Could you please introduce yourself?
Hello! I’m Jordan Taylor, and I’m the Learning and Outreach Officer for Cardiff Story Museum.
What happens at the Cardiff Story Museum?
Cardiff Story Museum is the local history museum for Cardiff and we tell the social history of the city, using the personal memories of past residents to tell Cardiff’s story.
What do you offer to young people at the Museum?
One of the main parts of my job is to work with lots of different learning groups. I love working with such a diverse range of dynamic groups: this can range from working with primary and secondary schools to do formal learning workshops, or it could be local youth groups in different learning settings, such as evening clubs. Mainly, we support young people in their own projects.
We also take part in a wider Takeover Day, run by Kids in Museums. That’s coming up this week! They take over different jobs in the museums for the day. Whether it’s working on reception, in the curation team, visitor welcome, or the administration department, we always get positive feedback from the children who take part in the takeover day. I think it really helps the children learn that museums are like bodies: they need all the different parts to work efficiently for a museum to run well!
What’s the most popular thing about the Kids in Museums Takeover Day?
The most popular thing is to see behind the scenes of what it’s like working in a museum. We worked with a secondary school last year who did special tours for visitors. They really loved that. As well as learning about what it’s like to design exhibition and be a curator, I think they enjoyed participating with visitors.
Could you give an example of a recent project you’ve run, and the impact it’s had?
Currently we’re running a project as part of the Welsh Government Fusion Programme, which is all about providing support for disadvantaged groups. We partnered with a local high school to teach them about our jobs and for them to help them about their local city history.
One girl’s quote really struck me, after she took part in our programme. “Before I did the heritage outreach day, I thought museums were boring and dusty things. If you described a museum as boring and dusty now, I’d say you’re wrong.”
Changing attitudes about the way young people see the heritage industry is what we’re all about.
Certainly when I was 13 I had a different view of museums to the one I have now. Outreach days like Kids in Museums are perfect for altering perspectives and encouraging the next generation into museums.
Do you run Arts Award?
Yes! We’ve just started our first Bronze group with a local secondary school, basing it on the Suffragettes. We were keen to tie the project in with something historically significant, so we chose the anniversary of the 1918 Representation of the People Act in order to celebrate the Suffragettes.
What projects are you undertaking related to the Suffragettes?
The children are working with a local filmmaker and with us at the museum to create a film based on what they’ve learnt about the Suffragettes and how women contributed during the First World War.
The students picked a topic or current issue which strikes them as impacting young women nowadays. We considered matters such as lowering the voting age, which ties into the rights they think women should have today.
So we’re basing our film on the history of women’s rights. The pupils have been able to have a significant amount of input into the outcome of the film.
How do you think your organisation works with the wider community?
It’s a massive part of what we do. Because we’re a social history museum, and because we were established very much by the community, it’s imperative we tell the story of Cardiff through memories.
My job is to consider how we put exhibitions and displays together and whether that reflects the wider community of Cardiff. One element that’s really helpful in ensuring we meet this goal is our community exhibition space. Here, different community groups come in and make an exhibition - deciding on the theme and content.
I then advise and train the groups on what kind of objects to use from the collections to best tell the story. Currently we’ve got an exhibition from a library group; their library has been open 100 years so we decided to celebrate that centenary. In the past the space has been used to focus on the history of disability, or the roots of the African and Caribbean Society in Cardiff.
It’s a diverse space we love to use in order to tell personal and intriguing stories about the history of Cardiff.
Image copyrights to Redman Design