Once again, the Museums at Night May festival (13-16 May 2015) overlaps with the Adult Learners’ Week Festival of Learning, which runs throughout May and June 2015, and we’ll be cross-promoting each other’s events as usual. So why not consider including an educational element when planning your Museums at Night event?
The Adult Learners’ Week Campaigns Team explains more:
When we’re young, learning is everywhere. From schools and colleges to after school-clubs and the home, it’s obvious where we can improve our skills and abilities. As we get older, many of us want to continue this journey but we’re often unaware of the variety of learning opportunities that are available to us.
Lots of museums and galleries are already engaging thousands of adults in learning and developing their skills. For those who have not yet jumped on the bandwagon, there’s never been a better time to come aboard.
Museums at Night is partnering with the Festival of Learning, led by the National Institute for Continuing Adult Education (NIACE), which brings together a range of events and activities taking place throughout May and June 2015.
The Festival of Learning is a prime opportunity for museums, galleries and heritage sites to run events which can educate, inform and raise awareness in the adult learning community.
There are many ways in which the cultural sector can engage adult learners this spring: here are some ideas!
1) Invite expert speakers
Adults are often keen to hear from experts in a particular field. Utilise the breadth of contacts at your fingertips, such as local artists, academics and curators, to provide adults with an intricate background to exhibits and engagement with the wider community.
2) Link exhibitions to building new, transferable skills
Whether it’s photography classes in a local gallery, or a sewing school in a textile exhibition, museums provide an engaging backdrop to learning new skills that help participants progress both personally and professionally. This kind of initiative is also a simple way to engage and form partnerships with local educators, further widening the reach of your institution and opening the doors to new audiences.
3) Facilitate interaction and creativity
Often with full-time jobs and families, adult learners’ time is precious so it’s important that classes are stimulating without being too heavy-going. Avoid long lectures and opt for more group discussions, practical tasks and problem-solving games.
Adult learning is an opportunity for museums to engage anyone and everyone, from learners to schools and beyond. The Festival of Learning showcases just how many organisations are joining the adult learning mission and is a fantastic opportunity to have a go, even if it’s just an evening class or a late night tour.
You can upload your May and June Festival of Learning events to the free online events diary at http://www.alw.org.uk/events.