Do you have an Open Mind?

03 September 2015

Community members at an event

(Image: community members at an event)

Join us on a journey of learning and exploration - the next two series of Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums Open Minds sessions will explore sound and space, and will run between September and November of this year.

What is Open Minds?

Open Minds programmes are developed by and for Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums (TWAM) staff, volunteers and community members across the region. The programmes offer exciting personal and professional development opportunities, exploring a variety of topics through facilitated workshops, visits and reflective conversations

Why do we do it?

Open Minds programmes explore new ways in which museum staff, volunteers and community members can learn together and from each other.

The programmes aim to inspire lasting connections between individuals and organisations, by developing a shared awareness and understanding of local interests and issues.

What Open Minds can offer you:

  • personal and professional development
  • a safe environment to explore new ways of thinking and doing
  • peer support and challenge
  • knowledge and a better understanding of other group members and a chance to learn from their experiences
  • space for individual as well as group reflection
  • a fun and a sociable learning experience

We would like to ask you:

  • for your commitment to the programme of your choice
  • to participate in the sharing of learning with other group members, and with colleagues who are not part of the programme

How to apply

If you are interested in taking part in an Open Minds programme, please complete the application form attached to this flyer and send it to Suzanne Prak-Sandilands (Project Coordinator Our Museum) by Wed. 9 September:

Applications will be considered by the Open Minds steering group, which is made up of former programme participants. As long as the application form has been correctly filled in, submitted on time, and it indicates that you are available on the dates required, then you are eligible to take part.

Open Minds groups will be made up of 10-15 participants, and all eligible applicants will be considered equally. However, if a programme is over-subscribed, selection will be based on ensuring that the final group is a fair blend of people from across Tyne & Wear and across sectors where applicable. This will ensure that the group is as diverse as possible.

Programmes overview

Programme 1 – Sounds of a City

Sounds of a City will explore questions around sound recording and sound collecting through practical activities and group discussion.

It aims to facilitate questions such as:

How can sound represent a place? And how can it be used in museum practice and collections?



Wednesday 23 September


Group introduction to the programme and each other.

Wednesday 30 September 10am-1pm

Join local artist Tim Shaw on a walk around Newcastle to capture the sounds of the city.

Wednesday 14 October 10am-1pm

Edit your sound recordings and turn them into longer audio pieces – supported by Tim Shaw.

Wednesday 28 October 10.30am-12.30pm

Meet Victoria McGowan from ‘Mentally Sound’, a community radio show raising awareness of mental health.

Wednesday 4 November


Reflect on and share programme learning and experiences with other group members.

Programme 2 – Whose Space is it Anyway?

We will explore questions about buildings and how places can be re-purposed and re-imagined. The sessions will use practical activities and group discussion to facilitate questions such as:

How might a space be used for a different purpose while maintaining some authenticity?



Friday 25 September 10.30am-12.30pm

Group introduction to the programme and each other.

Friday 2 October


Visit local historic buildings that have been given new uses over time - with Elanor Johnson from North of England Civic Trust.

Friday 9 October


Find out how Northern Creative Solutions turned the old Broadacre House offices into a thriving community space.

Friday 23 October


Have a go! Convert a historic building into a new community heritage space – with Elanor Johnson.

Friday 6 November


Reflect on and share programme learning and experiences with other group members.

* All programme sessions will take place in Newcastle – you will receive further details about the programme once your application has been successful.

Download an application form. (Word, 14KB)