Victoria Gallery and Museum, Liverpool

Kirsty Hall, 16.06.2014
During February half term 2010, the University of Liverpool’s Victoria Gallery and Museum saw its museum objects brought to life through a project inspired by the film Night at the Museum.

Funded by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council as part of its Setting the Pace programme for the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, this Young Cultural Creators initiative brought together two local youth groups and Liverpool BT Arena poet Roger Cliffe-Thompson.

Young people from Kensington Youth Inclusion Project and Mobex North West took part in this cultural literacy project, which encouraged engagement with the museum collections through poetry.    

The young people wrote weird and wonderful poems about the museum objects coming to life at night. Titles included Barry the Stick Insect, Nasty Gnashers and Dangerous Dave the Dinosaur.

A particularly popular element of the project was Poetry X Factor, which introduced the young people to different poets including Spike Milligan and Roger McGough. The project culminated with the young people performing their poems for family and friends in the gallery’s lecture theatre.

All the young people were first-time visitors to the Victoria Gallery and Museum, and they clearly enjoyed the project. Eryn (aged 13) said “doing this workshop was amazing” and Tiegan (aged 11) said that one of the best things about the project was “the friendly people”.

All participants said they would like to visit the gallery again. Both group leaders were initially unsure about how the project would be received by the young people but at the end one group leader said she was “very pleasantly surprised” and both hope to work with us on future initiatives. The poet said that the young people showed a “wholehearted commitment to the project”.

Kirsty Hall is the education officer at the Victoria Gallery and Museum