One of our main objectives of 2016 has been to encourage and invite community youth members to participate in our museum programs. It is our vision to “endeavour to grow with and for the community exchanging knowledge with present and future generations.” To address this policy, our past programming strategy has been to develop events or exhibits that potentially serve the interests of youth. We not only wish to attract local youth, but also motivate their ambitions, acknowledge their talents, and strike their curiosity with their own community heritage. After some deliberation and response from the community, we believe the ideal approach may be involving them in the design process of our programs and introducing them to the enterprising world of museums. This has led us to establish the WDHM Youth Network, where youth members can take ownership of their own programs and direct themes that entice young adults. At this stage, we need your HELP! We are searching for recruits to begin a steering committee and produce compulsory policies to form a board. If you know of any youth that may be interested in this project, please provide them with an application form to be submitted to the Wetaskiwin & District Heritage Museum by the end of October. If you require any additional information or would like a museum representative to speak to you or your class in regards to the WDHM Youth Network, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 780-352-0227. Thank you for your support and see you at your local museum!
WDHM Youth Network Projects
The following list is a sample of some of the core responsibilities that the WDHM Youth Network members will undertake and eventually manage under the guidance of museum staff.
1) Writing Constitution
Incorporating policies derived from our Museum Society, the Alberta Museums Association, the Canadian Museum Association and other inspired youth boards, members will write policies and procedures to act in accordance with their own constitution. Meetings will be held on a regular basis to create such policies and plan future projects. Amongst the first steps will be establishing an official name, preamble, and purpose. Instituting a board of directors, positions, and committees will be the next step in forming a practicing board that functions under the dictated articles. In simple terms, the constitution is a document that states what the network members will do and how they are going to do it.
2) Exhibit Planning
With the approval of the Chief Curator, youth members will design, research, manage and install a temporary exhibit to be displayed within the Wetaskiwin & District Heritage Museum for the duration of a year. Members will be divided into standard exhibit planning committees – A) Design, B) Label Writing, C) Collections, and D) Management. All members will participate in the conceptualization, research and installation of the exhibit. The responsibilities of each committee are as follows:
i) Space and composition planning – measuring space and a 3D model of exhibit
ii) Logos, colour scheme, fonts, accent components and layout
iii) Incorporation of photos, text, media and collections with copyright information
B) Label Writing
i) Combining research to create themes and sub-themes connected to the “BIG IDEA”
ii) Write main text and perform any additional research necessary to fill in information gaps
iii) Write captions and artifact labels
i) Search collection to find artifacts and photos related to “BIG IDEA” and items/people mentioned in text.
ii) File necessary paperwork for artifacts being used ie. Condition Report
iii) Conduct basic conservation procedures and create mounts
i) Enough members for each of the committees to oversee the progress of the entire project
ii) Written reports for Exhibit Planning committee and Media releases
iii) Overseeing budgeting and fundraising through strategic planning
Youth members will be expected to generate funds for the museum and the various projects they organize. Fundraisers may include Bingos, 50/50 draws, raffle draws (appropriate ages pending), events and other recurring fundraisers that staff and volunteers continue to support annually. New fundraising projects will be approved by the curator and funds will be allocated according to project terms.
4) Bridging Cultures Initiative
To honour the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report youth members will reflect on the current status of our community and organize projects that cultivate and encourage local residents to exchange knowledge and share their complex cultures. By championing diversity and nurturing healthy relationships between people with distinct cultures, youth missions will enrich the lives of community members and strengthen their connections to their multi-cultural heritage. Projects may include events that enlighten the community on cross-cultural practices and customs that originate from within and beyond the local area. As a result, forming partnerships with other boards and youth programs, like the FCSS Aboriginal Youth Leadership Project, will aid this initiative. Youth members will also aim to inspire cooperation, education, and trust amidst residents that come from various backgrounds that belong to the City of Wetaskiwin, County and Four Maskwacis Cree Nations. Their objective will be to unite in celebration of our differences and empower future generations to embrace the various cultures of their neighbours and the surrounding world.