Old Operating Theatre Museum and Wellcome Collection to find out more about medical and history collections and interpretation.

DSC00030As a result of their research, the young people selected four aspects of medical history they found particularly interesting, and each was used to create a station for the workshop: ‘Anaesthetics’, ‘Children & Disease’, ‘Equipment & Antisepsis’, and ‘Disease & the East End’. Scripts were written, props were made and presentations were rehearsed in time for testing the workshop with families from the local area at the Watney Market Idea Store. Some further refining resulted in stations that were fun and informative. Members of the audience, both young and old, left with a deepened understanding and enthusiasm for medical history. After delivering workshops onsite over the Easter 2014 school holidays, the team trained a new group of 14 – 18 year olds to deliver the workshop over the Summer 2014 school holidays.

IMG_2475Despite being a little nervous, the group delivered a fantastic workshop, leaving the young members of the project with a sense of accomplishment and pride. They described the experience as ‘challenging but so much fun’, and they all gained a deeper understanding of what is involved in organising event and working with a team, as well as developing their communication and presentation skills. They had to work together overcome issues such as time constraints and audience members talking over them, and as a result they developed new friendships and met a huge variety of people, which they described as ‘exciting and a completely unique experience’. The group can’t wait to repeat the show in the coming week: ‘Spores, Sores & Sickly Bugs’ will be delivered again at Centre of the Cell on Thursday 7th and Tuesday 12th August 2014.

To book a place for one of these workshops, please visit http://centreofthecell.eventbrite.co.uk/

To find out more about Centre of the Cell’s ‘Sores, Spores & Sickly Bugs’ project, and the read the website content the young people created, visit http://www.centreofthecell.org/centre/?page_id=352&ks=3.

 

 

Guest Post: Reasons to be Silly by Angharad Bullward

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI can be a serious person, honest. I have had my museum blog for nearly two years and I have written about a wide range of topics including; reviewing historic sites, discussing the latest development in the sector, recording my own archival research and how I would run my fictional castle(Ok the last one was a bit silly).  My most read post to date is about a subject that is very close to heart of many people I know; the state of the job market in the cultural sector. Nearly 150 people completed my survey that illustrated the difficulties in securing employment in a very competitive sector that contradictory offers extraordinary job satisfaction.

In complete contrast, my second most read post to date is one entitled ‘10 things everyone thinks when they go to a museum.’ An entry that consists mainly of photos of things I think at museum and only took a mere fraction of time to write compared to the Career Survey. It features serious questions as ‘Am I too old to dress up?’ and ‘Didn’t they film that show here?’ I have yet to come across anyone that disagrees with this, which is somewhat reassuring.

I don’t know how prevalent the idea that museums are stuffy old buildings filled with boring ancient exhibitions is anymore. It isn’t my area of museum expertise but the post was meant to show the lighter side of the heritage sector. I am not always thinking about that when I visit as there are museums I been to that deal with sensitive subjects where such thoughts never cross my mind. I didn’t also include comments that pop up as someone who works in museums and has a degree in Heritage Management  as they were a bit too niche (they included spotting typos in interpretation and comments on queue managing systems – exciting yes?).

I have really enjoyed the feedback on this and it’s great to have struck a chord. I know I haven’t really explained the ‘Reasons to be silly’, the title of this post but surely the whole point of being silly is not to conform to such traditional expectations.

 So if you see a tallish women with long curly hair in her mid-twenties eyeing up the dressing up clothes in a museum, there is a pretty high likelihood it’s me. Care to join?

Angharad Bullward, can often be found getting overexcited in a variety of heritage sites and museums throughout the United Kingdom. On her blog, she documents her recent trips and musings, attempting to engage people with heritage regardless of whether they regularly go to museums or not.  

What is Dig It! 2015? @DigIt2015

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digitWhat is Dig It! 2015?
This is going to be a year-long, country-wide celebration of Scottish archaeology, run on behalf of the heritage sector by the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland and Archaeology Scotland

There is already a lot planned for next year and we are compiling an exciting programme of events drawn from a whole range of organisations (we are taking a very holistic approach to what is considered ‘archaeology’!).

Why are we doing it?
We want as many people as possible to find out about archaeology and to contribute to the big story of Scotland’s past.  This is a past and story which belongs to all of us, and the events and programmes which run through the year will provide people with a range of activities from theatre performances to exhibitions, open days and discovery sessions, so that as wide a range of Scotland’s population can get involved.

What can you do?
We are especially looking for events that actively involve 16-24 year olds, whether that’s those who are in school, college or university or a local youth or scout group.  This part of the programme is still in development, so we are looking for ideas, as well as organisations and groups who want to be involved.

You might have an idea about putting on an archaeology activity or you might just want to be kept informed of events in your area where you could go along and find out more.  We are especially keen to get people out to actually visit sites and places of historical/archaeological interest, and to take some time to explore the heritage around them.

Whatever your interest, if you would like to be involved, then please take a look at our website www.digit2015.com for more information get in touch with your ideas!

Review of mystery shoppers Lichfield @WiPArtsUK / @priorityfive 

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@priorityfiveSo, to introduce myself,  I am a recently employed apprentice for Work In Progress my name is Jamie Scott . This review, as you may notice from title, is about our mystery shoppers programme which I assist as a support  to the coordinators and facilitators and to handle the documentary side of our project.

With our mystery shoppers project we work in partnership with a vast amount of museums to help them attract a younger generation of the community because, lets face it, museums are not a hotspot attraction for young people!

I can speak for myself regarding this matter because I am also one of those young people who had assumed all museums are boring.  I suppose I  had this approach because I never took interest in them or no one ever suggested going when I was younger.  It was all about going to the cinemas or playing pool with my friends, so really museums would be a last choice hotspot to be honest.

So, thinking about the programme, we basically work with museums and bring in a group of young people who will visit the venues and browse the many features it has to offer and then give their feedback on how the museums can make it more attractive to the younger generation!

Here are a few pictures I took from our recent trip to Litchfield which I edited leftleft top

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some of the young people like to channel their feedback in a creative way (as seen above) so once the young people have had a tour of the venue, we as a group, and the museum sit down and have a group discussion. We spoke about what features they like best also what they could improve on. How they could input changes in order to make it more young people friendly and accessible to all people, who may not be as fortunate to experience the features that the venue has to offer due to certain physical disabilities.  

Samuel Johnson Birthplace Museum Lichfield center This was our first stop in Lichfield one of two venues we were visiting and the first assessment began. As I followed the young people around the building the structure consisted of 5 floors each containing certain historic pieces relating to the man himself Samuel Johnson. As the young people toured the building they took notes. These were then presented to the venues employee’s and we discussed the positives and the negatives. I managed to capture some of the moments which are below.

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Erasmus Darwin House

This was the second and our final venue of the day fresh from having our lunch we headed over to the Erasmus Darwin House where we were  greeted by a wonderful cared for garden that the venue looked after. Once  we had made our way through the garden we were greeted by the employees of the museum and ran through the health and safety procedures.

Once inside, there were suggestions to work your way through the building starting from the bottom floor working your way up. There were two floors to this venue, the young people’s interests seemed to be similar to the other venue, very interested in dressing up! They all managed to influence all the other young people into taking part  also the two deliverers of the project Liz Howell and Ruth Richardson. We had a tour of the venue and we had another brief review given by the young people to the employee’s of the venue about their favourite and not so favourite things.

There were a lot of favorites in this venue similar the first, so the review went rather well, the one thing that seemed to be a bit of a let down from one of the young person’s review named Hamsah, who couldn’t access the many features due to a physical disability which meant he was unable to touch or reach elements of the exhibits because it was all mounted in a difficult hard-to-reach way. He was unable to touch, to feel the texture or smell when there were certain scented items.

He was very concerned about the lack of accessibility for disabled people when he questioned why there was a lift for disabled people to reach the second floor but the access out of the lift included steps!

I felt this was a very good point and something the whole group commented on and we reflected on historic buildings and their access limitations.

Regarding the rest of the review, we gave the young people some stationery and craft bits and they were left to construct a response to a project proposed by Ruth and the team. They then fed back their opinions through their creativeness and in ways that they enjoy including written word, mind maps, art pieces and group drawings. This was also reviewed by one the venue’s employee’s. I’m looking forward to the next trip and to hear the outcome and reaction or changes that are made by these two Lichfield venues!

Teen Team – High Museum of Art @HighMuseumofArt

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TeenTeamMy name is Saaleha, I’m 16 years old, and I’m currently a member of the Teen Team at the High Museum of Art. The Teen Team is a group of 15 high school students who share a common interest in art. They work with the museum to plan teen nights and events, learn about the Museum’s exhibitions and collections, and take part in the variety of tasks it takes to run a Museum. Being able to work on the Teen Team has been a wonderful experience thus far. It’s a great opportunity to learn about the arts, express creativity, and meet a variety of interesting, creative, and successful people.

This year the Teen Team is coordinating a film festival for teens. The Reel Riot Film Festival will be held at the High Museum of Art on July 31, 2014 from 9 to 11pm. Our call for submissions is currently open to any teen filmmaker now through July 7th. To learn more information about the film festival, you can go to this website: The Reel Riot Film Festival will be free and open to the public.
To keep up with what the Teen Team is doing follow us on the following social media sites:
Tumblr: minorriot.tumblr.com
Instagram: @minorriot

Guest Blog: Courtauld Institute of Art Young People’s Programme @CourtauldYP

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Introduction:

Nottingham 1The Courtauld Institute of Art’s young people’s programme is unusual in its function compared to most other galleries. The Courtauld itself has two sides: the Gallery that holds a world-renowned collection spanning 900 years, and The Institute which is the leading centre for the study of art history in the UK. It is this meeting of a gallery and higher education that gives the young people’s programme a specific framework to work within. Known as ‘widening participation’ within the UK higher education sector, this has become one of the key aims of The Courtauld’s new Public Programmes Department since it was established in June 2007. This aim is that not only art and culture should be available to everyone whatever their economic background or personal circumstances, but studying at The Courtauld should be within all young people’s reach.

As a small, single-subject university teaching art history, which is mainly absent from state school curricula, The Courtauld Institute of Art faces an unusual challenge in its widening participation programme. Taking on this challenge we have a number of programmes including Art History Beyond London. Established in 2012, this programme builds partnerships with schools and FE colleges outside London. The sessions are designed to raise awareness of contemporary art history, at the same time as promoting The Courtauld as a potential university destination. They are held in part at schools and in part at local art galleries including Nottingham Contemporary, Site Gallery, and Manchester Art Gallery. Twenty students attended the pilot of this programme, held in Nottingham, and I am now happy to report that two students from this took up a place on the BA course in September 2013, and another will begin in September 2014.

One of these students wanted to talk to you about her experience of the Art History Beyond London programme, so here she is!

Sheffield 2 I first heard about The Courtauld Institute of Art through my History of Art A level course at New College Nottingham after discovering that many of the artworks I was studying were at The Courtauld Gallery. I later experienced the Institute itself through The Courtauld’s outreach programme, Art History Beyond London, a number of workshopsheld at New College Nottingham. The day included learning the methodologies of art history, how to read an image,a curation mini-task and visit to Nottingham Contemporarywhere I was exposed to video artist’s Mika Rottenberg’s video art. Her exploration of capitalism’s cruelties, closed communities and the hardship experienced by labourers in a world of globalisation drew me further into the concepts in modern art.

The day was a rare opportunity to speak to a representative from The Courtauld to understand not just the possibilities that The Courtauld Institute can offer but also gave me a stronger grasp of what it could be like to study art history at a higher level in general.

After this, I attended the Insights into Art History workshop at the Courtauld Institute itself. This was a wonderful experience that confirmed my new ambitions. It was great to be able to experience a real university lecture and seminar session. We also received interview and personal statement advice.

Nottingham 2Ultimately, the partnership between New College Nottingham and The Courtauld gave me the knowledge and confidence that I needed to pursue my current course. I also believe it has not just benefited those of us that have directly applied to The Courtauld or even a history of art degree but to others applying for other various subjects. History of art in itself is a multidisciplinary subject and I believe the study day taught us all valuable skills in critical, verbal and visual analysis amongst others. The leaders were not at all intimidating despite coming from such a prestigious institute; they were encouraging and the support provided on these workshops gave me the confidence I needed to continue on to higher education.

Meghan Goodeve, Young People’s Programme Coordinator (job-share with Alice Odin) & Art History Beyond London alumna and current BA student at The Courtauld.  

Email: education@courtauld.ac.uk //    Twitter @CourtauldYP

 

Preservative Party (@presparty) 14-24yo dedicated to History & Culture of Leeds

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imageWe are a youth group dedicated to the history and culture of Leeds, working with Leeds Museums And Galleries. We have the opportunity to see exhibits before they are open to the public and help to change the museum spaces and they way they look and work.

Credited to Bev Cottrell Ellie, JP and James handling and reading about tomb pots.

Credited to Bev Cottrell
Ellie, JP and James handling and reading about tomb pots.

Our members are aged between 13-24 and come from a wide range of backgrounds. We are all volunteers and we meet weekly to discuss our projects such as helping to install the upcoming Voices Of Asia exhibition. We participate in other extra museum events and conferences too and sometimes go on group research trips. Of course, a wide range of refreshments are always provided to aid our contributions to the museum!

Our role is to work behind the scenes at Leeds City Museum, forming an integral part of the museum. In the past, we produced a temporary exhibition called ‘Treasured! Smuggled? Stolen? Saved?’, which drew more than 60,000 people. There will hopefully be another entirely youth-curated exhibition in 2016 to mark the centenary of the First World War. We will beginning early work on this project in summer.

Credited to Bev Cottrell. Connor and Tonicha brainstorming during a group discussion.

Credited to Bev Cottrell.
Connor and Tonicha brainstorming during a group discussion.

Recently, a Facebook timeline has been created by our group as part of the centenary commemorations. The timeline has key dates, events and stories related to the First World War in Leeds. We can add to it or people can contribute their own family stories either through us or via their own Facebook account. The main events are added through milestones with symbols to show what theme they are relevant to. The themes include: military, home front, industry, and the role of women. We invite you to see our latest project at www.facebook.com/WW1Leeds.

Furthermore, we organised and delivered some Facebook workshops, these were designed to help people with First World War research and stories to place them on our timeline. This was a great way of getting the community stories to the world! We hope you like our Facebook timeline and please feel free to post/like/share. The Preservative Party welcomes you to send any questions to our Facebook page or to WW1.timeline@leeds.gov.uk.

Preservative Party members helping to design the jewellery display for the upcoming Voices of Asia gallery at Leeds City Museum.

Preservative Party members helping to design the jewellery display for the upcoming Voices of Asia gallery at Leeds City Museum.

By being part of the Preservative Party, we gain valuable experience of teamwork and of how museums work. The people who originally worked on the Facebook timeline also received a Leeds Youth Award, which was presented to them by Councillor Yeadon from Leeds City Council. We enjoy coming to meetings because it is a chance to do something new and different and to meet new people and friends. And of course to drink tea and eat cake and biscuits!

If you would like to find out more about the Preservative Party or are interested in joining the group, please email us at preservativeparty@gmail.com or you can tweet us @presparty. We’d love to hear from you! 

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!

 

 

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