The latest in our series of guest posts comes from Maryam Hashemi from London Canal Museum.
Last year, Museums at Night was a great success at the London Canal Museum. We had a constant stream of visitors, many of whom stayed until the end. We’re taking part again this year and hoping to offer an even better experience!
Last year, we decided to take part at the last minute, meaning we didn’t have time to arrange a license for alcohol or performance – so we did what we could to stay within the boundaries. The main highlight of the night was the Magic Lantern Show by Aileen Butler which was repeated twice: it was so popular, we’ll be repeating it this year too. We also ran poetry readings and screened short films. I was really pleased to see so many visitors staying in their seats to see what was coming next!
One of the issues we had, however, was that people weren’t paying much attention to the museum’s displays and were mainly watching the show. So, this year, we are doing two nights! On Friday 14th May we will have music and performances, including a massive jam session in our ice well. On Saturday 15th May we’re doing poetry and the magic lantern show, but I’m leaving enough space in between so that people will have time to look around. I’m also asking the host to add lots of details about the museum’s history in between the performances, so that hopefully we create lots of interest about the museum as well as entertaining the visitors.
The exciting music line up, which you can see on our Facebook event page, features a great variety of soul, Iranian traditional music, steampunk and experimental jamming. There will also be an art exhibition and screenings of short films on both days. Our poetry program is highlighting Aiden Andrew Dun, the poet of Kings Cross. Check out our complete programme here!
I enjoy attracting a crowd that isn’t usually interested in the canals or their history: this way we can perhaps create a spark and leave a good impression of our museum, which itself is a big step.
Maryam Hashemi is a Trustee of London Canal Museum, and is organising their Museums at Night events. You can find out more about Maryam and her artwork on her website, http://www.maryamhashemi.co.uk.
Thanks very much, Maryam! If you’re inspired to write us a guest blog post, please email Rosie on firstname.lastname@example.org.