Categotry Archives: UK

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!

 

 

UK: Review of the Wallace Collection Youth Event @GeffryeYouth

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Eileen’s Review of the Wallace Collection Youth Event on 1st November 2013

My name is Eileen Gbagbo and I am 15 years old. I currently live in Barking, in Essex (UK) and I go to an all girls grammar school in Chelmsford called CCHS. I’ve been a member of the Geffrye Museum’s Youth Advisory Panel since September 2013. I joined the Geffrye YAP as it was a good opportunity to discuss and run events in the museum in collaboration with other young people. I also wanted to do more volunteering and improve my confidence, public speaking and team working skills.

On the 1st of November at 5.30pm, I along with some other friends attended the youth event at the Wallace Collection, a museum in central London. The event was aimed at University students, however, I was there as part of the Geffrye Youth Advisory Panel to view a youth event being run in the Wallace Museum as, in January 2014, the Geffrye YAP would be running an event there. Also, as I had never been to the Wallace Collection, I was interested to see the collection and the building as I had heard previously that it was very stunning.

The Wallace Collection is a national museum in an historic London townhouse. Most of the displays are of French 18th century paintings, furniture and porcelain with beautiful Old Master paintings and world class armoury. There was a Vivienne Westwood theme to the event. There were workshops such as creating your own masks, face painting and photography. The event was really classy (like the collection). The workshops were really engaging; however, I felt that that the event could have been even more engaging maybe by adding music and more workshops around the Vivienne Westwood theme. I had never seen anything like this, as it was mainly aimed at University students and there was a really nice, mature feeling to the event. From the event I learnt how to make a time- lapse film recording.

Overall, I really enjoyed the event, and having the opportunity to see how an event would be run really helped me and the YAP make decisions as to what kind of workshops and different elements we would have in our own event at the Wallace Collection on the 24th of January 2014.

 

 

Experience Geffrye YAP with Orlane’s Guest Blog @GeffryeYouth

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Ever wondered what it was like to be part of a Youth Group in a museum?  Here Orlane Doumbe describes her experience.  Thanks for sharing Orlane!

 

By Orlane Doumbe

I joined the Geffrye YAP because I love to help being a part of something big. I love getting involved in activities and helping to organize events is really just a big bonus. I’ve only just joined in September and have only attended one YAP meeting – the atmosphere was so open and friendly, it felt like I’m already a part of the family! In this one meeting alone, I’ve signed up to participate in a half-term Digital Media workshop at the Wallace Collection with the Geffrye and Chocolate Films. Also, I will be able to help with a Chocolate Films upcoming project about London in the eyes of a Londoner. These are just a few of the many things I’ve done in two hours!

In a typical Geffrye YAP meeting, we all eat first. There’s plenty of refreshments for all of us which is very useful for me especially as I go there directly from school! After this, we’re given an agenda and during the meeting we go through as much as we can. We also take votes, sometimes we could watch things in relation to our topic(s) and most of all this is done in a relaxed environment. We also input our ideas in different forms. We can verbally communicate to each other or sometimes we can also write it on a post-it note and read them all out. My favourite thing I’ve gotten out of the Geffrye YAP so far is being able to work with a Digital Media Company for 3 and a half days. I’m so thrilled with this opportunity because I’ve always wanted to learn how to use Media from a professional viewpoint rather than the average Keek video or Instagram picture. If this is what you experience after a single meeting alone, I can’t wait to see what I will do in a year’s time.

I think other young people should join museum youth panels because it’s a really great way to balance literally everything. In museum youth panels you learn so much, you learn about collaboration and teamwork, debating and voting. All these qualities build up your self-confidence which is a key skill especially today. We also learn marketing when doing events, this helps with the financial aspect of it all; as you learn how to organise money in the best way possible. This is shown when you’re given a project and you’re given a budget to spend on the project. Not only this, it’s a great CV enhancement as it shows that you’re not just someone with their heads in books 24/7 but you’re an active citizen in your local community.

I think young people will get an open mind when visiting museums because it makes you more aware of the past. It personally motivates me because I think to myself if these people who are dead made such a mark on the earth that even their belongings such as sofas, sculptures etc. are still on display in our generation. I want to be a part of something like that when I’m older, and would then be able to motivate other young people who are looking at the works we’ve done. So visiting museums will enlighten or dishearten your view on history, it will make a difference to your perception of life and it also motivates you to make history yourself.

Takeover Cardiff – When Hip-Hop meets Dinosaurs

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Originally posted on TakeoverCardiff.wordpress.com and reposted with permission

If you were handed the keys to a cultural venue for a day to design, curate and create what would you do with that space?

This is the question British Council Wales is posing to over 200 young people from all over South Wales as they prepare to participate in the first ever Takeover Cardiff.

takeover_logoLaunching on Saturday October 12th, as a one-day taster event, Takeover Cardiff will see key spaces in the cultural venues of the city handed over to young people (14-25) to curate, develop and participate in programmes to engage their peers. In essence Takeover is an artistic and cultural journey, weaving a trail around the Senedd, the Wales Millennium Centre, The Central Library, The National Museum and Chapter Arts Centre, showcasing international collaborative arts activity in some of Cardiff’s most iconic buildings. Outside the venues there will be street performances in dance and music; a pop up cinema in an area where an old picturehouse once stood and young filmmakers, photographers and bloggers documenting the performances as they unfold.

Our aims with Takeover are simple; to empower young people to seize control of their own event; to develop collaborations with international artists; and to demonstrate the creativity and talent of young people and artists alike. Crucially, we anticipate the launch will act as a springboard to developing a significant week-long international youth arts festival in 2014. The interest in Takeover Cardiff runs far beyond the borders of Wales.

Takeover events such as these are an increasing phenomenon, encouraging young people to take control of spaces or programming in their local venues and to participate in cultural activity. The key difference with Takeover Cardiff is the international aspect that the British Council brings; Artists from countries around the world (USA, Norway, South Africa, Ethiopia, The Netherlands) sharing their culture and expertise with young people from South Wales, many of whom have never ventured out of the towns and cities they live in. Together, and with the input of local and national arts organisations, they will develop collaborative performances, mashing up cultures, bringing the issues they want to express to the fore, and creating something that is quite unique and importantly created and developed by them.

An all-girl dance troupe from Cardiff will develop a street dance with an Ethiopian artist; secondary school pupils will hone slam poetry skills with a US beat poet and perform in the Senedd, the main centre for democracy and devolution in Wales; Young people from some of Cardiff’s most disadvantaged estates will create a spoken word/hip hop performance among the flora and fauna, the paintings of the Italian Renaissance, and assembled dinosaur skeletons of the National Museum. And out in the streets up and coming bands, chosen by their peers, will showcase their talent on the routes to and from each Takeover venue.

These venues, which some of our participants may have previously thought of as elitist or “arty”, suddenly become accessible to a new young audience. It’s about breaking down barriers and increasing participation. This, after all, is what the British Council is about, creating international opportunities for people of the UK and other countries and building trust between them worldwide.

The motto for Takeover Cardiff is thus: No agenda, just collaboration.

For more information on Takeover Cardiff, and a list of our partners, go to http://www.britishcouncil.org/wales-arts-takeover-cardiff-toc.htm

Follow us on Twitter @bcwales, Like ‘British Council Wales’ on Facebook Hashtag: #TOC #YoungCurators

Young Ambassadors free range with @ARTISTROOMS Ron Mueck exhibition at @WolvArtGallery @WAG_ARYA

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ronmueckWe are the ARTISTROOMS Young Ambassadors at Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Sophie, Georgie, Laura and Dan. For nearly a year now, we have been working on, and preparing for, the ARTISTROOMS Ron Mueck exhibition.

Since the very beginning, we have been given a lot of responsibility and freedom by the gallery. We began by planning a bid, outlining all the events, workshops, promotional and documentary material we hoped to create, which we wrote and sent to the Art Fund. Fortunately, they allowed us to do everything we planned and it has been an amazing journey for us!

IMG_7812The first thing we did was plan the publication. We worked alongside a graphic designer to create the short book that follows us doing our stuff for the exhibition. The private view was the first event we helped out at. We were given two boards in the Ron Mueck: In Focus room, where we stuck polaroids of visitors holding up a note book with one word written down, which they chose to sum up the exhibition.

In July, we went on a trip to Ron’s studio in London. When we arrived at the studio, Ron answered the door to greet us and took us up into his crowded, humble workspace. It was an amazing insight into such a private space, where he spends so much of his time. He was so welcoming and polite and he was happy to answer all of our questions. We had asked people on our Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr if they had any questions they wanted us to ask Ron when we were there and we were really pleased to be able to answer those for people.

A few weeks later, we did a creative writing workshop, with inspiration from the pieces in Ron’s exhibition. When we had enough material, we began to compile our publication. This took a lot longer than we anticipated, but we had already organised the launch so we knew we had to get it finished on time. For the launch, we had the ‘Wild Thing’ silent disco, which was on the 23rd August. We put together a play list inspired by Ron’s sculptures and made jungle style decorations. On the day of the disco, we had just received our publications from the print. It was such a relief to have it finished so we were so excited for the launch. The disco was a great success, we had a lot of new people come and support us as well as friends and colleagues at the gallery.

IMG_7814The publication is now on sale in the gallery shop so if you want to take a look at it, that’s where you can find it! We hope that the publication will inspire young people to get involved with programmes like the Young Ambassadors as we have had such a wonderful experience, but we also hope to inspire more galleries to open up more opportunities like this for young people.
We have been on the radio this week, discussing our work and what we are off to do next in our lives, and we all agreed that this experience has helped us in many ways. It has expanded our knowledge, introduced us to new artists, boosted our confidence and gave us once in a lifetime opportunities we will never forget! We have done so much in the last year, that is just a brief overview and we’re not even finished yet!

The Young Ambassadors,
Sophie Meeson, Laura Morgan, Georgie Walters and Dan Crawford.

Guest Blog: The Geffrye’s Youth Advisory Panel @GeffryeYouth

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NB:  This was originally created for Museums Practice but re-run with permission from Geffreye’s Youth Advisory Panel:

The Geffrye’s Youth Advisory Panel: Programming responsive and engaging workshops and events for other young people
By: Shakeel Akram, Youth Advisory Panel Member, Geffrye Museum

logoThe Geffrye’s Youth Advisory Panel (YAP) compromises of young people from across East London and as such we are well suited to providing relevant ideas for both monthly workshops and workshops to be held on the two significant event days as we are aware of what our community would enjoy. The YAP regularly influence the museum’s public programme by contributing our ideas in relation to the themes of the collection. All of the workshops and events we plan are discussed amongst the panel with the aim to link ideas with objects and themes from across the museum and gardens.

Continue reading →

Guest Blog: Obi Saiq – A trip to the Docklands. Junction Youth Panel @MuseumofLondon

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blog photoHello there dear reader, my name is Ubaydullah Samiullah Saique or Obi Saiq for short (cue the star wars jokes!), and first off you are probably wondering why I have decided to start my first ever article/blog/whatever you call whatever this is that I’m doing, with stating my name I mean you could probably just look at the header of the page and see my name so why say it again well I’ll be frank guys, I can’t do that. I mean it’s not that I’m trying to be different I’ll be honest I looked at other blogs on other sites and they were SOOOOO boring it felt like I was reading a flat pack furniture assembly manual, an insight in to the experiences of a person who I didn’t know and had no affinity with hence I decided I can’t just let you read about my experiences, my thoughts and ideas without establishing a sense of who I am. I mean what use is a map if you have no idea what area it encompasses or diagrammatically represents well folks I won’t let that happen and I won’t trick you into reading a dull blog/article/whatever you call whatever this is that I’m doing, because I believe that is a crime, a crime so bad that I consider it to be worthy of a lengthy prison sentence! So by now you are thinking along the lines ‘Well Obi if you’re so uptight about connecting with your audience by conveying who you are why the hell have you spent such a lengthy paragraph talking absolute nonsense’, and part of me agrees with you but at the same time how can I convey who I am in merely a few sentences, a few sentences can’t even encompass the life of a man whom has existed almost twenty years that’s 240 months That is 7300 days, which is 175,200 hours, which is 10,512,000 minutes! 10 million minutes in a paragraph? As brilliant as I am that is a task near impossible so like a good comic book you will not learn of our hero in a measly 20 page issue but over hundreds of issues (or in my case a series of blogs if I’m allowed). So relax, open up can ginger beer and read on! Continue reading →

How useful is social media for raising awareness about the Holocaust and genocide #WLdebate

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Guest Blog from Katy at Wiener Library

wldebateTo mark Holocaust Memorial Day 2013, the Wiener Library’s Young Volunteers hosted a special debate about social media. Ten young people aged 16-25 came together to discuss the question ‘How useful is social media for raising awareness about the Holocaust and genocide?’. Chaired by the Library’s Community and Outreach Officer, the following questions formed the outline of the debate:

1)    If it’s ‘social’ media, is it suitable for raising awareness of a sensitive topic such as the Holocaust?

2)    Are there differences between the ways social media can be used to raise awareness about the past as opposed to the present?

3)    Memorialisation, learning and taking action? Can social media do anything more than awareness raising?

4)    Where should social media be placed amongst traditional methods of raising awareness of the Holocaust (eg school teaching, museums, films, literature)

gabriella_julia copy

Credit: Ben Turner and The Wiener Library

5)    Are certain types of social media better than others for raising awareness of the Holocaust and genocide?

6)    If we can’t control what gets written on Twitter, is it actually useful at all?

7)    Where do you see the role of social media in the future in terms of raising awareness of the Holocaust?

Some of the key points from the debate were published on the Wiener Library twitter account so the wider public were able to engage with the debate. The responses can still be seen (and replied to!) by searching the hashtag #WLdebate.

Credit: Ben Turner and The Wiener Library

Credit: Ben Turner and The Wiener Library

Lots of interesting points were made but the overall consensus was that social media was a useful ‘way in’ for people in terms of raising awareness. They argued that it had the potential to capture people’s attention and inspire them to learn more as well as take action. One attendee was less positive and worried that social media was a ‘shallow form of engagement’, but that didn’t mean it was not useful, just that it was useful for catching attention rather than deep and meaningful learning. Someone following the discussion on Twitter argued that writing a survivor story in 140 characters (regarding the Holocaust Education Trust’s ‘ask a survivor’ Twitter chat for Holocaust Memorial Day) would lose the historical context, but the group argued that the fact people were asking survivors questions at all via twitter showed some level of positive engagement.

After the debate finished, it was suggested by the attendees that a new online presence was created for them to carry on their discussions. The Library consequently created a debate group on Facebook for those young people and others to discuss ideas and put forward potential future debate topics. We will be holding another debate in the autumn so keep following the #WLdebate!

 

Guest Blog: OutStories Bristol, LGBT local history in Bristol, England

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Working with schools to provide new interpretation for OutStories Bristol’s Revealing Stories ExhibitionMshed, Feb 2nd – March 3rd 2013.

Hello, I’m Mark. I’m a volunteer for OutStories Bristol, which is a group that focuses on LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans) local history in Bristol.  We’re about to set up our exhibition, Revealing Stories, especially for LGBT History Month 2013, about LGBT history in Bristol over the last 70 years.  Our exhibition is being hosted by MShed museum, part of Bristol Museums, Galleries and Archives,

revealing-stories-web-flyer-A6-200We started a year ago, collecting material culture, newspaper clippings, oral histories and research that relates to the city’s recent LGBT history.  We asked local people, museums and the Bristol Record Office for anything they could provide so that we bring it together as a single collection at Bristol’s newest museum.  It was amazing the amount of material culture, scans of documents, and newly created artwork we received and how much research we were able to do.

We wanted to ensure that our exhibition was accessible to everyone, not just LGBT people, or their family and friends, but everyone.  To help promote this, we worked with the Learning Team at MShed and invited local schools for a sneak preview of some of the exhibition, the students provided us their own interpretation to show their understanding, and to provide another layer of understanding for other students of a similar age, whether LGBT or not. As well as increasing the value of our exhibition greatly by broadcasting new, young interpretation, the work with schools also contributes to the ongoing work that the Bristol Museums’ Learning Team undertakes with local schools.

revealing-stories-web-flyer-A6-300-backThe schools worked with us in two strands – firstly, small groups of students from two schools contributed to the Revealing Stories exhibition with their own interpretation of the objects, and their thoughts and feelings based on their experiences of LGBT issues at school.  Secondly, young historians at GCSE and A-Level were invited to reinterpret parts of the permanent MShed displays to reveal ‘hidden’ LGBT stories behind them, tying our exhibition into the rest of the museum, and LGBT history in with the rest of Bristol’s history.  Examples of the discussions contributed by the schools for the Revealing Stories exhibition include ‘the history of the word gay’; ‘the colour pink and gender-stereotyping’; personal stories about ‘self acceptance and identity’; how Ian McKellen and Lady Gaga have changed the contemporary school-scape in terms of sexual orientation and acceptance; homophobia in British Football; and commentaries to go alongside Bristol Pride objects included in our exhibition.

We’re so pleased and proud that we’ve been able to connect with students on this project.  Considering the sometimes brutal history of LGBT people in Bristol, it’s really wonderful to celebrate, and openly discuss contemporary LGBT issues with young people, to receive such positive stories and well-thought out interpretation.

[The ‘Revealing Stories’ exhibition is running at MShed from 2nd February-3rd March 2013 to coincide with LGBT History Month.  The MShed is open Tuesday-Friday 10am-5pm.

Mark is a volunteer for OutStories Bristol, in his other life he works leading a heritage project focussed on youth empowerment and encouraging young people to take responsibility for heritage assets.] 

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