Diverse City Season kicks off with Black History Month in October where visitors can celebrate African and Caribbean culture with a variety of workshops and family activities. Diverse City Season will also incorporate China in London, a marketing initiative by the London Mayor’s office to promote London as a city that welcomes the Chinese community from aboard and within the UK.
The six-month long Diverse City Season 2006-2007 builds on the success of last season, which lasted three months. Developed by the Museum’s New Audiences Team, the programme aims to attract people from ethnic minority groups and people with low income to take part in Museum activities. Working with community, faith and family groups, the New Audiences Team also organises events and discrete projects that make the collections cared for by the Museum and its natural science accessible to a more culturally diverse audience.
‘This year’s programme is building on the success of last year’s Diverse City Season, where we had more than 2,100 people, of all ages, taking part,’ said Joanna Yeung, Programme Developer for Community Learning at the Natural History Museum. ‘This year, we have extended the season and are offering a more diverse range of art and cultural activities. So there really is something for everyone. We want our visitors to get involved in celebrating the importance of cultural diversity with this fantastic programme.’
Another new component of this year’s Diverse City Season is the Nature Live Community Project: Spices of the World which aims to engage adults from ethnically diverse communities in science through discussions with Museum’s scientists.
In the first phase of this project, Natural History Museum botanist Vilma Bharatan met with local Asian, British, African and Caribbean communities. Vilma talked about the medical properties of spices and the communities shared their stories about how spices are being consumed and used in their cultures. For the second phase of this project in November, the Nature Live Team will show the recorded footage about spices between Vilma and the community groups. Participants of the project will be invited to the Nature Live event to share their stories with the public.
African Bark Art, Black History Month event
Using tree bark to make art is a tradition in parts of Africa. Join our Ugandan artist to learn about the history of bark and its traditions. Also, design your own gift card, postcard or bookmark using real bark. Suitable for adults and children aged 7-12 years.
Venue: Flett Events Theatre
Date and times: Saturday 14 October, 12.00, 14.00 and 16.00
African Story Telling – Ananse the Spider, Black History Month event
In Africa, Ananse stories are passed from generation to generation by word of mouth. Join our Nigerian storyteller as she uses African drums, songs and words to tell us the tale of Ananse the spider, and discover something new about this eight-legged creature. Suitable for adults and children of all ages.
Venue: Creepy Crawlies
Dates and times: Monday 23 – Friday 27 October, 12.00, 14.00 and 16.00
Spices of the World
What do we really know about the chilli powder and peppercorns in our kitchen? Spices have a colourful history dating back to ancient times. They’ve played an important role in promoting trade, and wars have been fought in their name. Join us to discover the true variety of spices, learn about their fascinating medicinal properties and hear how people from different communities use them today. Suitable for adults.
Venue: Marine Invertebrates
Dates and time: Thursday 9, Friday 24 November and Friday 8 December, 14.30
Carnival Art: Costume Inspired by Nature
Carnival is an Afro-Caribbean tradition for self-expression and exploration. Drop in and help our Trinidadian carnival costume maker create a pre-historic flying creature using our collections as inspiration. Follow the creature as we take it around the Museum. Suitable for adults and children
of all ages.
Venue: Central Hall
Date and times: Saturday 18 November, 11.00-17.00
A Day in an African Village
African villagers use raw materials found in nature to make everyday objects. Join African musicians and drama artists to recreate a day in Africa through role-play, storytelling and drumming. Use objects made from natural materials in a village celebration. Suitable for adults and children of all ages.
Venue: Central Hall
Date and times: Saturday 2 December, 12.00, 14.00 and 16.00
Islamic Art: Motifs of Nature
Make your own Eid card, come and celebrate Al-Hijra, the Islamic New Year with our Muslim artist. Get your inspiration from the plants and natural patterns found in the Museum. Use henna, a natural plant to create your designs and find out more about henna history. Be prepared to get messy.
Venue: Central Hall
Date and times: Saturday 20 January, 12.00, 14.00, 16.00
Discover the 12 Chinese New Year Animals, China in London event
The Chinese year is represented by one of 12 animals. Join our Chinese storyteller and her dragon friend for more about these animals and their symbolism and to discover which animal year you were born in. Suitable for adults and children aged 7-12 years.
Dates and times: 12, 13, 14, 21, 22, 23 February, 12.00, 14.00, 16.00
Rangoli: Short Lived Nature
Rangoli is a colourful Indian design made on the floor often during a festive period. Come and join our artist and create your own rangoli for Holi, the Hindu festival of colour. Draw your favourite object from the Museum, then colour it with natural materials such as sticks, grasses, sand, petals, nuts, fruits, beans, lentils, powder and rice. Suitable for adults and children of all ages.
Venue: Central Hall
Date and times: Saturday 3 March, 12.00, 14.00, 16.00