So the last 14 months have been a series of firsts.
I firstly left my job of 8 years in Sport Development, to complete a Masters in Museum and Art Gallery studies at the University of Leeds. I undertook this course with no prior knowledge or experience, just a keen passion and interest in the subject.
Following a year of introductions to this field, I then applied for the Culture Syndicates Resilience Internship programme and was fortunate to be chosen as one of the six interns for the Arts Council funded project, moving to a new city and living by myself. All new experiences and challenges. Even writing this blog is a first.
I hope that this year will bring me valuable experience in the museums and heritage sector, developing new skills in areas such as audience development, interpretation and community engagement, as well as networking (this will challenge my introvert nature and benefit my future career).
Half my time will be spent at the Culture Syndicates Office and the other at Mansfield Museum. The team at Mansfield have been exceedingly welcoming and offering me the opportunity to develop my own projects, as well as supporting established activities and future programmes. I have already helped structure a session for audience members who have varying levels of sight, supported a school session on recycling (photo: bird boxes made out of recycled fruit juice cartons) and assisted at their Reminiscence Tea Room (my next blog will be looking at Alzheimer’s and museums), and we’re only entering week 4 of the internship.
Future projects at Mansfield include supporting the Health and Wellbeing Festival in March next year, contributing to the temporary Mining exhibition and continuing the work of last year’s intern with a pop-up Museum in the local libraries, emphasising the importance of community engagement and programme legacies.
This is an exciting opportunity; so let’s see what the next 12 months holds.
By Anne-Marie Rooney, Resilience Syndicate Intern at Mansfield Museum