Hello! My name is Claire and I run Museums and Me.
For a bit of background, I’m a Dublin-based first-time-mum of one. One of my passions in life is to harness creativity and imagination in learning, so I love tackling different projects and challenging myself to create accessible programmes, workshops and activities – you can read more about my professional and education background below to find out where I’ve worked and the programmes I have developed! I get great enjoyment out of working for and with families and children, and I have run a great deal of creative workshops for a variety of age groups.
As of March 2020 I have been on maternity leave, and along with my partner Richard I’m learning an awful lot about parenting and our daughter Lila who rocketed into the world in April 2020. It has certainly been a challenge – especially given the circumstances of Covid-19 – but it has been a great one so far and I’m really looking forward to learning from her and becoming the best mum I can be. I’m also looking forward to her testing out my creative projects and being my critic!
Museums and Me started as a side-project of a parenting blog, and quickly replaced it. 2020 saw the first year of the Museums and Me Series, an award to source Ireland’s favourite family-friendly cultural hubs. It ended with a huge public vote in October and brought in thousands of votes!
In 2021 I will be launching a full Museums and Me website, to include a directory of cultural hubs, on-going blogs with updates, a calendar of events, workshops and programmes, and so much more. I want to build a bridge to connect families to culture, all over our lovely island.
More on my Professional Background
I did my degree in Ancient and Medieval History and Culture, and my Postgraduate Diploma in Museum Studies with a particular interest in creative educational development. I started my professional journey as an Education volunteer in Kerry County Museum in 2012, where I later became a Facilitator to develop and teach at the museum’s seasonal camps and workshops.
Following on from this I was employed in the family friendly pottery painting studio, Giddy Studios Dundrum – to this day still one of my favourite places on earth and always on my visit-list whenever I go to Dundrum! There I got to work with families every day.
I was then employed as an Education and Outreach Officer in the Irish Family History Centre, developing seasonal programmes (Halloween, Christmas, Heritage Week etc) as well as formal education programmes – myStory for primary and secondary schools – a mixed-media/interdisciplinary programme to get children interested in their family history. Some of the most popular seasonal workshops I ran were hand and footprint/messy paint art session for babies and toddlers aged 0-3 years.
EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum hired me as their Education and Outreach Officer, where I developed a multifaceted education programme. I fully developed two formal education programmes for primary and secondary schools – Pick Up The Past, a handling collection focused programme, and Coding Culture, which combined museum tours and creative coding workshops to introduce students to the technology behind a digital museum and the skills needed to create it. I also developed seasonal and family programming, implemented Tiny Tots Tuesdays (still one of the museum’s most popular offerings), and overall strived to create accessible museum programmes for everyone. All of my programmes and workshops combine a variety of subjects, skills and tasks, which to cater not only to people’s different learning styles but also their different interests and abilities.
I generally refer to VARK Learning Styles when implementing any new projects or programmes, as I feel it is very important to address how individuals learn and interpret content.
I am currently on maternity leave away from my role as Head of Education for the Irish Family History Centre.