Tag Archives: teens in museums

Diamond Friends Forever Guest Blog: second follow-up @DFF_DiaMu

0

Posted on by

by Brent Blockx and Nathalie Brejaart

DFF-logoLast time we elaborated on the matter of selecting our youngsters. Our DFF-crew has been selected and now we’re submerging them in the world of diamonds. We took them to the Diamondmuseum of Grobbendonk. That museum displays a lot of materials that are used in the process of cutting and preparing diamond. There are a lot of personal stories to be found in the museum as well. The museum really shows the impact of the diamond industry in the province of Antwerp (diamond wasn’t only a big industry in the city of Antwerp, but in the province as well).

Next week we’ll take them on a tour through the “Diamond Square Mile”. That’s a neighbourhood of just one square mile (obviously), but it can be considered as the epicentre of the global diamond industry. There are a ton of companies, institutions and jewellers situated in that area, all occupied with just one thing: diamonds. Normally it’s pretty difficult to get an inside view of those companies if your not an initiate. So, that we’ll be an interesting experience for the DFF-crew.

With the input they got at Grobbendonk and the Diamond Square Mile we’ll start the difficult process of deciding on which story/stories to tell in the pop-upmuseum. More on that process in the following blogposts.

Besides the input we’re giving the youngsters, we were working on securing a location for the pop-upmuseum. As you can image, a very important task indeed! The location had to meet a few criteria: easy accessible, located in the town centre, spacious enough to display everything, the possibility to add things to walls, ceilings,… and off course safe enough to display valuable museumartifacts. You would think that it would be easy to find such a place in a big city as Antwerp, at least that’s what we thought. How wrong we were! It turned out to be a pretty difficult task, but we can now say: we found the perfect location! And the location is… KAVKA.

logo_kavka_cmykkopieKavka is an organisation that exploits a big infrastructure (an old schoolbuilding) that youngsters can use/rent to organize parties, courses, small events,… They are open to all sorts of initiatives. During summer there is a lot less on their calendar, so the coming of the pop-upmuseum is an ideal opportunity for them to fill up a quite period in their working. In Antwerp, Kavka is well known among youngsters, so that’s a big plus as well. The location definitely meets our demands (provided we change a few small things) and Kavka is very excited, as are we! We’re pretty confident that this collaboration will work out great.

The selection of the location was one of the elements of the project that the youngsters didn’t have a say in. The main reasons for this choice were that we started the search for a location before we had selected the youngsters of the DFF-team, due to limited time. Besides that, the location had to meet certain demands, as mentioned earlier, concerning safety and accessibility. This was something we ourselves, Nathalie and me, were limited by as well. The safety-coordinator of the province had to screen and investigate every location. When you’re working with diamonds, you just can’t take any chances. Eventually the decision was made by Nathalie and me, our mentors from AmuseeVous and the Diamondmuseum and the safety-coordinator. We went over the different possible locations and based the decision on different pro’s and con’s concerning every location. Eventually, Kavka came out on top.

For now we’ll continue preparing our youngsters and preparing ourselves for the tasks still ahead of us. And you can still follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Next time we’ll elaborate on the subject of social media a bit more as well. How and why we use it and if it helps our project.

Feel free to ask questions or share your ideas on the project! We would love to hear them!

 

 

HYPE Haslemere Young Person’s Exhibition – Search for Best Practice

0

Posted on by

The Hype (Haslemere Young Person’s Exhibition) team are a group of young people aged 11-16. Lately we have gone to other museums to see what they have for young people so we can steal their ideas. We visited Brooklands, the Covent Garden Film Museum, the Hunterian (part of the Royal College of Surgeons) and the London Transport Museum.

300px-The_Club_House_Brooklands_-_geograph.org.uk_-_473347Brooklands

They don’t have a youth group at the moment, but are keen to start one so were interested in our ideas. We liked the hangar with the Wright Brothers replica and the other planes that we could go on. The volunteers were also very informative. We also liked being able to go for a ride in an old car on the original banking of the racetrack. Unfortunately we were not old enough to visit the Bus museum, a museum independent of Brooklands, without an adult.  We were disappointed as when we did visit (with an adult) we could see no reason for this restriction. We also felt the site itself wasn’t very attractive.  We thought it would be a really good place for a youth section who could help with restoration projects and at events, as it could be a really hands on experience and they could do large exhibitions.

Continue reading →

Diamond Friends Forever Guest Blog: first follow-up @DFF_DiaMu

0

Posted on by

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. Continue reading →

Guest Blog: Diamond Friends Forever (Antwerp, Belgium) @DFF_DiaMu

0

Posted on by

Brent Blockx (24) and Nathalie Brejaart (23) are currently in their final bachelor year Social Work, specilazation Art- and Culture Mediator. The DFF-project is the main goal for their internship and also the subject of their bachelor paper. Both already completed a bachelor as teacher and are active in different cultural organisations.

The Diamond Museum of Antwerp is temporarely without a home. They had to leave their former building to make room for the expansion of an event hall. This, evidently, posed a huge problem…

Where could the collection be displayed now?

DFF-logoThat’s were we, Brent & Nathalie, come in to the equation. We are doing an internship for AmuseeVous, an organization that tries to bring youngsters and museums/culture closer together. For our internship we were already thinking of designing some sort of pop-up museum with real museum objects. The fact that the Diamond Museum went without a building created an excellent opportunity to join forces.

So now we’re given the chance to build a museum from scratch, using objects from the collection of the Diamond Museum. We can tell you this: that’s more than we dared to dream of! Every aspect is left in our (hopefully) capable hands. But we’re not going to do everything ourselves.

In order to create the best experience for youngsters (age 18-26) we are currently attracting other young people to join in. We launched a call that we’re looking for DFF: Diamond Friends Forever. Those Diamonds Friends will form a coreteam (approxamately 10 persons) that will be the principal thinking tank. Nathalie and myself will coach these youngsters.

This bunch of different characters are given the opportunity to spill every crazy idea and thought on how a museum must look and what it must do to be interesting for youngsters. Thus truely creating a museum by and for young people.

Everything is up for discussion: from labels to lighting, from entrancefees to guided tours. The feedback we can gather from this temporarily museum will be used for a publication and will be implemented in the Diamond Museum once it has found a new home. The efforts from the Diamond Friends will be put to good use and not only result in a ‘one-time-thing’.

2013-02-13 11.54.58We’re currently prospecting possible locations for the project in the heart of Antwerp. A few totally different options already passed the revue: an old vault from a former bank, an empty static manor, a youth hostel, a few abandoned stores… We’re trying to look beyond the ‘typical’ locations. But for now our search continues. The location is one of the only elements that the Diamond Friends can’t decide on. And that’s purely because of a limited timeframe and from the point of security issues.The timeframe in a rough draft is as followed: at the beginning of March we’ll set up our think tank of Diamond Friends (which we’re currently selecting). The Diamond Friends will work on the preparations for the pop-up museum till the end of may. Leaving june to set everything up at the location and to prepare the opening which will take place on the 29th of june. The pop-upmuseum will be open from then till August 31st.

You can follow us on Facebook (DFFDiamondFriendsForever) and Twitter (DFF_DiaMu) to be kept up to date of the project. For more on the Diamondmuseum of Antwerp click here. More information on AmuseeVous can be found here.

 

Working with Teens / Youth Panels

0

Posted on by

logo_mpMuseum Association is running a Young People campaign as part of their Museum Practice (see here).

One of the things that strikes me is there are so many wonderful panels, groups, etc that have been created over the last few years and I can’t help but think:  What took so long?  Simon Stephens talks about this in the article The Young Ones.

Are you a member or do you run a Teen / Youth Panel?  Feel free to join us on Facebook and Twitter.  We want to share – ideas, thoughts, things that worked, things that didn’t work, and anything else you want to talk about.

 

 

Teens in Museums Manifesto #teensinmuseums

0

Posted on by

Teenagers are a hard to label group, although many have tried: Millennials, Generation We, Global Generation, the Millennial Generation, and Generation Next.  Regardless of the title we or anyone else give them, the fact is they are currently a stealth group in the cultural world — but this, happily, is changing.

Internationally, Teens in Museums and Culture are slowly getting the respect, time and resources needed to help build programs that they want, rather than programs that we think they want or that tick boxes. This is due to an influx of dedicated personnel who are inviting teens in to museums, taking the time to listen, and providing them the space and opportunity to let them create their own programs, to be involved in new exhibitions, and to have an impact on institutions and culture in their communities.

At the very least, every program should provide a platform for teens to share their thoughts, ideas, and passions.  If resources allow, progressive programs should assist the teens in providing them a channel to convert the ideas into a reality. For example, let them take over an area in the museum or gallery and listen to where they want the placement of artefacts. Or allow them to change the labels to be teen friendlier (and in ‘Plain English’). Share their voices with those of senior staff members and vice versa.

Many of us know of, or have at least heard of, programs like this.  The real challenge is sustainability.  How can we ensure the ‘Millennial Generation’ are allowed to forge their mark in the cultural world in a way that is both meaningful and realistic but also provides value to museums and galleries, as well as their visitors?

This challenge is different for each venue.

Excellent examples in the United States include Milwaukee Art Museum, Museum Teen Summit, and the Smithsonian EdLab; here within the UK, the Museum of London’s Youth Panel and Wolverhampton Art Gallery’s Art Forum each provide a dedicated platform for teens to work with the venue on a long-term bases, and most importantly with purpose.

Purpose, we feel, is key.

Being a teenager is difficult; you’re finding your feet. You’re not a child anymore, but you’re not quite an adult. You don’t want to be patronised, but you still need guidance while you establish yourself and gain confidence. So purpose and value is crucial. If what you are doing has a result and will change, enhance, or enrich yourself, the cultural institution, and/or the local, national, or global community, then it has purpose. It’s not an easy balance to achieve but it can be done, and we’ve seen it being done well.

With all this in mind, we felt an International Teens in Museum Decree/Manifesto was required.

  1. Listen to what Teens are saying. Answer their questions, question them, and work together to find answers and solutions.
  2. Engage with Teens; don’t patronize them.
  3. Provide achievable challenges which can created sustainable solutions.
  4. Promote learning as a challenge for Teens to solve.
  5. Create an environment where Teens can explore digital media where appropriate.
  6. Bring teens into projects from the start, not as an after thought.
  7. Provide adequate space and time for challenges to be achieved.
  8. Be flexible.  Many teens can’t commit to meeting same time every week.
  9. Don’t make assumptions. (For example, not all Teens have Facebook or iPhones.)
  10. Let teens actively build your institution’s assets.

What are your thoughts? Are you working with teens?  If so, we’d love to hear from you!  

Please join us on  Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin 

Teens in Museums is a coalition with Mar DixonMilwaukee Art Museum, Museum Teen Summit, and the Smithsonian EdLab (NB Museum of London Youth Panel joined as of Sept 28)

If you would like your venue to get involved, please let us know. 

1 2 3