Young people across Scotland are to curate their own exhibitions inspired by the collections of National Museums Scotland.

Supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and Creative Scotland, Scotland Creates will promote youth engagement by giving young people the platform to curate their own exhibitions that reach out to an audience of their peers (16-24 year olds).

National Museums Scotland is working in partnership with

  • McLean Museum and Art Gallery, Greenock

  • The McManus: Dundee’s Museum and Art Gallery

  • Museum nan Eilean, Stornoway & Benbecula

  • East Ayrshire Cultural and Countryside Services.

Each of the partner museums will hold an exhibition and run an events programme in 2013. The exhibitions will vary in style and scope, but all will have the common theme of ‘a sense of place’,referencing some aspect of the local area. The exhibition objects will be selected from the partner museums alongside objects on loan from National Museums’ collections. The loaned objects will later be incorporated into a final exhibition held at The National Museum of Scotland in 2014.

Objects will be chosen from a selection of National Museums Scotland’s Science and Technology and Art and Design collections. Young people will be actively involved in all stages of the project from researching the objects, to promoting and organising events themselves. They will also have the opportunity to work collaboratively with local and national creative partners including The National Theatre of Scotland, Scottish Ballet and Live Music Now! (Scotland), who will be able to provide a supportive role through workshops and performances.

Stephen Allen, Head of Learning and Programmes at National Museums Scotland, said:

“There are a lot of really exciting things about this project, not least the opportunity to work with partners and to bring our collections to different locations around the country. But what’s really interesting is the fact that young people will be involved at all stages of the project and will have a say in how they are going to interpret, present and promote their exhibitions.”

The participants will get a chance to develop and learn creative and curatorial skills. There will also be some more formal learning opportunities, notably where young people are joining Scotland Creates from schools and colleges. Participation will provide a direct link to their programme of study and opportunities to gather evidence and experience towards qualifications, as well as be part of a programme of placements for young people into museums across Scotland.

Iain Munro, Director of Creative Development at Creative Scotland, said:

“Scotland Creates is a fantastic opportunity for these young people to gain in-depth hands-on experience of creating events while working with and learning from a wide range of professionals. I’m looking forward very much to seeing the results of their endeavours.”

Notes to Editors

  • National Museums Scotland is one of the leading museum groups in the UK and Europe and it looks after collections of national and international importance. The organisation provides loans, partnerships, research and training in Scotland and internationally. Our individual museums are the National Museum of Scotland, the National Museum of Flight, the National Museum of Rural Life and the National War Museum. The National Museums Collection Centre in Edinburgh houses conservation and research facilities as well as collections not currently on display.

  • Esmée Fairbairn Foundation aims to improve the quality of life for people and communities throughout the UK both now and in the future. They do this by funding the charitable work of organisations with the ideas and ability to achieve positive change. The Foundation is one of the largest independent grant-makers in the UK. It makes grants of £30 - £35 million annually towards a wide range of work within the arts, education and learning, the environment and social change. It also operates a £21 million Finance Fund which invests in organisations that aim to deliver both a financial return and a social benefit.

  • Creative Scotland is the national development agency for the arts, screen and creative industries.

For more information or images, please contact Bruce Blacklaw, Tel 0131 247 4165, 07789 615 227 or email b.blacklaw@nms.ac.uk

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