Thousands of kids will take up the many roles of museums staff tomorrow, including artists-in-residence, curators, guides, learning officers, security, retail staff, PR and Marketing teams, filmmakers and administrators. The youngsters will all be wearing ‘I’m Taking Over’ stickers with ‘We’re Being Taken Over’ posters on the organisations’ front doors.
Takeover Day is run by charity Kids in Museums and supported by ACE and links up with museums, heritage attractions and schools to offer as many youngsters as possibly the opportunity to take on the roles of adults for the day. For many of these young people this will be their first taste of what it is like inside a museum and Kids in Museums hope this will lead to long-term involvement and new career opportunities.
Takeover Day is the most thrilling and fun day of the year
At the British Museum, primary school kids are taking over the Families Desk, helping families to find out what’s on offer for them. Also, students from Frank Barnes School for Deaf Children are supporting Visitor Services staff as they show people into the Sunken Cities exhibition using British Sign Language. In the Clore Centre for Education young people from Westminster College will be delivering workshops for younger students. And finally students from Richard Cloudsley School will be working as Artists-in-Residence creating pop-up art installations in the Great Court.
In the east of England at Time and Tide, Great Yarmouth, ten local young people with English as a second language are launching their pop-up exhibition and museum trail, made from objects they have picked to reflect their heritage and interpreted themselves in English and their first language. They’re even preparing the press release and social media campaign to advertise the exhibition.
“Takeover Day is the most thrilling and fun day of the year. Seeing kids take on every museum job – from curators, to front of house, to security guards – makes old institutions come alive,” said Kids in Museums’ Patron Damian Dibben, bestselling children’s author of The History Keepers and Takeover Ambassador. “Takeover Day not only gives young people the opportunity to experience and excel at something they might not have thought was for them, but declares that museums are for everyone, of every age. I had the great fortune to grow up right by the museums of London and weekly trips opened up fascinating new worlds to me, universes of the past and the future, of nature and the cosmos, that inspire me to this very day.”
Dibben will be visiting Brighton Museums on Takeover Day where 30 students from Portslade Aldridge Community Academy will be working in the security team, visitor services, as shop staff, in marketing, doing pop-up talks, costumed flyering and much more.
“Every child, whoever they are, and wherever they live, should have the opportunity to nurture their talents, be enriched by cultural experiences and to be given the skills and knowledge that will help them build creative and economically valuable careers,” said Darren Henley, Chief Executive Arts Council England. “Takeover Day is a fantastic opportunity for children up and down the country to glimpse just some of the exciting paths we hope will be open for them in the future, made more likely through schemes like this complementing high quality cultural education.”
If you would like to host a Takeover Day in the future at a venue close to you email: [email protected] or call 020 3096 7707.