Get me into there!
How welcome do young people feel when they visit our museums, libraries and art galleries? What barriers do they experience and what effect does this have on how likely they are to return?
Sadly, when young people visit an arts or cultural venue as an independent visitor (rather than on a school trip or through a specialist participation programme) they don’t always have a positive experience. Young people are often considered to be less interested in engaging with culture and heritage in their free time, this can be due to them feeling unwelcome and uncertain in venues. This can be because of invisible barriers that haven’t been considered.
Positive interactions with the arts and culture at this age are formative and crucial to their relationship with the sector. Our research and experience shows that a single negative experience can turn a young person off – not just to a single venue (such as a museum) but to ALL similar venues or artforms.
With this in mind, we have developed I’m a Teenager... Get Me Into There! - a training programme aimed at the staff teams of cultural and heritage venues and libraries (in particular front of house, customer service and volunteer teams). It aims to support public-facing staff to feel more confident in their interactions with young people and better able to create a welcoming, inclusive environment for the young people they invite into their building.
I’m a Teenager... Get Me Into There! has been created in collaboration with youth and heritage organisations and most importantly, young people themselves.
There are three ways to access this course:
Aims of the course
- To spend some time thinking about why we bother engaging young people
- To consider what barriers there might be that prevent young people engaging with your venue
- To begin to understand why young people behave differently
- To use that information to support you in your role
- To think about what changes you can make to improve young people’s experience of your venue
Strikingly, a recent survey of a cross section of museum staff revealed that one in four respondents felt that engagement with young people was not of interest or relevant to their job.
In person training
Our team can deliver a full 1-2 day training programme at any UK cultural and heritage venues and library.
We are able to work with you to create bespoke offers, including:
- Sessions attended by multiple venues (Leicester Museums Service for example, saw seven museums each sending two members of staff)
- Shaping the programme around the specific needs of your venue or team
- Incorporating local need or research – for example 'mystery shopper' visits led by young people
Cost (will vary depending on size and ambition) but ranges from £1000-4000 (or £40-£160 pp).
If you are ready to commission Curious Minds for this programme, please email Teresa Baggaley, Cultural Education Manager
Cultural Education Manager