22 Feb 2018

Volunteering as an Engagement Assistant

My name is Rosie and I am part of the volunteer team here at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. I first started volunteering in the Story Lab Exhibition, ‘The Past is Now: Birmingham and the British Empire’, back in October 2017.

My role as a volunteer in this exhibition was to encourage visitors to engage with the exhibitions exploration of the British Empire through conversation and written feedback. This was an amazing opportunity to talk to visitors about their perspective of the colonial narrative typically used to present its history, and whether they believed the exhibition challenged that. I had no idea that I would be engaging with visitors with stories of their own, who were really able to connect with the objects and art on display, and learn so much from our discussions.

The Past Is Now Exhibition

The Past is Now: Birmingham and the British Empire Exhibition

Currently, I am volunteering in the ‘Coming Out: Sexuality, Gender and Identity’ exhibition as an Engagement Assistant. I was so pleased to be able to work within a space which I believe represents such an important growth in attitudes towards sexuality, gender and identity. My main role is to engage and direct visitors to artworks and encourage feedback through creative activities. The exhibition also features many artworks that we have explored within my History of Art course, so it has been great to be able see them in flesh and observe how they relate to the other artworks on display.


Willy by Sarah Lucas.

I have volunteered in art galleries before, but I would say that my confidence in talking to members of the public has strongly increased at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, especially as the British Empire and gender and sexuality can be quite controversial and difficult topics to discuss. I am thoroughly enjoying getting to know the various teams that work at BMAG as everyone is so helpful and friendly and I am excited to continue volunteering!

If you are interested in volunteering for Birmingham Museums then take a look at the current volunteering opportunities we have available across all our sites.