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What's Happening at our Museums? (Part 1)

8 August 13 -- jsuess

Grab a taste of some of our Audience Engagement activities that have been happening at our museum over the last quarter (April-June 2013).

Goes to Town @MuseumofNaturalHistory

In a whistle top, one day installation this July, the Museum of Natural History took 12 specimens out into the city centre of Oxford where they will take up residence in various venues for six months. This is a creative and playful response to the museum's closure during 2013 while essential work is completed on the building's 150-year-old glass roof. By partnering with twelve local businesses and organisations around town, the initiative bring the Museum to town while town cannot come to the museum.

Merasamun Mummy @Ashmolean
Artist Francesca Shakespeare worked with families to create a stunning version of the Merasamun Mummy to go on display in the Egypt Gallery as part of Arts Week; over 300 participants took part.

Bookfeast @Ashmolean & @PittRivers
Over 1,000 primary school students and teachers took part in Book Feast Festival Week, enjoying author talks and story tours and story trails in the galleries.

Pop Up Museum @MuseumofNaturalHistory
The Museum has taken specimens out to a variety of community events including Oxfordshire Goes Wild, Stanton Harcourt Gala, Harcourt Arboretum and Summertown Street Parade. The Museum's branded gazebo gives great visibility and an opportunity to take fossils back to the areas where they were found. At Stanton Harcourt many local villagers shared their experiences of working in the local pits, and finding or plating with fossils there.

Japanese Tea Ceremony @Ashmolean

The Ashmolean's Eastern Art Department provides demonstrations of a Japanese Tea Ceremony to the public on a regular basis - each year over 200 people participate.

‘The tea ceremony requires years of training and practice . . . yet the whole of this art, as to its detail, signifies no more than the making and serving of a cup of tea. The supremely important matter is that the act be performed in the most perfect, most polite, most graceful, most charming manner possible.’
(Lafcadio Hearn, Japan: An Attempt at Interpretation, 1904)

VERVE @PittRivers
The Pitt Rivers has engaged nearly 500 children in VERVE related activities in the last three months, exploring performance through music, masks and clothing. A highlight has been an African Music workshop which saw a small group of families learning about and playing a giant xylophone.

Morris Motors Centenary Reminiscence @MuseumofOxford
A series of reminiscence events have taken place at various venues across Oxfordshire to celebrate 100 years of car making in Cowley, Oxford. The project has engaged 150 olde rpeople to date, the majority of whom are men (usually underrepresented in reminiscence groups). BBC Radio Oxford has worked closely with the project to source participants for a radio documentary on the history of car making in Oxford.

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