Citizen Curators

Citizen Curators is a work-based training programme in museum awareness and modern curatorial practice aimed at volunteers from our community. It can also benefit museum staff who want to learn new approaches to museum work.

A direct investment in capacity building, workforce skills and diversity by Cornwall Museums Partnership with support from the Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund. Delivered by Dr Tehmina Goskar FMA of the Curators Institute.

Benefits for the museum

  • Increase capacity to meet strategic goals, particularly around collections
  • Create and deliver new programmes
  • No extra resource required (e.g. supervision, cash)
  • Budget for supporting volunteer expenses and materials
  • Mentoring training and experience for nominated staff/volunteer
  • Profile and status raised (inter)nationally
  • Embeds representation and workforce diversity in your organisation (Creative Case)
  • New voices, hidden stories from your collections

Benefits for the participants

  • High-quality experience-led training programme
  • Invaluable experience for future work in museums, arts and heritage
  • Gain specialist and transferable skills
  • Alternative to university route into museums
  • Have a say in what your museum does
  • Privileged access to unique objects and collections across a range of subjects from art to archaeology and social to natural history

Benefits for the sector

  • A more diverse, ethically aware, community of practice
  • Direct investment in and tangible example of current and genuinely innovative good museum practice
  • Direct investment in and tangible example of providing an alternative pathway to becoming a modern curator, particularly for people in rural regions
  • Growing a cohort of socially minded curators confident in their ability to challenge and change the culture of their museum and the wider sector

Growing confidence and competencies

The Citizen Curators course is based on supporting participants grow their confidence and competence in five key areas of curatorial work. Using a coaching-style of teaching, based on Kolb’s experiential learning cycle, the programme participants will self and peer-assess the change they experience through the 6-month programme, supporting each other in their learning groups (5 per museum, per year).

By learning through doing, each cohort and group will be able to provide invaluable feedback to their museum in areas of the collection that have been obscured or new ideas and stories that have been discovered. Participants learn how to turn one-way conversations into two-way conversations leading to new content, new knowledge and new relationships which the museum will be able to harness in its audience-focused programming.

Competency Model

Key Outputs 2018-2022

Supported by:

  • Thinking of applying?

    We’ve put together our top FAQs about the programme. Get in touch with us via our Contact page to find out more.

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