Takeover Day is a celebration of children and young people’s contributions to museums, galleries, arts organisations, archives and heritage sites. It’s a day on which they are given meaningful roles, working alongside staff and volunteers to participate in the life of the museum. On 17 November 2017 over 150 museums were run by almost 4,000 children for Takeover Day, doing the jobs adults usually do. They were pest controllers, tour guides, curators, conservators, interpreters, digital creators, front of house and worked in the shop and café.
November 17th was Kids in Museums Takeover Day – a day where children and young people takeover museums, galleries and heritage sites across England. As a Kids in Museums volunteer, I was invited to help out with Takeover Day at the V&A Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green to see what the young people were doing over the day and share on the @takeovermuseums twitter account. Slightly terrifyingly, I was also invited to takeover myself, for a couple of hours over the day I also ran V&A Director Tristram Hunt’s twitter account.
I started the day speaking to the young people from the Globe School that had taken over the V&A Museum of Childhood – seeing what they were doing in their assigned roles, taking photos to share on twitter, and chatting to the Marketing and Social Media teams from the V&A South Kensington and Museum of Childhood about content to share from Tristram Hunt’s account.
The young people at the Museum of Childhood were assigned roles: from information desk, security, exhibition assistants, storytellers, archive assistants, and directors – I met with them to discuss their roles and share what they were involved on social media.
Both V&A Museum of Childhood and Kids in Museums are brilliant organisations, both actively spotlighting the importance of young people in museums. Takeover Day was an extension of that, a concentrated day of children and young people gaining ownership in a museum setting.