Digital takeovers empower young people by giving them a platform to use their social media skills and make their voices heard. This year, there were more ways than ever to get involved, as we enabled young people to take over a wider range of digital platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, organisation websites and YouTube channels.

Young people used their imagination to post their version of the museum experience. They found the most instagrammable spots at St Paul’s Cathedral…

… interviewed curators at the Egypt Centre in Swansea, asking them to cut the rhetoric and answer questions in short video bursts…

 

… created a film at the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum…

… posed with objects at the National Justice Museum…

… colourised photography at the Royal Cornwall Museum, and much more!

For the first time, the new Kids in Museums Youth Panel took a leading role in Teen Digital Takeover. Panel members headed into arts institutions throughout the UK to meet museum staff, discover new things about their collections and create digital content highlighting the huge potential museums have to engage with and speak to young people in their own language.

Our members took over the Instagram accounts of Borough Museum, No. 1 Royal Crescent Bath and the National Coal Mining Museum, and shared the whole thing on the Arts Council England Instagram – you can take a look in their Highlights.

From Georgian portrait selfies to descending mine shafts and rummaging through art archives, our members shared photos and videos of new discoveries, fun facts, interviews with curators, favourite objects and caption competitions.

I introduced the panel on the Arts Council England account. I wanted to do this in a fun way that reflected the creativity of the work we do! I thought a doodle of each person saying what they most love about museums offered a sense of each panel member’s passion and commitment to ensuring museums are valued and accessible by all.

By leading different stages of the takeover, each member got the opportunity to curate a museum experience specifically geared towards young people. As well as having a lot of fun coming up with content, our ambassadors found that using social media was an accessible way into looking at objects and collections.

Amy, our Youth Panel member, who explored the National Coal Mining Museum with a group of young people, said: “The way the young people engaged with the exhibitions and really thought about how they wanted to frame their posts with amusing captions was really insightful – I think the takeover really showcased the Museum and the great opportunities there are for young people to explore.”

The arts and heritage organisations involved benefited from higher engagement across their social media accounts, and found that young people are more likely to get involved with further museum projects. As a result of the takeovers, several institutions are initiating volunteer schemes to keep young people involved and creating content for social media.

We’re looking forward to seeing more institutions open their doors for the Kids in Museums Takeover Day on Friday 22 November – see you there!