Public Engagement: Developing a museum tour – session one

Course Description:
Over two half-day workshops, Nkechi Noel (Creative Producer / V&A Guide), Dr Jacques Schuhmacher (Senior Provenance Curator, V&A) and Dr Elaine Tierney (Lecturer, History of Design and Material Culture, V&A) will introduce you to the art of the museum tour. Expect to improve your research communication skills, boost your confidence in sharing research with non-academic publics and learn about fostering dialogue with audiences. While our explicit focus is museum tours, these skills and insights are crucial for all public engagement projects.

In the first workshop, you will meet experienced V&A tour guides who will explain the essentials of what makes a great tour. Expect to find out more about audiences, communication, pacing of information and storytelling as you learn how to ‘package’ your research so that it can be understood – and enjoyed – by broad audiences.

Between the first and second workshop, you will be invited to prepare your own short tour (10 minutes max.) of the V&A. This should be rooted in your research interests and be intelligible to someone who is interested, but not expert, in your topic. Tours can be delivered individually or in pairs. At the end of workshop one, we will tell you where you can find out more about V&A collections and galleries.

In the second workshop, you will put your knowledge into action by presenting your short tour to the rest of the group. Each tour will receive constructive and respectful feedback from your peers and V&A staff.

It is critical that students attend both sessions and can undertake preparatory work between the first and second session.

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