Venture Arts established the Cultural Enrichment Programme, funded by The Henry Smith Charity as we recognised that very few learning disabled people access cultural venues. Therefore we decided to work closely with local museums, theatres and galleries to establish a programme which incorporates learning about their collections and the daily delivery of the organisations.
Each programme runs one day a week for 16 weeks, where by 2 participants attend a cultural venue in Manchester supported by with Venture Arts Engagement Worker. Throughout this time participants work alongside the front of house and or volunteer teams to gain a greater understanding of the day to day running of the museum, gallery or theatre.
We work closely with each venue to create a unique programme which we tailor to each participant.
They will also visit specialist departments and learn about the collections with more depth, as well collection care. This may include visiting the stores, archives and conservation teams.
Throughout the placement we research together the areas each participant has expressed an interest in and develop this into a tour which they will write and deliver themselves or via a variety of mediums such as maps, posters and leaflets.
After several successful years of running the Cultural Enrichment Programme our ongoing partnerships with the various organisations we have worked with have gone from strength to strength.
All programmes have been a great success seeing all of our participants increase in self-esteem and have more confidence to visit more cultural venues as a result of this. Some of our participants have also gone on to gain more permanent volunteer work at The Royal Exchange Theatre and Manchester Museum.
If you are from a museum, gallery or theatre in the North West and would like to be involved we would love to hear from you too.