The Photographers’ Gallery
Developing public speaking skills
Imagine stepping out of your comfort zone and into the role of a tour guide at the world-renowned Photographers’ Gallery. Our grant of £9,900 is making this a reality for a group of nine young people.
The Photographers’ Gallery Teen Tours programme is helping 14 to 19 year olds improve their public speaking and critical thinking skills. Participants deliver a 20-minute presentation on a current photography exhibition to a group of around 25 visitors. They’re encouraged to choose photographs they relate to and put their personal spin on the presentation by drawing on their own experiences and incorporating other art forms such as poetry, dance and music. As the young people research their subject they’re given access to public talks on the exhibitions, private tours with curatorial staff, and the opportunity to correspond directly with exhibiting artists.
- The Photographers’ Gallery attracts around 250,000 visits a year.
- Almost 35% of the gallery’s 2019/20 visitors were 16 to 24 years, and 24% were 25 to 34 years
- 85% of those attending a Teen Tour during 2018 to 2020 ‘strongly agreed’ that the tour was ‘engaging’.
Throughout the project, the young people are mentored by gallery staff, who help them develop presentation skills and build their confidence in the lead up to the big day. After they have delivered their presentation, they have a debrief with their mentor to read through feedback and celebrate what they have achieved.
The young people are paid to take part in the scheme and are also given a one-year membership to The Photographers’ Gallery. And while the presentation is the formal end of the project, the gallery encourages participants to keep in touch. Some Teen Tour speakers have gone on to serve as Trustees on the gallery’s board and others have returned to lead events on the gallery’s youth programme.
“One of The Photographers’ Gallery four key strategic aims is to place innovative learning, diversity and excellence at our core. The Teen Tours programme exemplifies the Gallery’s commitment to supporting young talent and to ensuring our audiences encounter a range of informed, unique viewpoints on our exhibitions.”