Count Me In
RAMM’s Community Museums Officer, Susan Eddisford, is supporting a major project to help Devon museums involve young people. Called Count Me In, the project aims to inspire a new generation of young volunteers in Devon museums. It is supported by the Renaissance Museum Development Fund.
The Count Me In project has provided new opportunities for young volunteers and given museums new-found confidence to embrace younger audiences. It has helped museums increase participation by young people and has put museums on the radars of local youth leaders, schools, colleges and policy makers.
Four pilot projects were supported in 2010, eight new projects have been developed and further projects are planned. Each museum project has been very different, reflecting the huge variety of museum collections and people involved.
Pilot projects in 2010
• Newton Abbot Town and GWR Museum developed a map-based archive of young people’s experiences and stories using an interactive website, www.scenehere.co.uk, which combines archiving, social media and GPS platforms.
• Okehampton Museum of Dartmoor Life involved young people in as many aspects of the day to day running of the museum as possible, as well as developing a week of artistic events, culminating in a party.
• Young volunteers at Holsworthy Museum were involved in making a film of the annual St Peter’s Fair from a young person’s point of view.
• Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life involved young people in creative workshops using Richard Cosway portraits and Andy Warhol’s work as inspiration. They then created an exhibition of their work for the museum.
Projects in 2011
• Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon: Petroc College students have produced and curated an exhibition responding to the museum collection and personal identity. The exhibition opens in March 2011.
• Bill Douglas Centre: using new technology to produce audio information available on mobile devices in the museum and online, plus involvement with social media including Facebook.
• Museum of British Surfing, Braunton: a graffiti mural project with a local artist and young people.
• Kingsbridge Cookworthy Museum: fresh interpretations of the Farm Gallery including audio-visual films and interviews with young farmers.
• Dartmouth Museum: working with Dartmouth Academy history students and a youth centre to develop an audio heritage trail around the town. The Museum and the youth centre are also now running an annual joint history trail/quiz.
• Dawlish Museum: projects include digitising the photographic archive and developing audio tours for children.
• Sidmouth Museum: working with Girl Guides and Scouts to reproduce Regency costumes from the collection which can be handled and tried on. Also producing a modern interpretation of the Long Picture of Regency Sidmouth that hangs in the museum.
• Topsham Museum: working with a deaf young ambassador to develop a training film for stewards to increase accessibility for deaf people.