Few resources, but innovative programs

October 7, 2010

It is comparatively easy to run programs for communities if you have budgets and staff, but it is still  possible to do some great projects on a shoe-string.

Today I caught up with Tamsin Wimhurst who is a part-time education officer at the Cambridge County and Folk Museum. This is an independent museum – in other words, they need to survive on what they bring in through admissions.

The feast to celebrate the coronation of Queen Victoria

I discovered that they reach about 4000 students a year. Over half of those actually visit the site, while the others interact with the museum’s loan boxes. A small number are introduced to the museum through outreach programs, where museum staff visit schools directly. Tamsin told me about a recent project of this nature relating to a history week at a local school. When the coronation of Queen Victoria took place, there was a celebratory sit down dinner hosted in one of the parks in Cambridge for 15,000 of the town’s p00r. Tamsin went to the school and introduced them to the event. They went on to explore the way the tables were laid, the types of food that were served and the games and sports that were played at the event. They made plasticine table settings and food, and played the games themselves (although they didn’t try the eel catching game!)

Tamsin also told me about a program they are planning relating to a new BBC’s series (similar the popular ‘Who do you think you are?’ and ‘1940s House’ programs.) The next series will focus on the concept of the High Street, and she is planning displays and programs that will have this focus in order to capitalise on the public interest that will be generated by the series. It also extends their opportunity to promote their programs, as the BBC has a website detailing allied projects around the country.

One Response to “Few resources, but innovative programs”

  1. Catherine Says:

    Inspiring stuff – always good to see how other institutions manage on a limited budget!

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