Tagged: Curious Minds

Freelance Opportunity: Curious Minds

Researcher for LCEP Evaluation

From Curious Minds:

We’re looking for an experienced researcher with knowledge of participative evaluation practice, to support the evaluation of the Liverpool Cultural Education Partnership (LCEP). 

We need your help to capture and tell the story of the LCEP so far by:

  • Undertaking broad ranging stakeholder consultation and data analysis to create an evaluation framework and evidence base of qualitative and quantitative outcomes across all LCEP activity
  • Working with LCEP partners to review current approaches to measuring the positive impact on learning when children and young people have participated in arts and cultural activities
  • Producing a final report and recommendations that can be used to communicate and celebrate the achievements of the LCEP to funders and other stakeholders, and to inform future planning and impact assessment

The value of the contract is up to £5000 and the deadline for applications is Monday 17 July.

For the full brief and details of how to apply, please visit our vacancies page.

Curious Futures Case Study

Young Associates: Museums Mystery Shopping Project

The Curious Minds Young Associates programme began in March 2016, with the aim of upskilling and developing a group of young people, who are already engaged in arts leadership and possibly thinking of starting a career in the arts, and were ready to take the next step into a regional leadership role.

Fast forward to March 2017. Curious Minds now have a team of 13 Young Associates, who have successfully completed their induction and training period with us, and are starting to go out into the arts and cultural sector, working on our behalf.

One of their first opportunities was to work with us, acting as mystery shoppers at selected venues across the North West.

How it all started

Alex Bird, Sector Development Officer, describes the initial thinking behind the project:

“We were keen to get the opinions of young people on museums as part of our Goal 5 work, so we developed a mystery shopper programme. We provide the participating museums and Curious Minds provide the Young Associates, who were keen to get out and about and visit museums across the North West”.

Lion Salt Works in Cheshire were one of the participating museums:

“Traditionally youth audiences can be somewhat of a mythical unicorn… difficult to attract and difficult to create a sustainable relationship with. I was intrigued when an email from MDNW hit my inbox. I applied on behalf of the Lion Salt Works and we were successful. So, what now? We open our doors to a group of young people, let them loose and see that they think…” (Jonathan Nash, Community and Learning Officer).

Young Associates, Keeley Wilkinson and Danielle Ash, were asked to visit Lion Salt Works and recognised the vital role that they could play in developing the youth offer from the museum:

“…by engaging with a diverse range young people, you are helping to strengthen the need to preserve the historical features of the Lion Salt Works. Giving the young people the chance to contribute will help the Lion Salt Works move forward”.

Judgement Day arrives

So, with all partners recognising the value of this work, Keeley and Danni, headed off to the Lion Salt Works to explore their offer to children and young people, looking specifically at how their venue and exhibitions welcomed and engaged with a younger audience.

Overall, they “…found the experience of the Lion Salt Works Museum an inspiring one” and agreed with team that “the museum content was different to anything we had visited before because of its uniqueness”.

For Jonathan from the museum it felt like “…judgment day arrives (dun, dun, dun)!”. The findings were mixed, as you would expect, but Jonathan feels comfortable that “there are positives and areas for improvement, some of which are really simple, quick fixes”.

On reading the follow-up reports from the Young Associates Alex noted that they “…offered insights into the museum offer that, as museum professionals, we would overlook. They covered everything from retail offer to signage and came up with some wonderful recommendations”.

From the point of view of Danni and Keeley, they hope that “…by improving access to the site, digital interactions and special events, the museum will benefit massively” and are looking forward to seeing what happens next.

So, what next…?

This has been a really positive step forward for the Young Associates programme, showcasing one of the ways that they can make a clear contribution to the development of the cultural and creative sector and support the engagement of other children and young people.

We agreed to fund three of the participating museums to implement some of their ideas and make improvements to their offer, signage and activities. The process has been described as “really illuminating” for the participating museums and Curious Minds, with the Young Associates, are really looking to developing this work and taking it forward.

If you are interested in finding out more about the Young Associates then please contact holly.ball@curiousminds.org.uk.

North West Young Museum Assessors Programme

Have you ever wanted to engage with more young people in your museum and get their opinion on the work you do?

After the success of our first Young Evaluators Programme, we’re running a second programme in collaboration with Curious Minds and their group of Young AssociatesThe programme offers 6 North West museums the chance to have their marketing strategy assessed by young people (aged 16-24) with the opportunity to implement some of the recommendations made.

The programme will consist of desk-based research and mystery shopping site visits undertaken by the young people, who will draft reports and feedback to staff and Boards, giving a no holds barred view of your marketing strategies and how it can be improved to attract a younger and more diverse audience. Participating museums will then have the opportunity to bid for funding to support the implementation of the recommendations.

To apply to participate in the programme please complete the application form and return to us by 5pm on Friday 30th June. Please send completed forms to Alex Bird  –alexander.bird@manchester.ac.uk. For more information please contact Alex Bird or Holly Ball at holly.ball@Curiousminds.org.uk.

North West Young Museum Assessors Programme

Have you ever wanted to engage with more young people in your museum and get their opinion on the work you do?

After the success of our first Young Evaluators Programme, we’re running a second programme in collaboration with Curious Minds and their group of Young AssociatesThe programme offers 6 North West museums the chance to have their marketing strategy assessed by young people (aged 16-24) with the opportunity to implement some of the recommendations made.

The programme will consist of desk-based research and mystery shopping site visits undertaken by the young people, who will draft reports and feedback to staff and Boards, giving a no holds barred view of your marketing strategies and how it can be improved to attract a younger and more diverse audience. Participating museums will then have the opportunity to bid for funding to support the implementation of the recommendations.

To apply to participate in the programme please complete the application form and return to us by 5pm on Friday 30th June. Please send completed forms to Alex Bird  –alexander.bird@manchester.ac.uk. For more information please contact Alex Bird or Holly Ball at holly.ball@Curiousminds.org.uk.

 

Applications Open For Children And The Arts: Start North West

Over the last couple of months Curious Minds has been working with the national charity Children and the Arts to launch a new round of their Start programme in the NW. We’ve co-invested in this opportunity, which provides up to 3 years of funding for 4 cultural venues to develop and grow relationships with local schools.

Programmes will include cultural visits, professional development opportunities for teachers, education work linked to the national curriculum and the opportunity for the participating children and young people to engage in critical analysis and develop their own creative responses. The programme will also enable children and young people to achieve Arts Award and participating schools to gain Artsmark.

Applications are now open for cultural organisations based in the following areas:

  • Bolton
  • Chester & Cheshire West
  • Preston
  • West Cumbria
  • Rochdale
  • Tameside

Applications are also welcome from organisations outside these areas, who are willing to commit to schools within the specified regions.

For details on how to apply please visit Children and the Arts Start North West page.

North West Young Museum Evaluators Programme

Have you ever wanted to engage with more young people in your museum?

In collaboration with Curious Minds, MDNW will be running a programme offering museums the chance to be assessed by a young people (aged 16-24) with the opportunity to implement some of the recommendations made.

The programme will consist of “mystery shopping” site visits undertaken by the young people who will draft reports and feedback to staff and Boards giving a no holds barred view of your offer from visitor services and retail offer to exhibition content and interpretation. Museums will then have the opportunity to bid for funding to support the implementation of the recommendations.

To participate in the programme please complete the application form and return to us by 5pm on Friday 11th November. Please send completed forms to Alex Bird  – alexander.bird@manchester.ac.uk

For more information please contact Alex Bird or Holly Ball at holly.ball@Curiousminds.org.uk

Counting the Cost: How can we make our formal learning programmes more sustainable?

Curious Minds is hosting two events exploring sustainable museums learning, presenting research and case studies from across the country, with guest speakers:

  • Emma Parsons (Museums Consultant)
  • Bill Griffiths (Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums)
  • Pollie Shorthouse (National Centre for Citizenship and the Law)

Are you considering different ways of working, reviewing your charges for schools, needing to make savings, or making a case for funding? 

Curious Minds have commissioned consultant Emma Parsons to complete a piece of work looking at how museums are reviewing their work with schools and how the sector can share ideas around sustainable working. 

The work will be discussed and shared at two seminars called ‘Counting the Cost’ – in Preston on 6th July and in Warrington on 8th July. Participants will find out about the research, hear a case study and look at how their own museums or practice can take steps towards sustainability, taking an action plan back to work.

Emma Parsons will deliver the seminar elements of each event, with Bill Griffiths presenting at the Preston event, and Pollie Shorthouse presenting at the Warrington Event.

Tickets are £16.67 per person to include lunch and can be booked via the following links:

Warrington event

Preston event

If the cost of a ticket will prevent you from attending, you are invited to contact Curious Minds to discuss.

‘Leading the Challenge’: Cultural Education sector leaders launch event

Keynote speaker: Sue Hoyle, Director of the Clore Leadership Programme: ‘Leadership and the Cultural Education Challenge’

Following the speakers’ presentation, Curious Minds will launch a new opportunity for individuals to train and develop themselves as a Cultural Education Leader. Curious Minds have developed a fully funded year-long fellowship programme for up to 8 mid-career professionals who wish to specialize in Cultural Education within their own art form or setting. These individuals, supported by their organisations, will spend approximately 20 days across the year increasing their expertise in how to work with schools, how to navigate the Education landscape and how to support their sector or art-form peers to create quality art form offers to benefit schools and teachers.

To book a place visit the eventbrite page

Curriculum Change for the Terrified

Cumbria’s Museum of Military Life
Monday 21st March 2016 
10:30 – 16:30
£25.00

This curriculum briefing event is brought to you by Curious Mind, GEM and with support from North West Museums Federation It is open to museum and heritage educators in the Northwest.

The event will focus on History and Geography but there will be opportunities to discuss other curriculum areas with colleagues and facilitators.

The day will include:

  • Presentation – Sue Temple Senior Lecturer in Primary History- University of Cumbria 
  • Case studies from museum and heritage venues, on how they are responding to the new curriculum.
  • The opportunity to share your experiences of curriculum changes over the last year and discuss your ideas and approaches with museum and heritage colleagues and specialist facilitators.

To book a place visit the eventbrite page

Youth Leadership in Museums and Libraries

Curious Minds are looking to work with existing young leaders programmes across the North West to develop a Young Associates programme. Young people, already involved in a leaderships role within their local museum, gallery or NPO, will be offered the chance to work with Curious Minds to develop a regional role.

This could involve becoming an Arts Award Advocate, reporting on events taking place across the North West, helping to develop our strategic offer, amongst other ideas. Curious Minds are currently looking to identify the organisations where those young leaders are based and the appropriate member of staff to work with.

If you have an existing young leaders programme and would like to know more please contact holly.ball@curiousminds.org.uk