Checking for pests and dusting down documents, dressing up in First World War uniforms and telling all about the military collection, designing an exhibition of their five favourite things.
This Thursday, children will be at the heart of museums, historic homes, castles, archives and libraries throughout Wales, doing grown-up jobs.
This Thursday 12 November is Taking Over Day – the day on which museums, castles, historic homes and archives throughout Wales are overtaken and run by children.
This record-breaking year, over 800 young people are taking on roles usually reserved for adults. They’ll be tour guides, front of house, curators, conservators, exhibition and website designers, pest controllers, shop assistants, cataloguers, environment officers and catering staff.
Look out for the ‘I’m Taking Over’ stickers they’ll be wearing and the ‘We’re Being Taken Over’ posters on the organisations’ front doors.
Run by charity Kids in Museums, supported by the Welsh Government, Taking Over Day gives children and young people a meaningful and powerful role usually reserved for adults.
Taking Over Day was launched at the Senedd on Monday 9 November with St Woolos Primary School, Newport.
Deputy Minister Ken Skates says,
‘I’m delighted that we are working with Kids in Museums, a charity that is dynamic and proactive in engaging young people with culture and in turn helping museums to think about young people and improve their service for them and their families.
‘Taking Over Day builds aspiration, ambition and confidence. It’s an excellent example of children realising what they can do.’
Actor Michael Sheen, Kids in Museums Patron says,
‘It’s brilliant that this year’s Taking Over Day is record breaking – with over 800 young people throughout Wales being right at the heart of museums, many of whom have never visited before. Young people are the heartbeat of the arts – they contribute fresh ideas and new perspectives. They look at our past to reimagine all of our futures. Taking Over Day recognises this enormous contribution that they make.’
Taking Over all over
Here’s just some of the ways in which children and young people are taking over in Wales:
At Abergavenny Museum and Castle, 30 primary school children are putting together a programme of family activities for the Summer 2016 exhibition to be part of the National Eisteddfod.
At Glamorgan Archives, Cardiff, 35 ten year olds are cleaning and repackaging dusty documents, monitoring the environmental conditions. They’ll be checking for pests, cataloguing, registering new users, retrieving papers from the strong rooms and answering research enquiries.
‘Question Time’ is taking place at Pontypool Museum, Torfaen – but with teenagers asking the questions. Baroness Kay Andrews will be grilled by 20 sixth form politics students about how the museum can help tackle poverty, all reported on social media.
At the National Waterfront Museum, Swansea, 60 eight year olds are designing an object for an exhibition and working with Young People’s Laureate, Martin Daws on interpreting it for the gallery.
At Tintern Abbey, three students are writing a guidebook for children to entice more young visitors in.
Primary school kids in First World War uniforms are running a WW1 handling exhibition at the Royal Welch Fusiliers Museum, Gwynedd, instructing visitors about the artefacts.
At Rhuddlan Castle, ten year olds are making a virtual tour of the castle.
Erddig, a National Trust historic home in Wrexham, is being run by children doing everything, from front of house to room guides.
Get in touch to find out more
If you’d like to cover Taking Over Day at a venue close to you email [email protected] and we’ll put you in touch for photo opportunities and interviews.
To find out more about Taking Over Day – and who‘s taking part – visit kidsinmuseums.org.uk/takingoverday.