Anais Vanian-Cooper is curious to try and find ways to inspire young people to see the heritage sector as part of their everyday future. Working at Hall’s Croft Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and now an Audience Diversity Academy Fellow, Anais ponders what this journey is about.
Having been a manager of Hall’s Croft William Shakespeare’s elder daughter’s house for the last 3 years, I was told that we would be holding immersive days. Immersive into what I thought not having come across one of those before. Then the penny dropped, it was schools immersive day as part of The Arts Council England’s Museums and Schools initiative. Working with our education department we at Hall’s Croft and across two other sites were going to hold twice weekly sessions where children from across the Midlands would come and be a guide for the day.
When the children arrived there were some nervous faces. But after familiarising themselves with the space and their talk which they had practiced at school they soon got into the swing of things and started to talk to the visitors freely. The visitors were surprised and impressed.
It set me thinking as to how many of these children would have the confidence in the future to go to other museums without feeling intimidated and were they actually enjoying what they were doing.
So I decided for my experiment to see what impact an experience like an immersive day held for these children. How would it shape their future, did it make them more confident or did it inspire them to want to work in the heritage sector.
And with this my journey of discovery begins.