I am so proud to have been named as one of 112 Australians to receive a prestigious Churchill Fellowship this year. This annual award recognises Australian experts who seek to make a positive impact across their professional fields and was established in 1965, the year in which Sir Winston Churchill died. Its principal objective is to perpetuate and honour the memory of Sir Winston Churchill by the award of Churchill Fellowships.
A Churchill Fellowship is the award of an opportunity through the provision of financial support that enables Australian citizens to travel overseas to undertake research, analysis or investigation of a project or an issue that cannot be readily undertaken in Australia.
The fellowship offers the opportunity to visit other countries and investigate inspiring practices that will benefit Australian communities. In 2019, I will be travelling across the US and Canada for eight weeks, visiting institutions including the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Walker Art Centre, Minneapolis; MCA Denver; and Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto.
I’m going to be investigating different models of youth-led engagement and informal & peer-to-peer learning programs for young people 12–25 years. These kinds of art- and museum-based programs, which are similar to the ones I run at the MCA, put the ideas and experiences of young people at their centre.
I’m so excited to learn more about these programs because they’ve been proven to have significant long-term impacts on participants, including improved mental health, increased empathy and creative and critical thinking skills, as well as developing lifelong connections to the arts. But these learnings are not just for the benefit of young people – they benefit the arts sector too; it’s vital we find ways to support and engage this audience because they’re our future makers, designers, artists, curators and ambassadors.
The research and travel is obviously a huge part of the Churchill Fellowship but working towards making an impact with your findings on return to Australia is the long-term aim and for me, that means supporting the growth of peer-led youth programming within Australian institutions. As part of my application, I undertook a lot of research here in Australia and affirmed that a lot of the youth programming that takes place in cultural organisations here is currently delivered by adults (that is, it’s not peer-led). This is slowly changing but there is little longitudinal experience or institutional knowledge on a national level in this area, outside the MCA, which is why the Churchill Fellowship is so exciting. My research across the arts sector here reveals a huge desire to work with young people in meaningful and sustainable ways, but there’s a lot of uncertainty about how to begin – and how to sustain it, once you do!
Some of the programs in the US and Canada have been running some phenomenal youth-led programs for more than 15 years nows. I’m really looking forward to meeting with educators, public programmers and participants and to observe these programs first-hand; to find out what makes them so successful and why they’re so important – to the museums that support them, but also to those young people who participate in them.
It’s going to be a life-changing experience.
- Nov 23, 2018 Artist texts: Clare Thackway Nov 23, 2018
- Oct 29, 2018 Announcement of Churchill Fellowship 2018 Oct 29, 2018
- Sep 30, 2018 Frida Kahlo at the Victoria & Albert Museum Sep 30, 2018
- Sep 7, 2018 Elizabeth Willing profile for Art Collector magazine Sep 7, 2018
- Aug 2, 2018 Beyond Community Engagement: Transforming Dialogues in Art, Education and the Cultural Sphere Aug 2, 2018
- Jun 21, 2018 Spotlight on MCA Young Guides Jun 21, 2018
- Jul 26, 2017 Te Tuhi Talks Jul 26, 2017
- Apr 2, 2017 New role: Museum of Contemporary Art Australia Apr 2, 2017
- Jan 19, 2017 Louise Paramor profile for Art Collector magazine, issue 78 Jan 19, 2017
- Dec 1, 2016 Craft Council UK – Make:Shift conference, Manchester, 10-11 Nov, 2016 Dec 1, 2016
- Oct 30, 2016 Alison Croggon on the arts funding crisis and the importance of criticism Oct 30, 2016
- Apr 27, 2016 Lottie Consalvo: mid-fall, Alaska Projects Apr 27, 2016
- Mar 18, 2016 20th Biennale of Sydney: The future is here it's just not evenly distributed Mar 18, 2016
- Nov 22, 2015 Celeste Boursier-Mougenot at the NGV Nov 22, 2015
- Sep 22, 2015 Educating People Like Us Sep 22, 2015
- Aug 2, 2015 What It Means to be Me, Western Plains Cultural Centre, Dubbo, 26 July 2015 Aug 2, 2015
- Jul 12, 2015 More Marina Magic Jul 12, 2015
- Jul 12, 2015 Art Collector cover story Jul 12, 2015
- Jun 25, 2015 Lessons learnt: Kaldor regional progress report Jun 25, 2015
- May 5, 2015 Kaldor pilots regional engagement project May 5, 2015
- Aug 21, 2014 Melbourne Art Fair 2014 Aug 21, 2014
- Jun 24, 2014 Fresh Faces Symposium: Art Gallery of New South Wales Jun 24, 2014
- May 24, 2014 REVIEW: Sleepers Awake, MCA C3West Project, Bungaribee May 24, 2014
- Feb 20, 2014 Kevin Chin profile for Art Collector magazine Feb 20, 2014
- Feb 9, 2014 Artlink review: 21st Century Portraits Feb 9, 2014
- Jan 12, 2014 REVIEW: Christian Boltanski, Chance, Carriageworks Jan 12, 2014
- Sep 20, 2013 The problem with 'Australia' Sep 20, 2013
- Sep 4, 2013 Margate: An away day and a visit to Turner Contemporary Sep 4, 2013
- Jul 28, 2013 A round-up: Miles Aldridge, Somerset House; Katharina Fritsch, Fourth Plinth, Trafalgar Square; Michael Landy, ‘Saints Alive’, National Gallery Jul 28, 2013
- Jul 21, 2013 Peckham weekends Jul 21, 2013
- Jul 11, 2013 Harpa Concert Hall, Reykjavik Jul 11, 2013
- Jun 4, 2013 St Paul-de-Vence Jun 4, 2013
- May 30, 2013 A visit to Paul Cezanne's studio May 30, 2013
- Oct 30, 2012 REVIEW: dOCUMENTA 13, Kassel, Germany Oct 30, 2012
- Oct 28, 2012 Tino Sehgal, These Associations, Tate Modern, London Oct 28, 2012
- Aug 4, 2012 Jeremy Deller, Sacrilege, Burgess Park, London Aug 4, 2012
- Apr 14, 2012 REVIEW: Martin Creed, Sketch Nightclub, London Apr 14, 2012
- Jul 19, 2010 Christian Boltanski, Les archives du coeur, Serpentine Gallery, London Jul 19, 2010
- Jul 9, 2010 REVIEW: 1:1 Architects Build Small Spaces, Victoria & Albert Museum, London Jul 9, 2010
- Jul 5, 2010 REVIEW: EXPOSED: Voyeurism, Surveillance & the Camera, Tate Modern, London Jul 5, 2010
- Jun 21, 2010 REVIEW: Sean Scully New Work, Timothy Taylor Gallery, London Jun 21, 2010
- Jun 14, 2010 Yinka Shonibare MBE, “Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle”, Fourth Plinth, Trafalgar Square Jun 14, 2010
- May 20, 2010 REVIEW: Céleste Boursier-Mougenot, Barbican Centre, London May 20, 2010
- May 16, 2010 REVIEW: Decode: Digital Design Sensation, Victoria & Albert Museum, London May 16, 2010
- May 9, 2010 REVIEW: Olafur Eliasson: Take Your Time, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney May 9, 2010
- Sep 17, 2008 REVIEW: Suzanne Treister, ALCHEMY, Annely Juda Fine Art Sep 17, 2008