Citizen Curators Open Day at Wheal Martyn

On Wednesday 18 September, find out how you can learn new skills, get hands-on with historic collections and share stories, at Wheal Martyn’s Citizen Curators Open Day.

Running from 2.30 – 4.00pm, the event will give prospective volunteers the opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the next 6-month Citizen Curators programme, running from October 2019 to April 2020. This is a free work-based training programme in museum awareness and modern curatorial practice, aimed at volunteers from the local community (no experience or qualifications needed). This year’s course will place a focus on the exhibition: ‘Meet the People from the Industry’, providing the opportunity to delve into our archive and research an interesting individual or group of people. Participants will also be able to shape and influence the Cornish National Collection.

The programme is organised by Cornwall Museums Partnership, a sector-leading charity which invests in the development of Cornish museums. The Citizen Curators course supports participants to grow their confidence and competence in five key areas of curatorial work: collections, communities, research, interpretation and communication. Using a coaching-style of teaching, based on Kolb’s experiential learning cycle, the programme participants self and peer-assess the change they experience, supporting each other in their learning groups. By learning through doing, each cohort and group provide invaluable feedback to their museum in areas of the collection that have been obscured or new ideas and stories that have been discovered.

Wheal Martyn’s 2017/2018 cohort of Citizen Curators created their own exhibition called ‘Engineering the Earth’. They wrote blogs and social media posts on their topic, and even took part in a digital takeover. All participants have continued to volunteer at Wheal Martyn in various ways, and continue to share the museum’s collection; Simon is now the museum’s marketing volunteer, having demonstrated a flair for presenting archive research in engaging ways. Carol Weir is now Wheal Martyn’s Artist in Residence and Imogen took part in a Teen Digital Takeover.

Nikita Brown, Exhibition and Engagement Officer, commented, ‘We are really excited to be taking part in the Citizen Curators programme again this year and look forward to seeing what the volunteers produce. The programme allows the museum to look at its collection in new ways, leading to new content, new knowledge and new relationships which the museum has been able to harness in its audience-focused programming. Those volunteers who took part in the programme last year all commented that it was an enjoyable experience and enabled them to develop their skills in the museum sector.’

For more information, contact Nikita Brown at nbrown@wheal-martyn.com or 01726 850362, or attend the open day on 18 September.

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