DFF-logoby Brent Blockx and Nathalie Brejaart

In our first blog we introduced the DFF-project. A lot of elements were unclear then and are still now. But! Last weekend we had our first meeting with the coregroup of DFF. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. How on earth did we gather these youngsters?

We’re currently in our fifth week of our internship. Our primairy goal when we started was launching the call for youngsters to participate in the DFF-project. AmuseeVous already launched the call the week before, using there normal channels (facebook, mailing,…). Nathalie and me set out to reach a wider audience. Therefore we contacted a lot of organizations and schools. The organizations varied from art- or culture organizations to organizations working with youngsters in troubled situations. The schools were mainly the colleges from Antwerp and the university. We also contacted a few high schools trying to reach youngsters studying something that has nothing to do with culture or art.

Did this approach work?

2013-03-02 15.57.40Yes and no. The group we gathered is diverse, but all of the participants are higher educated youngsters. They study very different courses ranging from lawschool to artsciences. And that’s something we’re very happy about! But it would have been nice if we were able to attract youngsters that didn’t attend college or university. Because it’s our believe that these youngsters are the ones that often get lefted out when it comes to art and culture, and in our case, museums. But unfortunatly we weren’t able to get those youngsters to participate. This issue is something we talked about a lot in our team. It was our finding that we needed more time to do a more thorough call. It would have been nice if we had enough time to physical visit every organization and introduce our project personally to the youngsters. Alas, we didn’t have enough time to do so. We might have had enough time, but there was a schoolholiday right in the period we planned the launch.

If you’re planning a project simular to ours, this is something to keep in mind.

A more personal approach (it’s something you read in every book about youngsters and museums as well) is something to invest in. If you don’t, chances are you’ll attract the more typical youngsters.

Those youngsters being the group of young people you were already more likely to attract (the ones with an interest in culture). And that’s a shame. It would be great if you could gather youngsters that don’t have an affiliation with museums (or art/culture). They could really open up the way we think museums should be organized. They apply a totally different mindset and that could be very interesting.

Foto op 04-03-2013 om 13.47 #4Even though we weren’t able to attract that segment of youngsters, we’re very pleased with our coregroup of Diamond Friends! Eleven youngsters (age 19 to 26) are given the opportunity to create an unique pop-up museum: Gitte, Claudia, Katrien, Leonie, Jassime, Cindy, Senna, Justin, Stephanie, Lynn and Jacob. We had our first meeting last saturday and we’re looking forward to the next months. They are all very excited and motivated. Even in this first meeting the ideas already started flowing. It’s our job to make sure the ideas get a clear focus and we don’t get ahead of ourselves. That’s going to be one of our main challenges the next months.

The objective of this first meet was to become acquainted with each other (obviously). We did a very simple “meetinggame” and a short speeddate. This seemed to work just fine. Observating the group we noticed that everybody seemed to match and were complementary to each other. Time will tell if our gut feeling was right, but we’re confident it is. After getting to know each other we put the youngsters to the test and introduced them to the world of diamonds using a quiz. In various rounds we explored different elements of diamonds and the diamond trade in Antwerp. This really got them interested and it only increased their motivation. At least that’s what we think. Another effect of the meeting was a reassurance for Nathalie and me. While selecting the youngsters we were a bit intimidated. The youngsters we chose for the DFF-crew are about the same age as we are, or even older. That fact made us feel a bit insecure. But the meet showed us that we have nothing to worry about. The youngsters didn’t mind, on the contrary, they seemed to be impressed.

DFFOver the course of the next weeks we’ll meet multiple times. Each time we’ll be working on different aspects of the museum. We’re very curious to hear all of their ideas and suggestions! For now the quest for a suitable location continues (see our previous entry), maybe tomorrow we’ll know more. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

We’ll keep you updated! And of course you can always follow us on Facebook (DFFDiamondFriendsForever) and Twitter (DFF_DiaMu)!

Thanks to DFF for keeping us updated!  Please feel free to ask them questions or let them know if you have any ideas you can share.