One of the most exciting aspects offered by the Sackler Centre is the chance to completely review our public events programme. We will have new spaces such as the Digital Studio, Art Studio and Auditorium, as well as the Residency Studios. Our initial focus for the programme was the opening weekend, for which we are currently planning a multi-media design theme. We started out very ambitiously, with different events in every space for each day of a long weekend. On reflection, we feel that this might put a lot of logistical strain on a new building. The experience of our V&A colleagues at the Museum of Childhood, which reopened in December with new Education facilities, has played a big part in the way we are now simplifying the programme.
Because we have to plan at least 6 months in advance for most event types, we will be quite cautious for the first few months of the programme, in that we will schedule things that could happen in existing spaces if the construction and fit-out schedule slips. Having said that, the opening weekend will include events that make the most of our new facilities and if we need to reschedule it then we will. It is much easier to reschedule a single weekend than a whole three-month programme that will include the Easter holidays…!
Our development process includes wide consultation with colleagues around the Museum, looking at different audiences, as well as intensive working groups composed of staff from the Learning and Interpretation Division. We have also consulted the casual staff who work on our events, many of whom are practising artists and have lots of creativity to contribute. All the ideas are being compiled into a single document that will be reviewed by senior managers before proceeding to the next stage.