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News | Published: Mon 12 Jan 2009

ImageVERVE at The Fitzwilliam Museum

The event - VERVE - is not only aimed at young people aged 14+ but has also been planned by a group of young adults in conjunction with the Museum’s Education team. For one late-night opening only, the Museum will be host to an exciting and diverse range of music and entertainment, centered around the Fitzwilliam’s inner Courtyard. Compered by DJ’s Chris and Kerry from BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, this area will feature live music acts and street poetry from artists Dockers MC, Tom Anderson, Mat Lloyd and Why Whiskey Why?, with an unusual appearance from Classworks Youth Theatre. Those attending can also drop in to print-making sessions in the Museum’s Education studio, or listen to a discussion on 21st-century illustration - from manga to graphic novels - with staff from the Cambridge School of Art. A range of events in the galleries themselves will be on offer, with Cambridgeshire-born fashion designer Gareth Roberts speaking about his work for major fashion houses including Vivienne Westwood, and the Fitzwilliam’s Head of Education Julia Tozer giving a tour of Dreams and Lies, the Museum’s current exhibition of Picasso prints. Entrance to VERVE is free and refreshments will be available.

"Our aim for the event itself is that it will get young people into the Museum who perhaps wouldn’t otherwise come through our doors," said Rachel Sinfield, Education Officer at The Fitzwilliam Museum. "VERVE can change their perspective of what the Museum can offer them, as well as making young people aware of the other programmes we offer. We see it as a high-impact showcase event that is also in many ways an investment in future work of this kind."

VERVE’s uniqueness stems from the fact that it has been planned and organised by a committee of six young people aged 16-17, from different sixth-form colleges across the region. The volunteers working on the night to co-ordinate events will also include teenagers.

"The great thing about this event for young people is that it’s actually creating opportunities for young people at the same time," said Rachel Sinfield. "The sixth-formers involved have really got on board, and it’s gaining them extremely valuable experience, from event planning and management to marketing and design work."

One sixth-former on the VERVE planning committee said: "I’m always intrigued by this kind of event, and being given the role of performance manager has meant I’ve been able to act out a job which I’ve considered as a future career choice. This will only help add to the stuff I can put on my CV."

VERVE is at The Fitzwilliam Museum on Saturday 24 January 2009 from 18.00 to 20.30. Admission to the event is free.

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