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Kids in Museums Takeover Day with The Wonder Whys


25 November 2014

Last week one of our Young People’s Groups, The Wonder Whys, took part in Kids in Museums Takeover Day.

These willing apprentices were able to experience a number of roles within mima, assisting the Visitor Services, Curatorial, Marketing & Communications and Events teams. This event was part of a national programme from Kids in Museums, an independent organisation dedicated to making museums open and welcoming to all families, in particular those who haven’t visited before. Kids in Museums Takeover Day is an annual day on which museums, galleries and art organisations invite young people in and give them a meaningful role, with young people making decisions and getting involved in the life of the organisation.

The Wonder Whys explore creative inquiry, drawing on imagination and wonderment about the wider world. As part of their philosophical enquiry sessions, the group received the opportunity to take part in the Kids in Museums Takeover Day, in which they were taken under the wing of some of mima’s staff in order to take a look at goings-on within the gallery. This group of year 11 students have been meeting at mima for a number of months, and most recently have written the exhibition guide for Derek Eland: Diary Rooms, which is showing at mima until 26 February 2015.

As part of mima’s Kids in Museums Takeover Day, the Wonder Whys chose which areas of the gallery’s operation which they would like to experience. Adam shadowed mima’s Marketing and Communications Assistant for the evening, creating a press release about the event, assisting a photographer and posting to mima’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts throughout the evening.  Eve assisted mima’s Events Coordinator to prepare for a visit from VIP guests the following week. Harrison spent time with mima’s Registrar to assist in condition checking an artwork before it went on loan to the Hayward Gallery in London. Phoebe also assisted the Curatorial team, helping mima’s Curatorial Assistant to help document the Lady Crathorne Archive, which records the creation of the Middlesbrough Art Gallery in the post-war era. Will assisted mima’s Visitor Services Officer to look at the visitor experience of mima, looking at this from the perspective of a young person, giving feedback to the team about his visit, which encapsulated the spirit of Kids in Museums’ mission to make museums open and welcoming to young people.

Follow the journey of The Wonder Whys here on their blog or on twitter or Instagram @mimawonderwhys.


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