Youth Panel host event for under 25’s at M Shed

Posted on by Lauren MacCarthy.

by Claire Simmons, engagement officer for young people

Wednesday 21 June was a hot day for M Shed – and not just because of the weather!

Six young people standing around one of the display cases in the Skeletons exhibition listening to engagement officer Karen MacDonaldThe Youth Panel opened the doors to under 25’s for their evening event M Shed Unlocked. Despite the incredible heat, around 50 young people attended the event which saw young visitors from across the city explore the galleries, meet staff, drive the cranes and create artwork on our Victorian printing press.

The subject of social justice was a key theme throughout the evening, with members of the youth panel selecting displays and objects linked to this within M Shed and creating their own activities and interpretation in addition to what was already there.

Youth Panel member Katie Moseley, who is studying History at the University of Bristol, did her own research to develop her own interpretation cards to tell the story of the Bristol Bus Boycott in detail, making some really insightful parallels with the Civil Rights movement in America occurring at the same time.

The visitors responded to this very passionately and had some discussions with one another on the bus about their own understanding of racism and civil rights in the past and the present. The Youth Panel also added an activity to the Protest section of the People gallery, encouraging visitors to write their own cause on a placard and have their photograph taken with it.

Guest historians Edson Burton, Steve Poole, and Rose Wallis, plus our own curators Gail, Sue and Amber and engagement officers Karen and Karen were in the galleries to talk to young people about the displays.

Four young people in a crane cabin learning how to control it

Bristol Archives were represented by Mark and Dan who organised an information stand and also chatted to visitors in the galleries.

Our volunteer Sue Thurlow took groups around the L Shed stores, and the working exhibits team were literally in hot demand running the cranes for the evening – six rides in a row in the intense heat! The young people absolutely loved it and their youth workers were so impressed that this was on offer for their young people.

The evening was very well attended by local youth workers and their groups of young people from Learning Partnership West and Creative Youth Network.

Most young people who came had not been to M Shed independently before, and we are so pleased that the event managed to reach young people who would not normally visit us – many said they’d love to come back again in the future.

We look forward to seeing you again!

All photos courtesy of Creative Youth Network.

Find out more

To find out more about our work with young people, please visit the Communities and Young People section of our website.

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