In the run up to our November 30th expected launch date, it’s an exciting time for us at Arts Unlocked London. Our wonderful British Museum tour for adults has been researched and written by scholar of Byzantine history, all-round-classics-buff and AUL docent Alex Rodriguez Suarez. It is now fully edited, runs smoothly and is ready to go! Now to work on the British Museum tour for families with children. The aim is for it to have as much research packed into it as the tour for adults, so my challenge is to turn that material into a mystery-adventure tour that will leave kids wanting more of the Museum, of history and of artefacts.
I have begun with the props that will be used on the tour. These will help AUL docents to turn the museum into a field of exploration for the children in our client-families. I am a visual person, so these objects were great starting points for me. The plan is for each family to be given a canvas knapsack upon arrival (explorer style). It will contain a golden compass, a large treasure map of the British Museum, hopefully printed on something resembling parchment or vellum, and a spyglass. Reliable suppliers of these haven’t been too difficult to source, and the props look fantastic – I am already picturing the swashbuckling narrative that will go along with them, immersing children in the various faraway lands and historical periods that the BM’s collection brings to life.
Next I need to get inside the heads of the children that we’ll be guiding, to try to understand what catches their attention and fires their imaginations. In recent years I’ve noticed that young clients in the Louvre have known a startling amount about Greek mythology, and are excited about it. The reason? Percy Jackson. Our aim is to inspire this same level of passion for the stories of the Ancient Egyptians, Aztec, Mesopotamians and Romans in each child that we come into contact with, and to do so successfully in a 2hr time frame (!). To help with this channelling of my inner 9 year old, I delved into Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief for the first time a couple of days ago. I must say I’m loving it!
Please do look out for future developments to the British Museum Children’s tour on As It Happens, in the run up to our launch date.
Creative Director, Arts Unlocked London.