Museum in the Sun at By Any Means Necessary

Jul 28 2011

Museums Sheffield's Communities Manager Jon Bradley on Museum in the Sun at By Any Means Necessary, Saturday 23 July 2011.

In a city buzzing with the excitement of the Tramlines music festival you could have found a haven of quiet reflection under the canvas of Museum in the Sun’s big tent. We were there as part of By Any Means Necessary, a London 2012 Open Weekend event. A running track took up the length of Tudor Square and throughout the day, community groups, circus, dance and musical troupes promenaded a total of 197 kilometres, equal to the distance from Sheffield to the Olympic Village in East London.

Paul Evans, artist in residence for the day, challenged visitors’ speed drawing prowess. Throughout the afternoon a gallery of people’s drawings of human and animal speed and athleticism built up on the tent walls. In the heady atmosphere he even dared to take me on in an “Olympic Draw-off”. On the track, resplendent in our running kit, we whizzed up sketches of the Crucible, Lyceum and Winter Gardens while doing the distance! I think I won the popular vote for my sketch - no competiveness there then! Tim, one of our Enablers on the day thought it was very funny!

Inspired by our world collections project Precious Cargo, Sophia, one of the leading creative lights of our Youth Forum invited families to make their own ‘five stones’, a Japanese version of ‘Jacks’. Lots of children and their mums and dads enjoyed the lovely, quiet and relaxed atmosphere as they sewed up their own fabric, rice-filled five stones. It was good eaves-dropping on conversations about what museums mean for different people and hearing about people’s experiences of world culture and heritage.

The day brought to an end this summer’s fantastic Museum in the Sun programme. While we’ve been out at Sharrow, Abbeyfield, Firth Park, Heeley and other festivals and more than 1500 people have hooked up with our Sports Lab and Precious Cargo-themed displays and activities. A definite summer success!


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