Museums throughout Wales are putting children and young people at their heart. They’re letting them run them for the day! Taking Over Museums day on Thursday 14th November is an annual celebration of children’s place in our museums, proving what a fantastic contribution they can make if given the chance.
Throughout Wales, museum directors, front of house, curators, conservators, website designers and catering staff will be replaced by children and young people. Look out for the ‘I’m Taking Over’ stickers they’ll be wearing and the ‘We’re Being Taken Over’ posters on the museums’ front doors.
Run by charity Kids in Museums, supported by the Welsh Government and the Children’s Commissioner for Wales, Taking Over Museums day gives children and young people a meaningful and powerful role usually reserved for adults – including designing exhibitions, managing front of house services, marketing and conservation work.
John Griffiths, the Minister for Culture and Sport said: “The work of Kids in Museums has made a real change to the way museums interact with children and young people. Our partnership with them demonstrates how much can be achieved when we work together. I am delighted by the support and enthusiasm shown by museums across Wales for allowing children to ‘Take Over’ for the day.”
Actor Michael Sheen, Patron of Kids in Museums, says, ‘Taking Over Museums Day is a fantastic initiative – putting children at the heart of a museum. From emptying pest traps to manning front of house and putting on exhibitions, children and young people are given the chance to prove they can rise to the challenge. Young people bring fresh ideas and new enthusiasms into a museum, bringing it alive. Taking Over Day shows that they can be responsible, innovative and pioneering. That’s what we all want museums to be.’
Here’s just some of the ways in which children and young people are taking over:
At Narbeth Museum, roles are being reversed on 14th November. Children are organising a ‘school visit’ for a group of adults. They’ll also be running the shop and serving in the cafe. They’ll even be delving in the stores and discovering objects not previously on display, researching them and then putting on their own exhibition.
Pull up the drawbridge! Cyfarthfa Castle Museum is being taken over by children on 14th November. The museum is working with pupils from the nearby high school to produce an exhibition telling the story of schooling through the ages, tied in with the school’s centenary.
At Cardiff Story, two groups of young people will be pitted against each other Dragon’s Den style to come up with the best idea for an event to attract teenagers. The winning idea will be turned into a real live event in 2014, proving that Taking Over Museums is always more than a day. It’s a movement to include children at the core of a museum’s work.
If you’d like to cover Taking Over Museums Day at a museum, email us at [email protected] and we’ll put you in touch for photo opportunities and interviews.
To find out more about Taking Over Museums Day – and who‘s taking part – go to our web page.