The best part about all of this is that the content of the exhibitions and events was entirely up to the creative minds of our volunteer groups from High Schools, Colleges and Youth Organisations across the country, working with museum staff to bring their own unique perspective of what it means to live in Scotland today.
Aside from being involved in all stages of the curatorial process - from selecting the objects, to marketing and organising the events themselves - our lovely volunteers also made creative responses to the exhibits using whatever artistic medium they darn well pleased because, you know, they’re young and wacky that way!
The lucky museums partnered to make up this creative project were:
Scotland Creates: A Sense of Place organised a mind-blowing exhibition with objects selected by young people and the partner museums from the National Museum’s collections. The exhibitions incorporated the local identity of our five locations, then all five museums joined together to create a final mega-exhibition held here at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh in 2014.
Stay classy, and also tuned!
Thursday 28 November 2013 was Takeover Day at National Museum of Scotland, part of a national initiative from Kids in Museums to celebrate the contribution made by children and young people to museums. Special events included the launch of the three animated films written and directed by our Scotland Creates volunteers, performances of science show Alex’s Amazing Adventures by Holy Rood High School and a song-writing workshop with Scottish rock band Miniature Dinosaurs.
In 2014, our Science and Technology galleries played host to some innovative animated films that cast selected objects in a whole new light.
During 2013, our Scotland Creates volunteers worked with curators from our Science and Technology department to investigate objects on display in our Connect and Shaping Our World galleries. These three films, made with animator Cameron Duguid, were written and directed by our volunteers and display their unique perspective on three iconic objects.
This video, written and directed by our volunteers, was shown in the Connect gallery at National Museum of Scotland alongside Dolly the sheep.
This video, written and directed by our volunteers, was shown in the Shaping our World gallery at National Museum of Scotland alongside the first bionic arm.
This video, written and directed by our volunteers, was shown in the Shaping our World gallery at National Museum of Scotland alongside James Clerk Maxwell's dynamic top.
One of the aims of the Scotland Creates project was to encourage young people to use technology to connect, collaborate and get creative. So we asked volunteers from each of the five partners to create short films to promote their museums to other young people.
To kickstart the process, we joined forces with digital agency Sound Delivery and documentary film maker Suzanne Cohen, who ran an action-packed two-day film-making workshop with our young volunteers, to equip them with the skills to storyboard their films and create all the assets, from film and photography to animation and artwork.
And here are the films! Many thanks to Suzanne Cohen and Sound Delivery, and to Camden CLC (City Learning Centre) for their support.
Film by Sam Fairbairn, Aileen Miller, Callum Murphy and Steven Thornton.
Music: ‘The Elevator Bossa Nova’
Composed and performed by Bensound
Robert 'rappy' Burns - Liam Howie
Burns Bird #1 - Elisha Bennison
Burns Bird #2 - Samantha Bolan
Cameraman - Scott Pryde
Music - Scott McNeil
Vocals - Liam Howie
Film by Paul Maxwell.
Film by Sara McGovern, Roberto Popa and other members of the McManus Youth Action Group.
With thanks to Jon Gill.
The final Scotland Creates: A Sense of Place exhibition opened on Friday 9 May at National Museum of Scotland, finishing on Sunday 31 August. The exhibition was a celebration of the project as a whole, drawing together elements from each partner museums' individual exhibitions and associated work.
In 2016, we caught up with some of the Scotland Creates volunteers to see how the project has affected their lives. Here's what they had to say:
Paul Maxwell, Inverclyde
"Paul Maxwell has been working hard at college and successfully completed his HNC in Film and TV Studies, with an ‘A’ for his assignment. He also has a conditional offer for an HND next session. Twenty people started in his course and he is one of only seven left!
"He has been interviewing the cast of Annie, which was on at the Beacon (Art Venue, Greenock), where he also volunteers and has been given some front-of-house work.
"Scotland Creates gave him his first taste of all this so thank you again for providing the opportunity, which he has grasped and taken to a higher level."
Valerie Boa, Curator, The McLean Museum and Art Gallery
Zoe Macinnes, Western Isles
"I worked on a couple of the advert projects and I think the experience really helped me as I am now half way through my four year university Film course at Edinburgh Napier!"
Samantha Bolan, East Ayrshire
"I got my HNC in Social Sciences, I am looking at trainee opportunities and internships here and overseas."
Aileen Miller, Edinburgh
"Being a part of the Scotland Creates project has definitely helped me realise which area of the heritage sector that I am most passionate about (archiving and the preservation of historic documents) and as a result made it easier to decide which paths to choose. Since the Scotland Creates project ended I've been working for the NHS, starting out as part of the scanning bureau (digitising medical records) and now full-time with the waiting list office of the Princess Alexandra Eye Pavilion. I'm also taking a course in archiving and digital management through my employer and still applying for any jobs/internships within the heritage sector that I can in the hopes that I can get a foot in the door."
Scott Pryde, East Ayrshire
"Since finishing Scotland Creates I've completed my HND, with two As, and started my first year at the UHI (Inverness) doing Scottish History and Archaeology. I've always wanted to work in museums, and the project did open up opportunities for volunteering. I volunteered at a few events at the National Museum of Rural Life last summer and am hoping to participate in a few this summer too. The Scotland Creates project has also made me consider the events side of museum work more, mainly because of the Zombie Run!"
Callum Murphy, Edinburgh (Callum is on the autism spectrum)
"I am working for the (Edinburgh) City Council down in Leith 5 days a week and still doing my drama. And the work I did with you was and still is some of the best and most fun I loved so much."
Steven Thornton, Edinburgh
"Steven loved being part of Scotland Creates, doing all the different activities and meeting so many nice people. He especially enjoyed performing as a drummer with the rock band at the "young people take over the museum day".
"He is now working one day a week at Drake Music. He is a studio assistant and session drummer with disabled bands. He is also doing a music technology course there and volunteering with disabled bands on another day. On a Monday he is a volunteer at the Botanic Gardens.
"His job/volunteering at Drake was indirectly acquired through his association with Scotland Creates. We kept checking the Museum website to see if there were any more volunteering jobs or anything else he could get involved with and one day we saw a link to Drake Music."