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Young Sustainability Champions

Young Sustainability Champions

Torquay Museum was selected to be part of the Arts Council England’s Happy Museum project to show how museums can support the transition to a high well-being, sustainable society. 

From September 2013 to April 2014, we worked with the teachers and pupils from Torquay Boys Grammer School - this new group of Young Sustainability Champions developed youth-led projects aimed at increasing understanding of the agenda and delivering carbon reduction with in communities, local authorities, businesses, schools and the home environment. 

Happy Museum is a national commissioning project now in its third phase. It explores how museums build deeper dialogues with their local communities; engaging young people in understanding science, climate change and sustainability; strengthening community resilience through combining comedy and heritage; a community co-designing and ‘fitting-out’ the ground floor of a Silk Mill; inspiring children with creative play and craft; making an abbey a place that encourages environmental good practice and wellbeing and promoting social enterprise through traditional crafts.

This project culminated in the ‘First Spark’ Festival of Sustainability at Torquay Museum on 8th February 2014. Young people created a presentation aimed especially at our Borough Councillors, describing the kind of Torbay they wish to inherit. The festival included an installation in the Victorian Farmhouse exploring the problems posed by domestic plastic waste, highlighting ideas around renewable energy, fossil fuels, and energy security are explored through posters and banners. A short film, made in collaboration with Forkbeard Fantasy, asked “what would happen if the lights went out?” This fantastic performance was followed by the street lights going out in centre of Torquay to celebrate our own version of Earth Hour.

Our final event of the day was a live performance of a court room drama - in which the law of Ecocide is explored through a fictional scenario. With the audience as the jury, they were invited to decide the verdict - Guilty or Not Guilty!

To see the project workshop series click here.

To see the flier for the First Spark Festival click here.

To see the press release for the Happy Museum Phase 3 projects click here.

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