Kids take over Pontypool Museum
Museums and historic buildings across Wales recently experienced a change in management as kids take over and show what can be achieved when their enthusiasm, imagination and initiative is put to the test.
Run by charity Kids in Museums and supported by the Welsh Government, the annual Taking Over Day gives children and young people a unique chance of being in charge of a museum, gallery, archive or historic home and aims to increase the participation of children and young people in the work of museums in Wales.
The Deputy Minister for Culture and Sport, Ken Skates, will be in the hands of pupils at St Alban’s School, Pontypool, when he visits the Pontypool Museum, which they are taking over for the day.
The Deputy Minister said:
“We want to see more young people take an interest in culture and history and the many benefits this brings. The perception can sometimes be that places like museums and galleries are stuffy, unwelcoming places for families and young people.
“The Take Over Day is about changing this perception and throwing the doors open for young people to take responsibility in the day-to-day running of a museum. This not only gives them the opportunity to understand and appreciate the fascinating items on show but those in charge can benefit from the fresh ideas that only the enthusiasm and imagination of young people can bring."
The first Take Over Day took place in November 2012 to encourage museums to be open and welcoming to all, particularly families and those who haven’t visited before. Now in its third year support has grown, with over 700 children and young people taking part last year and over 23 museums and archives taking part in Wales this year.
Cayte McCarthy, the xx St Alban’s School said:
“We are so very fortunate to be neighbours with Pontypool Museum and have a long running relationship with them as historically our buildings once formed part of the Hanbury Estate.
Actor Michael Sheen, Kids in Museums Patron, said:
“Young people sometimes get a raw deal. Yet Taking Over Day proves that, given the chance, they can take on roles within museums, archives and the arts with imagination, responsibility and commitment. Taking Over is a great initiative – giving young people the opportunity, in particular those who wouldn’t normally access museums – not only to experience but to contribute to the arts. If only every day were Taking Over Day, then museums and the arts would feel the real benefit of putting young people at their heart.”
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