Living Museums: young people shaping culture and heritage (2021)
Funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NHLF) and with support from Historic Environment Scotland, the Living Museums project takes an in-depth look at how the museum sector can appeal to and engage young people aged between 14 and 21.
Through our previous Heritage Hunters project we discovered that young people are less likely to get involved in or visit museums.
Living Museums is an opportunity to address this, and to reflect on our evolving understandings and perceptions of heritage.
- Examines the barriers that young people experience when accessing museums
- Explores what things could improve the situation
- Encourages more young people to get involved
- Shapes how museums engage with young people
- Is an opportunity for museums to capture and reflect young people's current priorities and different aspects of their lived experience
A core element of the project is bringing together young people with museum partners to ensure their voices and experiences are represented and reflected at every level, from strategic decision making to on-the-ground delivery.
The project has been split into two main phases.
Phase 1 of the project was delivered from July - October 2020. It involved recruiting a national group of around 10-15 young people to explore their experiences of museums and investigate the barriers that get in the way of young people being involved or engaging with museums.
During Phase 1 members of the national group ran the Make a change - Make history campaign launch
For two weeks the national group highlighted key calls made by young people for the museum and heritage sector and held a survey for other young people to share their views.
The group identified some key issues and made calls about what they would like to see reflected by museums and the heritage sector.
The themed calls were:
- Inclusion & Diversity
- LGBT Inclusion
- Mental Health
- Youth employment
- Contemporary items
Calls shared on social media for the Make A Change – Make
As part of the campaign the group wanted to find out more about young people’s experience of accessing and engaging with museums.
Phase 2 of the project began in January 2021.
In Phase 2 we will work in partnership with three museums, across three localities. We will also be supported by a youth work partner in each area. The work will take place in the following areas:
- Dumfries and Galloway (Dumfries Museum & Dumfries and Galloway Youth Services)
- Perth and Kinross (Perth Museum & YMCA Tayside)
- Stirling (The Battle of Bannockburn Experience & Stirling Council Youth Services)
Over the coming months we will support a group of 15 young people in each area to work with the museum to help design activities to reach other young people and support the museums to engage with young people in the area.
The groups will build their knowledge of museums and culture before deciding on one of the seven campaign calls from Phase 1. They will then come up with an idea for an exhibition, an outreach activity or a change to policy and practice.
Get in touch
If you have any questions about the Living Museums project please contact Chris Ross