Museums & Galleries Qld

Redcliffe gallery volunteer, Karike Ashworth, examines schools outreach programs during an Internship with Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery

Posted on: 3 April 2012

Karike Ashworth, Volunteer, Redcliffe City Art Gallery

Karike Ashworth, a volunteer at the Redcliffe City Art Gallery, had the opportunity to examine schools outreach programs during an Internship with the Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery. Karike is a successful applicant to M&GSQ’s pilot 2011 Mentorship, Exchange and Fellowship Program.

Karike talks about the skills and knowledge she gained in dealing with schools and with other public programs during her Internship:

During my two-week Internship, I had the opportunity to obtain an in-depth understanding of the whole workings of Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery (BRAG). I spent time with each of the staff to get a thorough overview of their roles, and I was also able to observe how other galleries in the Bundaberg Regional Council area operated in relation to BRAG, with visits to Childers and Gin Gin.

My main goals during the Internship were to understand BRAG’s school outreach program and to obtain feedback from the local schools on the Hermannsburg Potters Education Kit which had recently been commissioned by Redcliffe City Art Gallery. I worked closely with the Public Programs Officer to learn about planning and implementing a variety of public programs across a regional gallery. The skills and ideas I acquired were really beneficial, for example: the types of programs which suit the demographic of Bundaberg (similar to Redcliffe); ways to encourage attendances at these programs; how to integrate children into the gallery space; how to increase family attendance at the gallery; and how to reach out to the appropriate points of contact at schools. I learnt that the demographic is vital to what is exhibited in the gallery. It seems logical now, but at the time I had no idea how important this was in terms of audience retention.

Most importantly, I had the opportunity to speak directly to some real schools about their learning challenges and needs, which gave me the context and the confidence I did not have before. The experience and skills I gained in talking to teachers, learning their language and identifying with them gave me the self-assurance I needed to approach our Redcliffe schools and potentially roll out a program that would really benefit the schools and the gallery.

The Internship experience was invaluable to me. To spend two weeks of solid time in a gallery and learn about each individual role and how it operates was exactly what I needed. In terms of my career goals, the most valuable thing I learned about was the context of a regional gallery within the framework of the regional council.

I attended all staff and planning meetings during the Internship and with the Manager of Cultural Services, Andrew Gill, I had the opportunity to attend some high level planning meetings including some with other Arts and Cultural senior officers of Council. Andrew is very generous in sharing his knowledge and networks, and we had some excellent opportunities to talk and share experiences while we were driving to Childers and Gin Gin.

The networking opportunities were excellent as well, and I am already using the contacts I made while in Bundaberg. I could not have asked for a more generous group of people to help me.

On my way home from BRAG I also had the opportunity to visit Gatakers Artspace, Hervey Bay Regional Gallery and the Gympie Regional Gallery.

Since returning from my Internship, I have used the knowledge I gained to feed into completing the Hermannsburg Potters Education Kit, which is now touring with the show; I have started work on our Moreton Bay schools database; and I have prepared a presentation for Redcliffe City Art Gallery full of ideas and initiatives learned from BRAG which we could implement at the gallery – including ways to obtain funding for these initiatives.

M&GSQ’s pilot 2011 Mentorship, Exchange and Fellowship Program is funded by Arts Queensland through the Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF). RADF is a joint Queensland Government and Local Government partnership to support local arts and culture.

Go to the M&GSQ website, for an announcement about the recipients of the 2012 Mentorship, Exchange and Fellowship Program.

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Museums & Galleries Queensland

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Phone: 07 3059 9740

Museums & Galleries Queensland is the peak professional body for the public museum and gallery sector in Queensland.

Museums & Galleries Queensland promotes, supports and provides services to foster excellence in museums, galleries and keeping places. We strive to ensure a future where museums, galleries and keeping places are relevant, accessible and valued by their communities.

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