What happens at Takeover Day?
Takeover Day is a national event where children and young people can take over a museum and make it their own. This year, over 4000 children and 150 museums, arts organisations and heritage sites will be run by young people. They will be working on the front desk, welcoming visitors and serving them in the shop, developing a trail for other young people to use when they visit or curating exhibitions. It's a day where they can really get involved and see what happens behind the scenes of a museum.
When did you get involved with the project?
I started volunteering with Kids in Museums in 2013, where I attended Takeover events and reported back on how they went. Here I got to see firsthand the impact of the project. Since June this year, I have been working full-time for Kids in Museums. My role is to be the first point of contact for museums enquiring about Takeover Day, process the registrations and send out the resource packs which are given to all the children participating.
Is there any takeover day activity that you are really excited about this year?
The Plague Takeover at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich sounds fantastic! They are working in partnership with youth arts organisations Emergency Exit Arts (EEA) and Greenwich & Lewisham Young People's Theatre (GLYPT). EEA's Street Arts Academy will perform a special outdoor promenade performance taking the plague to the streets of Greenwich. Meanwhile GLYPT's young performers will become quack doctors, plague victims and other grizzly characters, recreating a sense of Stuart London within the museum. It sounds like such a lively and exciting event with young people truly at the heart of the museum.
How can people get involved?
People can get involved by going along to a Takeover Day event. We have a great map showing all of the participating museums with what they are up to. We'd love people to have a look and attend an event. Also, they can see what is going on across the country by following us at @takeovermuseums and following the hashtag #takeoverday.
Why is it important that young people are given these opportunities?
It is important for young people to have these opportunities as it gives them a voice in a venue that is otherwise quite difficult to be heard in. Young people far too often get bad press, Takeover Day shows that if you trust young people and give them a meaningful role, they will rise to the challenge and excel in ways that may even come as a surprise to themselves!
Do you think that there are more opportunities coming up in recent years for young people in the arts?
I hope there will be as young people always have a different perspective on things and come up with ideas adults may not think of. With all the stresses and pressures that young people face with exams and studying, it's vitally important for there to be opportunities for them to express themselves through the arts and get creative.
Takeover Day 2015 is happening across the UK, 20th November 2015. kidsinmuseums.org.uk/takeoverday/