Q&A: How teens took over in Cornwall

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With Takeover Day just a month away, we caught up with Cornwall Museums Partnership to ask them about their experience of taking part in the Kids in Museums Teen Twitter Takeover. The charity, which was set up to support museums in Cornwall, coordinated five museums across the county to invite teenagers to take over their social media.

Why did you want to take part?

Cornwall Museums Partnership exists to help museums in Cornwall to thrive. We develop and manage collaborative programmes of work which are designed to help museums to raise standards, engage with more people, and to be sustainable and resilient.

Teen Twitter Takeover is a great way of introducing young people to what goes on in a museum and asking them to share these experiences with others. We liked the fact that it gave the young people the voice and the platform to share with followers what they found most interesting about their museum and its collections.

Chloe, our Engagement Lead, was leading on Teen Twitter Takeover Day at Cornwall’s Regimental Museum and knew that several other museums were also considering taking part. Quickly a plan was formed.

Who took part?

Five museums from across Cornwall took part. These were: Penlee House, Falmouth Art Gallery, Royal Cornwall Museum, Helston Museum and Cornwall’s Regimental Museum.

In total, nine young people were involved and each museum recruited their own young person to take part.

What did they do in advance and on the day?

We wanted to make the most of the young people tweeting on the day and we wanted to encourage conversations between the teens based at each of the museums. We decided to set a series of challenges which would encourage them to compare their very different collections. Our museums work collaboratively on a number of programmes and Teen Twitter Takeover Day felt like a great extension of this.

The museums recruited their young people and we sent them the challenges in advance, so that staff could lend their expertise by pointing them in the direction of some of the hidden gems in their collection.

On the day we started with a #MuseumSelfie to introduce everyone and then proposed a series of challenges. These included:

  • Asking for their most telling photo, which summed up their museum
  • Asking for their most treasured and travelled objects
  • Asking for something that was ‘clearly Cornish’
  • Asking to find something in the museum younger than them.

We ended the day by asking the teens what the future of the museum would look like #WhenTeensTakeOver.

What was the impact of taking part for the museums and for the young people?

The young people brought a lot of fun and laughter to the day, and their photos – from museum selfies to motion portraiture to cats of Twitter – really captured people’s attention. The challenges coordinated by the Cornwall Museums Partnership team meant that the young people were engaging with one another’s tweets, and a conversation between the museums was established. Volunteers at Cornwall’s Regimental Museum commented on the fantastic energy their young people brought to the museum, as they explored all sorts of objects and eagerly chatted to staff and volunteers to find out more. Through sharing Cornwall’s collections online, the young people reached a wider Twitter audience: with analytics showing a clear growth in activity on the day.

Teen Twitter Takeover is like a snapshot of a museum visit through the eyes of a young person: it’s fun, you all learn something new, everyone gets involved and it starts new conversations that could lead you just about anywhere….

 

If you’re planning to hold a social media takeover as part of your Takeover Day, take a look at our guidance here. Join in the conversation across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using #TakeoverDay.

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