ITP+ courses are five-day workshops on selected themes which focus on specific parts of the summer programme, responding to our alumni’s stated areas of interest and development needs and helping to address identified challenges at their home institutions. Themes change to reflect the demands and skills gaps of our alumni, highlight contemporary issues, and address challenges in both the museum and wider cultural heritage sector. Course themes ensure there is opportunity for fellows of varying roles and responsibilities to participate.
Learning, engagement and museums – a workshop looking at education and audience development – was delivered in Yerevan from 25–28 October 2016. Working with colleagues from Manchester Art Gallery, The Collection – Lincoln, Glasgow Museums and the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, and four ITP fellows from Egypt, India, Lebanon and India, the workshop delivered learning-based case studies and workshops to 19 colleagues from selected Armenian museums and cultural institutions. The event resulted in a report, toolkits aimed at supporting institutions in planning, developing and delivering their own learning and engagement programmes and a follow-up summer school in Lori, Armenia.
In 2017 the ITP team delivered two ITP+ courses in London which focussed on Temporary exhibitions and permanent displays and Photography and documentation.
From 15–19 May, Temporary exhibitions and permanent displays provided an opportunity for ten ITP fellows from eight countries to return to the UK for five days. The course, structured around a mix of seminars with colleagues from the Museum, offered creative workshops, hands-on sessions and behind-the-scenes tours. There was also the opportunity to visit current exhibitions and new permanent displays at the British Museum and other major London museums. Discussion time and Q&As allowed cultural and heritage professionals to brainstorm and debate around current and future displays.
From 4–8 December, Photography and documentation offered a series of seminars, creative workshops, hands-on sessions and practical working groups with colleagues from the British Museum. Ten ITP fellows from nine countries broadened their understanding of how to develop, manage and deliver a documentation system to help manage their collections. The course also supported and advised fellows on how to get the best from their photography whatever equipment and space they have available.
From 23–26 October 2018 the ITP team delivered a course at the Nubian Museum in Aswan, Egypt on Museum interpretation. The workshop focussed on new thinking in interpretation and object display and offered further opportunities to cascade skills sharing outside of the ITP network as well as helping 14 selected ITP fellows and their institutions to continue developing new skills and experiences. The course was structured around a mixture of case studies, seminars, workshops and facilitated discussions and was delivered by specialists from the British Museum, Manchester Museum and the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology. Sessions included visitor research and community engagement; identifying audiences; defining key messages; constructing narratives; label and panel writing and the potential use of ‘gateway objects’ and incorporating other voices and perspectives.
Museums and education was held from 28–30 March 2019 at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS), Mumbai, following the kind invitation of the Director, Mr Sabyasachi Mukherjee. Nine ITP fellows from five countries attended and help facilitate the course and we were also delighted to welcome 15 participants from the museum and education sector in and around Mumbai. The course, which marked the opening of CSMVS’s new children’s museum, saw the presentation of a series of case studies to provide perspectives on engaging and educating young audiences, and offered participants interesting and common themes, benefits and challenges, that could inform their own institutions’ strategies. These case studies were delivered by colleagues from the British Museum, UK and programme partner museums, alongside fellows from the ITP network. They highlighted creative and innovative approaches around the world through shared learning, challenges and impact. Workshop groups were then given time to debate and discuss key issues around museum-based learning and were challenged to conceive and formulate a programme with learning outcomes for young audiences, which could be shared throughout the ITP network and beyond.