Manchester Central Library, Exhibition Space. Copyright 2013 Manchester Central Library Development Trust.
Manchester Central Library, Exhibition Space. Copyright 2013 Manchester Central Library Development Trust.

My name is Erica Mogentale and I am currently in the Art Gallery and Museum Studies MA programme. The placement that I was assigned was with Manchester City Council- Libraries, Information and Archives. My background is in Art History, but since choosing to enrol in the AGMS programme, I have wanted to move in the direction of creative learning and cultural programming. This placement helped give me the tools and background knowledge that I needed to move in this new direction. The practical experience I gained from my placement complimented my classes within the programme and allowed for me to see a brand new connection to the art gallery and museum world.

My placement worked mainly with the event spaces of the newly renovated Manchester Central Library. I was involved with the ‘events team’ that planned and executed cultural events and exhibitions within the library venue spaces. The main objective of my placement was to help create the foundation for a new programme of venue hiring that would bring in profit, run smoothly with a new way of scheduling, and make sure that these events were executed properly and efficiently.

This placement experience taught me how to schedule, organise and execute cultural events and exhibitions within a landmark of the city of Manchester. I learned that small day-to-day aspects of planning are crucial to the running of a cultural venue. This placement not only helped with gaining new practical skill, but I took the knowledge that I gained in market research, planning, programming, coordination, teamwork and working with other cultural organisations and applied it to my course modules within the AGMS programme. This experience helped me contribute to my creative learning module assessment of creating an educational programme proposal with a group of fellow students for the Whitworth Art Gallery. Without the experience and knowledge I had gained from my placement with Manchester City Council Libraries, I do not think I would have fully understood the process of creating an educational programme within a cultural institution that could benefit the community as well as I did.

Through having my placement with my supervisors at the Manchester Central Library, I had the chance to work with multiple different departments such as Archives+, which allowed me to help and observe Archives+ work with the AGMS and AMPP programmes to plan an exhibition and launch event within the venue. Not only did I see my placement collaborate with my programme at the University of Manchester and collide with the museum world, but I also found the new connection of my placement experience within the library when I was able to apply my practice and knowledge to creating an art gallery based education programme as well.

For more information on Manchester Central Library’s events visit:
http://www.librarylive.co.uk

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