Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Out and In, Around and About - Activities and Outreach Summer Highlights

My name is Beth and I am the new VERVE Outreach and Activities Officer. Since joining the Museums VERVE team in April I have met many hundreds of wonderful people participating in and collaborating with Pitt Rivers activities. Here are some of the highlights so far:

Around the World in Our Treasures exhibition of objects
Around the World in Our Treasures
© Pitt Rivers Museum
Meet Me at the Museum

Meet Me at the Museum is a collaborative project with older people and those living with Dementia. Over the last six months our team of older people have met monthly with Charlie, a Flourish artist funded by Creative Dementia Arts Network and Helen Fountain, the Oxford Museums Reminiscence Officer, and worked towards creating a temporary case exhibition called Around the World in Our Treasures. Each month we all learnt new things. We navigated the museum with object tours, handled objects from the Pitt Rivers Education Handling Collection, tested out our creativity on short stop-animation films, and chatted over tea and biscuits.

Two ladies looking at a basketry woven ox
Object Handling © CDAN

couple looking at objects
Museum Tour  © CDAN

Tents on Tour
On July the VERVE and Education Team have been out and about popping up at festivals, fêtes and carnivals and sharing the museum and its (handling!) objects with our local audiences. First stop was Flofest in Florence Park on 25 June, a day of warm sunshine and welly boots. Check out our short film of the event.

We then visited Bayards Hill Primary School as part of their School Fete and bopped to Bayards Got Talent while creating our very own stop-motion with the schools families.

Final stop, Cowley Road Carnival on 10 July. The Pitt Rivers Tent was organised by Carly, our fantastic Families Officer, and supported by our joint museum volunteers. We had families making their own puppets from the Ramayana story, and badges inspired by museum objects pressed in the perfect early summer sun. 

Woodland Way Workshops
Working with Danny and Joe from Woodland Ways has been a great way of understanding our collection through making. July saw our first workshop with Woodland Ways on Bone flute making, which involved a lot of puffed-up faces and high-pitched sounds as our workshop attendees blew their newly made flutes. Joe specialises in making these flutes and spoke eloquently about their early history and gave top tips on the importance of selecting the right bone for the job. 
Joe from Woodland Ways holds a bone flute he has made as part of his demonstration
Joe from Woodland Ways  © Pitt Rivers Museum
Workshop participants show off their flutes
The Bone flute Band  ©Pitt Rivers Museum

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