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The majority of young people between the ages of fourteen and thirty have a negative view of the arts, they are seen as remote and institutional and have absolutely no place in their lives. Art galleries, museums and concert halls are 'not for the like of us'186. Therefore if the NMFA wants young people to love the museum, it must offer them some values that are important to them, in activities that meet some of their needs, while also continuing to provide the frequent visitors with what he or she already finds satisfying and rewarding. Young people are known for seeking places to meet other young people, and on an international level, museums have become chic and safe venues to meet high-status individuals such as the V&A in London. Sociability, dating and networking form a large part of their visits and many young people want to participate in museums and other cultural organizations187. The idea of having activities has spread fast in all the major and small museums worldwide188. Museums such as the Tate, the National Gallery, the V&A and many others offer a combination of diverse events such as music, lectures, debates, one-off displays, fashion, films, food and drink. Through these activities the museums also encourage membership. Some museums have also organized young people advisory groups to raise funds for the purchase of art and other museum activities189. Giving young people a stake in the museum's activities is a way to promote participation and creativity, by offering them the opportunity to create exhibitions and programmes for example190. Eventually these young people will become members and donors as museum communities grow older.
186 Selwood S., Clive S., Irving D., 1995, p.7.
187 Kotler N.G., Kotler P., Kotler W.I, 2008, p.172.
188 Kotler N.G., Kotler P., Kotler W.I, 2008, p.172.
189 Kotler N.G., Kotler P., Kotler W.I, 2008, p.172.
190 Kotler N.G., Kotler P., Kotler W.I, 2008, p.172.
The following are a number of case studies that have worked effectively since their implantation in each respective museum. I chose these specific examples because I believe that they can be applied in some way or other to the NMFA.
2.1 National Portrait Gallery, London
The policy of the education department of the NPG, London99 is to focus energies on providing a face-to-face service for visitors, rather than mediating education experiences through the production of resource material. One direct benefit of the policy is that education work has a high public profile at the NPG and on any day a visitor is likely to encounter groups and individuals working in front of the pictures, engaged in activities such as drawing, performances or discussion, while more formal lectures, films and video screenings and practical art sessions occur in the studio and lecture rooms. The department also responds to a heavy demand of sessions that support of school syllabuses ranging from A level to the National Curriculum. The heaviest demand comes from history teachers, for which the gallery provides a range of both basic discussion sessions and more specialized activities on Tudor, Stuart and Victorian themes100.
99 The National Portrait Gallery is one hand an art gallery and on the other a museum of history. Its collections spans five centuries of portraiture. For further information about the National Portrait Gallery view: http://www.npg.org.uk/
100 Hooper-Greenhill, 1997, p.185.
101 Hooper-Greenhill, 1997, p.191.
102 Hooper-Greenhill, 1997, p.191.
103 For more information on the Deaf People Association Malta view: http://www.deafmalta.com/
The NPG stresses the importance of diverse peoples' disabilities. These not only include those who are physically impaired, but also young people who are totally or partially blind or deaf, young people with speech impairment, as well as those with moderate or severe learning difficulties, and those young people who suffer from mental illness101. In developing services for such audiences with disabilities, the NPG designed activities exclusively for groups of disabled visitors, tailoring work to meet their needs and catering for medium-sized groups, with the aim of establishing and building a niche audience such as providing talks and tours and workshops in sign language102.
I do believe that I have not yet witnessed anything of the sort taking place within the NMFA. It might be viable for HM to work closely with associations such as The Society of the Blind and the Deaf People Association Malta103 to further promote Maltese culture and history with such
people. These disabled young people, will only generate a relatively small audience, but over time that audience will be established and will want to come back and be pro-actively involved with the gallery in promoting and further improving access104.
104 Hooper-Greenhill, 1997, p.198.
105 This mix included people with disabilities, young people and black and ethnic minority people. Hooper-Greenhill, 1997, p.188.
106 Hooper-Greenhill, 1997, p.191.
107 Hooper-Greenhill, 1997, p.194.
108 Hooper-Greenhill, 1997, p.194.
109 Hooper-Greenhill, 1997, p.193.
In 1993 the NPG in London proposed a programme that was intended to encourage a diverse mix of young people105, the majority of whom were non-visitors to the museum. Since young people aged between 13 and 23 were under-represented within the galleries wall, the education department was keen to address this issue through relevant workshops and activities106. On offer there were and still are practical art and photography workshops inspired by the galleries permanent and temporary exhibitions. The format of the photography workshop is to visit the exhibition space, followed by a group discussion before the practical activities kick off107. The participants are also given a section in the gallery in which their work is displayed mounted as a way of promoting the educational programmes to wider gallery audiences, thus encouraging more participants in the workshops. In the first year of the new young people's programmes the activities were extended to include 10 half day painting workshops and a two day photography workshop. A very curious point about these workshops was that the photography workshop was filled up while the painting workshop was poorly attended108 this shows that photography is definitely more trendy with youths. In the summer months the NPG hosts the British Petroleum (BP) portrait award exhibition, an event designed to highlight contemporary portrait painting and encourage the work of younger artists. The overall intention is to present the gallery's experience to young people, by creating a programme of activities such as the art and photography workshops that would emphasize the educational side and challenge participants to better understand the collection. Such activities enable socializing, pleasure and entertainment and also aid the gallery in establishing a good reputation among teachers, youth workers, parents but more importantly the young people themselves109. This puts the NPG on the map, as a venue of interest and relevance.
The gallery had previously run a few activities for youths aged between 13 and 23 however these were recruited through mailing lists built up by interested gallery visitors. As a result, when activities were programmed, the available spaces were filled by the sons and daughters of frequent visitors. Obviously there was a high level of parental encouragement, which can occasionally be a mixed blessing, as young people who are increasingly searching for their independence may be more receptive to engaging in an activity which they have chosen out of their free will. The first planned activities under the new programme were specifically targeted at youth groups that exist within inner London110. The NPG was willing to collaborate with youth groups and also encourage youth workers to promote the activities to interested individuals111.
110 Hooper-Greenhill, 1997, p.193.
111 Hooper-Greenhill, 1997, p.193.
112 Hooper-Greenhill, 1997, p.195.
During the initial stages of the development of the new educational programme, through one of the many informal staff discussions, a suggestion was made to include a flyer in the next annual school mailing. The flyer was targeted at art teachers to present to students, inviting names to be put forward for a mailing list through which to advertise future art and photography activities. The result this generated was unexpectedly positive and offered useful insight into how galleries might be marketed to young people. It was the choice of these young people to put their names down and be included in the list. By October the NPG had received over 400 names, with some schools returning a list of 20 names and addresses while others just two or three112. When the gallery came to advertise the new programme of activities in the autumn, the individuals who had expressed interest were contacted directly by mail. This way people were receiving first hand information rather than through teachers or parents. The response was again impressive, with the cartoon and caricature workshop and the three photography workshops oversubscribed in the first two weeks after the launch of the programmes. The most satisfying thing of the self subscribed mailing list was the mixture of people that appeared at the workshops. The common link between everyone was the enthusiasm for art, photography and design, together with the fact that only a few had visited the museum. If the NMFA had to try and promote the events which are held at the museum in the same way that the NPG does, there should be a greater response and mixture of ages and backgrounds.
2.2 Tate Britain
The learning department at Tate sees art as a way to examine, challenge and transgress notional boundaries. One way to do this is by getting young people actively involved in gallery culture113. The Tate Gallery has been working with young people beyond the schools sector since 1988, using methods whereby young people contribute to the programme and the institution, through consultation and peer-leadership. Something which is not conducted at the NPG or the National Gallery for example, as it is the respective department that takes care of the youth programmes.
113 Sinker R., 2008
114 http://www.tate.org.uk/youngtate/ (accessed May 2010)
115 Sinker R., 2008
116 Sinker R., 2008
117 For more information on Raw Canvas view http://www.tate.org.uk/modern/eventseducation/rawcanvas/
Originally established at Tate Liverpool in 1994 Young Tate is now the name for the youth programme across all four gallery sites, as well as a dedicated online space114. Although each of the four sites has a distinctive programme of activities and often a particular targeted audience focus, Young Tate has devised a common set of aims. This is certainly something which HM can adopt and will augur well on its corporate programme. These include long-term benefits for young people who are already committed to visual culture, to draw in those who are not and to enhance the lives and career potential of all Young Tate participants through deeper and more varied involvement in Tate and their local galleries. It also creates a space for the exchange of new ideas in which young people are consulted, have opportunities to participate in Tate's cultural process and can take control of their learning and finally to be inclusive and diverse both in programme content and in the young people who participate in these programmes115. These were devised and agreed in 2006, through a series of meetings between the curators from the different sites, drawing together their experiences of building, developing and evaluating peer-led programmes over several years116.
Raw Canvas117, which is Tate Modern's Young Tate group, was already established, initially recruiting most of its participants and audience through the website. Many of them were art students, already involved in gallery-going and no longer in secondary education. In contrast
Tate Britain's, Tate Forum was set up in 2002 as a peer-led youth advisory group. Tate Forum was targeting a slightly younger and less confident audience, with an interest in art but not a history of gallery attendance. It was though that working with schools would reach a more socially and culturally diverse audience118. This forum has been developing for the last six years and now draws in young people aged 13-25 through a range of different events and projects, targeting, all young people across London119. These activities and events are for a broad audience of young Londoners, marketed through the Young Tate website, e-bulletins, MySpace, local radio spots, club flyers, schools and colleges.
118 Sinker R., 2008
119 Sinker R., 2008
120 For further information on Loud Tate view http://www.tate.org.uk/youngtate/britain/loudtate2010/
121 Sinker R., 2008
122 Sinker R., 2008
The biggest annual event organized by Tate Forum is, Loud Tate120, one of three Saturday events sponsored by BP, attracted 2,500 young people in 2007. Many of these young people were visiting the gallery for the first time, drawn in by the promise of a free concert by DJs and Bands. The exciting thing about Loud Tate is the way it involves young people programming events across the gallery121. Contributions such as loud music are absolutely valid creative activities and Tate Forum is clearly the owner of both the space and the event. Being a diverse group of young people, inevitably they discuss, and argue about a varied range of events and activities, illustrating the reality of democratic participation in gallery culture.
Over the year Tate Forum plans a number of short, public events, programmed for young audiences, including artists' talks, creative art workshops and online projects. Devising, marketing, running, documenting and evaluating the projects is the responsibility of the young people, in consultation and with support from the youth curators and other relevant members of Tate staff122. The present Tate Forum structure consists of bi-weekly, two-hour evening meetings throughout the year when members meet and plan projects and events. There are a number of recruitment events in spring, known as Taster Days, in addition to the longer targeted projects. Attending two or more of these leads to an annual twelve-session training course, spread over the summer, introducing members into the various aspects of the gallery; including curating,
marketing, conservation, health and safety, visitor services, art-handling and education123. Having completed this, members take an active part in youth-programme development and production. Those over 16 are also invited to become involved in other departmental events such as Late at Tate or Education Open Evenings, for which they are paid.
123 Sinker R., 2008
124 Department for Education and Skills, Extending Opportunity: A National Framework for Study Support
125 Sinker R., 2008
126 Sinker R., 2008
127 Sinker R., 2008
A programme called Tate Extra was established in 2001, with local government124, to create opportunities during out of school hours for young people. One of their key aims was to improve engagement, motivation and achievement through after hours' activities, so there was a very direct link to formal education. The curator worked with teachers drawn from schools in areas local to Tate Britain to recruit young people who were already showing signs of disaffection towards the formal curriculum, but who found art a subject they could relate to125. For Tate Britain the aim was to bring more young people into the galleries, for the gallery to respond to the concerns and interests of young people and for them to gain access to the gallery and the collection, in many cases for the first time. After several years of running these annual programmes, there was a clear need to create a way for these young people to retain and develop their relationship with Tate. It just became more and more apparent that young people were feeling left out in the cold at the end of that project. Tate had been successful enough to develop a relationship with them that was independent from school and they wanted to continue it, and that's when they started to think about a peer-led programme126.
Many of the original group of recruits joined through their involvement with GCSE Art, and initially the link between Tate Extra and developing GCSE coursework was quite explicit, so the group was largely people interested and actively involved in art127. For these students Tate Forum offered the space to think beyond the confines and conventions of art as a curriculum subject, to develop and discuss ideas with peers and to have a broader understanding of art's forms and functions. One of the members, 16 year old, Charlotte Allen loves art but hated the way it was taught in school. She states that: I've lost interest in art in the classrooms. I don't see why I have to be in a classroom to draw or do anything. Why do I have to be regimented? Why
do I have to do what my teacher says when surely art is an opinionated subject? â€¦ I see coming here as what I think art should be. It shouldn't be in the classroom - it should be in galleries, it should be outside â€¦ That's what I think is the problem with art in schools128.
128 Sinker R., 2008
129 Sinker R., 2008
130 Sinker R., 2008
131 Sinker R., 2008
132 For further information view http://www.takeonepicture.org
I tend to agree with Charlotte on this. In Malta this practice has only been taken up by private and church secondary schools. I do think that government secondary schools should emulate this practice. Having myself roamed around quite a number of museums in Europe, I can say that there are always secondary school students around a particular painting or sculpture sketching or discussing the works. However this is rarely ever seen in Maltese museums.
The link between Tate Forum and academic or career opportunities is complex. But several members cited specific examples where an insight into the institution, the confidence built through being part of the group, or the connections and conversations with professionals had been significant129. For instance, through the youth programme's connection with the University of the Arts London, widening participation initiative and the National Arts Learning Network (NALN), one or two Tate Forum members had met and had had informal discussions with tutors from colleges where they applied and ultimately got accepted. The relationship works both ways: NALN sees Tate Forum as a model of good practice and has employed members as student ambassadors at events such as Portfolio Advice Day130. Creating access for young people, who do not have a tradition of museum and gallery-going beyond school trips, could be characterised as worthy, and can be classified as part of the tradition of a 'civilising ritual'131, that is, museums act as public spaces where moral and social improvement can be obtained.
2.3 The National Gallery
Take One Picture132 is the National Gallery's countrywide scheme for primary schools which can also be tailored for secondary school children, locally. Each year the Gallery focuses on one
painting from the collection to inspire cross-curricular work in primary classrooms. For 2008/2009 the focus painting was on Renior's Umbrellas and this saw more than two hundred schools submitting their work133. This year's focus painting is Tobias and the Angel by Andrea del Verrochio's workshop. Take One Picture encourages students of all abilities because of the flexible and open framework134. Children's confidence is improved in their own work and a sense of ownership for their national collection of paintings is also instilled in them. Secondary schools in Malta can emulate this scheme quite easily, by for example choosing works such as Antonio Sciortino's Arab Horses.
133 http://nationalgallery.org.uk/about-us/press-and-media/take-one-picture-2010 (accessed July 2010)
134 http://www.takeonepicture.org/about/impact.html (accessed August 2010)
135 http://www.takeonepicture.org/about/thinking.html (accessed August 2010)
136 http://www.takeonepicture.org/about/planning.html (accessed August 2010)
137 Ages for these two years are between 14 and 16
During a one-day continuing professional development course at the Gallery, teachers are given a print of the painting. The challenge is then for schools to use the image imaginatively in the classroom, both as a stimulus for artwork but also for work in a more unexpected curriculum area. The National Gallery education department then displays a selection of the work on the annual Take One Picture exhibition in the National Gallery. Over the years, the chosen pictures have been used by teachers in different ways. For example, a year 6 teacher whose class was studying 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' thought how this could be linked to Titian's Bacchus and Ariadne through thinking about magical and mythological creatures. These connections were used to produce a video in which pupils from the school encounter mystery and magic in the woods surrounding their school135. Another teacher used Uccello's painting in maths and created a Saint George and the Dragon snakes and ladders game. Another school planned to suspend the timetable for three days to concentrate on artwork across the curriculum inspired by Titian's Bacchus and Ariadne136.
All the above methods can easily be adapted to Form 4 and Form 5137 in Malta. English, Maltese, History and Art teachers can team up and produce a play which is inspired by a work of art. Science and art teachers can explore Antonio Sciortino's work on velocity and movement while
history teachers can present Malta through the ages with the aid of Old Maltese sceneries in the collection.
2.4 The Courtauld Gallery
Art history short courses and events are offered at The Courtauld Gallery through its Public Programme138 for anyone with an interest in art wheather they are young people, schools, teachers, scholars or the general public. The aim of these short courses, talks and events is to make The Courtauld Institute of Art's scholarly expertise and the wealth of the Courtauld Gallery's collection accessible to the wider public. Courses and events are led by art historians and by experiences artists.
138 For further information on the Public Programmes view http://www.courtauld.ac.uk/publicprogrammes/index.shtml
139 http://www.courtauld.org.uk/aah/ (accessed August 2010)
140 http://www.courtauld.org.uk/aah/animations/index.html (accessed August 2010)
141 To view these animations view: http://courtauld.org.uk/aah/inspiration/index.html
In 2009 The Courtauld Gallery in collaboration with the University of Arts, London organized a summer school and evening courses namely Animating Art History. Twenty-eight young people from eleven schools and colleges across London aged 16 to 19 took part in the innovative course which combined art history and animation139. The participants explored art history research methods at the Courtauld and moving images processes at the Graphic Design Department in Saint Martin's College of Art and Design140. The course kicked off by visiting the Gallery and the Universities, these were followed by art history lectures, research and the chance to study the original works of art in the collection, as well as learning the animation techniques at Saint Martin's. The task was to work in pairs or groups of threes to choose a work of art from the Courtauld collection and devise a short animation film that interprets an aspect of its history. The animation was designed for the new Animating Art History section141 for the Courtauld website and is aimed at inspiring children and teachers to explore art and art history and visit the Gallery. The Courtauld curators helped them find out more about the painting and they also carried out research in the library and online.
The development theme for the animation had to focus on the technique used, the history or the artist's idea. The spoken text had to be simple, accurate and focused. The clear academic message was to have enough substance to inspire the audience to find out more about art and history of art. A short text panel had to be written to describe why the work of art was chosen. It also had to include facts about the artists, the material used, the dates of the work and historical information about society and culture of the time142. Participants made stop-frame animation using only twelve digital stills inspired by something in the Courtauld Gallery. They took photos on the courtyard of Someret House and used specialist software at Saint Martin's to animate them. They also photographed the architecture of the Gallery143. All this research was conducted in groups. Together they tried out lots of different techniques using different cameras, pixilations and computers. At the end of the course they had to present their work in a screening event attended also by the Heads of both Universities144. I was very impressed by some of these young peoples' works when I accessed them online145, as it is a very fun way to experiment with art. The animations show that the participants were highly motivated towards their work as they managed to capture the viewers, attention through innovative concepts. Such as transforming and contrasting Manet's smaller version of Le déjeuner sur l'herbe with works by Michelangelo.
142 http://courtauld.org.uk/aah/animations/creativebrief01.html (accessed August 2010)
143 http://courtauld.org.uk/aah/what/index.html (accessed August 2010)
144 http://courtauld.org.uk/aah/what/index.html (accessed August 2010)
145 http://courtauld.org.uk/aah/animations/index.html (accessed August 2010)
146 For more information on Youth in Action view http://www.actionforchildren.org.uk/
2.5 The Victoria and Albert Museum
Design for Life is a partnership project which focuses on engaging young people in creative design through the use of museums. The project is led by the V&A with Action for Children146 and five regional galleries and museums such as the Brighton, Birmingham and Manchester City Museums and Art Galleries. Design for Life is an action research project which aims to identify ways in which museums could support young people in developing their talents and contribute to the creative economy, both as producers and informed consumers. In the initial pilot phase which was in 2008-09, it was known as Design Your Life and worked with over 300 young people aged
11-18 from schools and community groups to research and test a varied range of design based learning programmes inspired by museum collections.
The project has just now completed its second year and this year's theme was Recycled, encompassing both the environment-friendly use of materials and also the 'recycling' of practical and visual ideas gained from museum objects147. Through the creative design process each person re-imagined and personalized these ideas to create a unique and distinctive product. This year the V&A worked with two groups of young people- 14 girls from year 10 GCSE Product Design course at Eltham Hill College of Technology and a group of eight young people aged 9-14 from the Action for Children Haringey Young Carers project. At Eltham Hill, the brief was to make T-shirts dresses and create a fabric design inspired by the Museum. The girls created necklaces to complement the dress148. At the Museum they were inspired by the fashion designs of Mary Quant and pop art imagery. Two professional designers- in fashion and jewellery visited the school to demonstrate their working processes, help students with their work and give feedback at the end of the project. The girls developed their ideas and created fabric designs with a combination of techniques including cut stencil with spray fabric paints and iron-on transfer printing of digital images, the jewellery pieces were either cast in pewter from clay moulds or cut from MDF (Medium-density fiberboard) 149. The final works were exhibited at a fashion showcase event at the V&A.
147 http://www.vam.ac.uk/files/file_upload/56863_file.pdf (accessed August 2010)
148 http://www.vam.ac.uk/files/file_upload/56861_file.pdf (accessed August 2010)
149 http://www.vam.ac.uk/files/file_upload/56861_file.pdf (accessed August 2010)
150 http://www.vam.ac.uk/files/file_upload/56861_file.pdf (accessed August 2010)
151 http://www.vam.ac.uk/files/file_upload/56861_file.pdf (accessed August 2010)
The Haringey Young Carers attended three 'meet a designer and make' days and a fourth showcase event150. The first day was product design with the V&A's then designer-in-resident Lao Jianhua where the young people made lampshades inspired by the Chinese and Japanese galleries. The second session was jewellery making: shapes cut in thin copper foil inspired by the motifs in the South Asian galleries. The third was T-shirt painting inspired by shapes and colours from the glass gallery151. The final showcase event was well attended by parents and the three designers presented the young people with certificates of achievement.
From 26 April-8 June 2010 the V&A hosted the national exhibition of young people's work with an accompanying young people's conference. I really enjoyed myself going through this particular exhibition. On display there was a collection of lights, cutlery, bags, ceramic light fittings, as well as t-shirts, dresses and jumpsuits. However, each creation was not just a sticky mass of tissue paper, cardboard, crisp packets, bubble wrap and plastic bags. The exhibits were a result of the inspiration they gained from the museum. I particularly liked the 1940's style dress made from colourful recycled Walker crisp packets. There was also a beautiful light made from an old Budweiser bottle, brown paper, lace and bubble wrap. The hand-made ceramic light fittings hanging from 'The Tree of Life' were really creative and would look great in a contemporary space.
Over the coming year the project plans to develop a replicable design learning 'package' to enthuse young people about creative design and its potential in their lives. Online resources will be created and training/dissemination events will promote wider participation by museums nationwide152.
152 http://www.vam.ac.uk/school_stdnts/schools/projects/design_your_life/index.html (accessed August 2010)
153 http://www.vam.ac.uk/activ_events/events/friday_evenings/friday_late/index.html (accessed August 2010)
154 For further information about 1:1 - Architects Build Small Spaces view http://www.vam.ac.uk/collections/architecture/smallspaces/index.html
Friday Late is held on the last Friday of every month (except December) when the Museum is open from 10.00 to 22.00 with events starting at 18.30153. In the June edition of Friday Late visitors had the opportunity to explore seven V&A commissioned structures located around the Museum. The spaces had been created especially for the exhibition 1:1 - Architects Build Small Spaces154 by international architects at the forefront of experimental design. Highlights included a reading tower by Norwegian architects Rintala Eggertsson with shelves holding over 6000 books and cocoon 'reading' booths, Terunobu Fujimori's wooden retreat elevated on stilt-like legs in the Medieval & Renaissance Galleries, plus Studio Mumbai's series of narrow corridors and miniature spaces inspired by parasitic architecture in the Cast Courts.
The evening's focus was on intimate spaces, architecture. It was an experience and an exploration of the ways in which people could interact with architecture, both physically and emotionally. Special performances took place around the exhibition installations, as well as events and temporary interventions in the most unusual of the V&A's spaces. Visitors could converse with exhibition architects Vazio S/A and Triptych Architects. One could also take an artful voyage into modernist architecture with screenings of Graham Ellard & Stephen Johnstone's 16mm film Machine on Black Ground and could experience a 'musical manifesto' lecture from Helsinki-based architect, thinker and musician, Tuomas Toivonen155. A diminutive personal disco created by Post-Office, a theatre from The Factory, craft construction workshops and a 'woodshedding' jazz session were also on offer. There was also the opportunity to meet V&A artists-in-residence Aberrant Architecture156, and visit the unique display of their models and digital projections, to explore the Museum's unusual architectural details and secret spaces with a V&A archivist, as well as a one-off male access to the Museum's recently renovated ladies lavatories designed by architects Glowacka Rennie with artist Felice Varini157.
155 http://www.vam.ac.uk/activ_events/events/friday_evenings/friday_late/events/june-2010/index.html (accessed August 2010)
156 Aberrant Architecture is a design studio and think tank founded in Tokyo in 2007 by David Chambers and Kevin Haley, with a mandate to explore a world full of complication and contradiction. For further information about it work incolloboration with the V&A view: http://www.vam.ac.uk/collections/architecture/residency/index.html
157 http://www.vam.ac.uk/activ_events/events/friday_evenings/friday_late/events/june-2010/index.html (accessed August 2010)
158 http://www.vam.ac.uk/activ_events/events/Black%20Heritage%20Programme/index.html (accessed August 2010)
159 http://www.vam.ac.uk/activ_events/events/Refugee%20Week/index.html (accessed August 2010)
In addition, there was out-of-hours access to the Museum's Grace Kelly: Style Icon and Quilts exhibition. Having had the opportunity to attend this edition of Friday Late, I can say that the crowd was completely different from the daily one. There were a lot of people below the thirty age bracket, most of whom, after going round the exhibits congregated at the entrance area of the V&A where a live DJ and food and drinks as well as cocktails were served all evening.
The V&A also offers a number of activities based on diverse cultural backgrounds. These include a Black Heritage Programme158 and a week dedicated to Refugees159. The Black Heritage
Programme offers an exciting range of special events. These events include live jazz to celebrate the work of the legendary musician Louis Armstrong, touring the galleries and exhibitions, learning more about social activist Paul Robeson and his battles with the FBI, or spend an evening exploring Rastafarian recital of prayers, poems and listening to some vintage Jamdown sounds. There was also an evening of song and dance for families of all ages named Caribbean Liming Families Night. Here one could discover old and new dances, join in a parade featuring island sounds and learn to sing folk songs. One could also listen to stories and tales, create magical masks and dress up as a carnival character with a painted face and decorate an island backdrop with shells from the Caribbean seashore160.
160 http://www.vam.ac.uk/activ_events/events/Black%20Heritage%20Programme/index.html (accessed August 2010)
161 http://www.vam.ac.uk/activ_events/events/Refugee%20Week/index.html (accessed August 2010)
162 http://www.vam.ac.uk/activ_events/events/Refugee%20Week/index.html (accessed August 2010)
Refugee Week is a free event dedicated to refugee-made work and how it has contributed to the V&A collections. The week long events consist of talks, tours, workshops and live performances. One of the activities during this year's Refugee week was Making Memories where one could make an artwork using personal photographs, story telling and memories with the help of textile artist Natasha Kerr. The participants had to bring personal family photographs and share the stories and memories attached to the images.
An exhibition about the development of quilts (Quilts: 1700-2010) ran concurrently with Refugee week and served the participants with a further source of inspiration. The participants then spent the afternoon working on a creation of their own, and left with the skills and inspiration to continue making wonderful textiles at home161. My V&A is a tour that sees the V&A's collections from a different perspective. It allows a refugee be the guide, taking those interested on a unique tour of the Museum as objects in the galleries act as a springboard for their own highly personal stories162.
The V&A's Access, Social Inclusion and Community Development Team works hard to represent the interests of cultural diversity and equality across the museum. Their aim has been
to make the Sackler Centre163 feel welcoming, attractive, relevant and engaging to the widest possible range of people. The new spaces has enabled them to organise exciting projects, encouraging visitors from diverse backgrounds to explore and engage with the collections in different ways and also reaching out further to wider audiences beyond the walls using the technology that the new Centre will provide164. An innovative residency scheme has seen two studios in the Centre being used by artists, designers and craftspeople interacting with the public.
163 The Sackler Centre is the V&A's centre for public learning through creative design and the arts, inspired by the Museum and its collection. http://www.vam.ac.uk/school_stdnts/education_centre/index.html
164 http://www.vam.ac.uk/files/file_upload/17806_file.pdf (accessed August 2010)
165 http://www.vam.ac.uk/images/image/38857-popup.html (accessed August 2010)
166 http://www.vam.ac.uk/images/image/38857-popup.html (accessed August 2010)
167 For further information on Tate Track view: http://www.tatetracks.org.uk/
168 http://www.tatetracks.org.uk/ (accessed August 2010)
The Access, Social Inclusion and Community Development Team have recently organised a series of jewellery workshops with young men who come from asylum and refugee communities. The young men in these workshops originate from Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia and had never made jewellery before165. They were very keen to get involved with this highly technical and creative art form, using the Indian collections in the Nehru Gallery as an inspiration. The group worked with a professional jeweller who interacted well with the young men and pitched workshops at the right level in order to fully engage with the participants166. It is expected that these young people will continue to work with the V&A across its many exciting and diverse programmes in the new Centre.
2.6 Tate Modern
Tate Modern used young people's interest in music and related it to artworks, the aim was to show what music and art have in common. Tate Tracks167 was set up in 2006 with the aim of finding a way of making the works on display appeal to this audience. Twelve bands were chosen to choose an art work that would inspire them to write a new track168.
The philosophy behind this was that if an artwork can inspire a band, perhaps it can also inspire those who follow that particular band. So they invited several prominent music artists
including Basement Jaxx, Chemical Brothers, Graham Coxon from Blur among others to walk around the museum and find a piece of art that inspired them to write a music track169. By showcasing music based on artwork, Tate Tracks combines the worlds of art and youth culture together, giving an access point into the gallery and the collection. The final stage of the project was to invite the public to take part in a competition and write 'Your Tate Track' aimed at unsigned bands and musicians aged between 16 and 24. The music track was based on an artwork in the Tate Modern and was installed in the gallery as well as posted in the Tate Tracks website. The entry system was entirely online and contestants were able to pick an artwork and enter their track using their MySpace page. The tracks were shortlisted by the public and then by an expert panel who chose a winner170. But what really makes this effort special isn't just that it redefines the notion of advertising, it also expands the traditional conception of what a gallery is, from a place that merely collects art to one that helps create it171.
169 http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2009/05/13/tate-tracks/ (accessed August 2010)
170 http://www.tate.org.uk/modern/tatetracks/yourtatetrack/ (accessed August 2010)
171 http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2009/05/13/tate-tracks/ (accessed August 2010)
172 Kotler N.G., Kotler P., Kotler W.I, 2008, p.346.
Although the competition might not appeal to everyone, the idea of having live music events in association with the artworks in the museum can still be applied. For the Tate Tracks programme the target age group was mainly between 15 and 24 however there is no hard and fast rule for this172. The target audience of those who attend depends mainly on music tastes. Different types of bands must be chosen to target different fans who listen to different genres of music. Each of these music categories have different followers, thereby achieving coverage over as much of the age group as possible.
The common denominator of these museums is the fact that they strive to attract a young audience. They all have programmes which produce a product based or inspired by the respective museum's collection, although some, as in the case of the Courtauld Gallery is more complex and academic than others. Furthermore the Courtauld Gallery and the V&A provide professional artists or designers as a guide. Both the Courtauld and the V&A make use of digital
media and this is sure to attract a young audience. The NPG offers very interesting workshops which apart from art and photography also include cartoon and caricature which appeal to a young audience. I find that their marketing strategy is also very interesting as the NPG collaborates with youth groups and youth workers.
The V&A offers further programmes as it also targets specific groups such as refugees and people with diverse cultural backgrounds. Music also features in both Tate Britain and Tate Modern as well as at the V&A so as to make sure that they attract a younger crowd. One can be sure that one will find an enthusiastic young audience ready to explore 'quirky architectural details and secret spaces of the V&A as the young are so inquisitive! But in my opinion Tate Britain has the best youth programme as it gives them the library to organise activities targeted for young audiences.
I am sure that producing a work collaboratively or individually can be very engaging for students. Teachers often remark on how disinterested students have been motivated and stimulated by creative work. After creating the artistic work, the next stage is to share the work with a wider audience. Sharing gives students and teachers a chance to reflect on and to evaluate their work. This could include anything from showing work to another class in school, a school exhibition at a parents' evening or even a website. This could be taken further and an exhibition of the children's work could be held at the museum side by side with the national collection. These ideas can all be easily implemented on the local scene. Attracting a young audience can be made possible with the right events and the right marketing strategies as can be seen by some of London's museum success stories.