The Whitworth Art Gallery. Image by author.
The Whitworth Art Gallery. Image by author.

As part of the AGMS course module, I undertook a 20 day work placement as the Development Assistant for the Manchester Museums Partnership. Working two days a week, this placement began 20th January and finished on 17th March. Because the Partnership consists of three organisations (The Whitworth, the Manchester Museum, and the Manchester City Galleries), I was given to opportunity to work for three incredible cultural institutions.

During my placement, my main focus was assisting the Development Managers with funding applications for upcoming exhibitions both for The Whitworth and Manchester Art Gallery. This required my assistance in the researching, developing and writing of bidding applications to obtain the funds needed for the exhibitions. Writing impressive and detailed bids required us to meet with curators of upcoming exhibitions to best understand the motivation and vision behind each project. We would often meet with curators to better understand the inspiration, vision and meaning behind the artistic choices made, the theme, and the story that would be portrayed for this exhibition. This helped us formulate a detailed and passionate application bid.

However, an exciting opportunity arose when the reopening weekend at The Whitworth occurred during my placement. A large portion of my placement focused on the preparation of this weekend. As part of the Development Team, I was placed (along with other team members) on the opening weekend’s VIP team. This team was in charge of all special events held for VIP guests throughout the weekend. This required extensive planning for the successful execution that would make the reopening weekend as memorable as possible for these Very Important People.

This opportunity to be a part of such a rare and momentous event has given me incredible insight into the preparation, skills, motivation, innovation, and passion that is needed to put on such an incredible weekend. Because of this work placement module, I was able to assist in the effort that made The Whitworth reopening weekend a fantastic experience for all.

After finishing my 20 day requirement, I was asked by the Head of Development to stay on and continue working for the Development Team on a volunteer basis. Currently, I am assisting the Manchester Art Gallery with a marketing campaign to push sales for a fundraising project that will help fund their Education and Community programmes. This has been an enriching and educational experience that has given me skills to bring forward in my future career.