Home / Blog / Behind the scenes @ MEAL with Kate, the Curator

Behind the scenes @ MEAL with Kate, the Curator

Over the past few months, we have welcomed several new faces here at MEAL, one of which is Kate. Kate is 28 and comes from Norwich. She loves cats and is very creative. I wanted to get to know her a bit better so she agreed to sit down and have a chat with me about life and starting as a curator.

Hi Kate, how are you?

Hi Lois, I’m good thank you, how are you?

I’m good too, thank you. How long have you been at MEAL now?

I have been here just over a month now, I think 5 weeks, it’s gone by very quickly.

Are you enjoying it?

I am, yes.

So before you joined us here at MEAL, what were you up to?

I worked for a project which was based in Ipswich at the New Wolsey Theatre called StartEast. It was a project to help pre-start ups and new small, creative and cultural companies with any business, social media and marketing needs. Basically anything they need from the beginning to help them on their way.

Before this, I also did an MA in Curation at Norwich University of the Arts. Then as part of my work with StartEast, I was curating my own exhibitions around the region.

Excellent. In your first month with us, what have you been working on? What’s lined up?

I’ve just been trying to find my feet at the moment, I’ve been getting my head around a large amount of admin with the project and getting to know the volunteers that I’ll be working with. I’ve also been doing a bit of research for the Fake News in the Age of the Horse project and getting some inspiration for what kind of vehicle we’ll take on the road in Summer 2021 and potentially which objects will be inside it and the activities included. There’s been a lot of exploring/ research as well as lots of reading.

What are you most looking forward to doing in the Fake News project?

I can’t wait to create a really exciting vehicle and for it to have an experiential feel. I think it will be really exciting.

I think because it’s a project that’s so different, I mean I’ve never seen a museum on the road before…

Me neither and I also think because of my creative background I’m excited to put my spin on this as well.

So thinking outside of MEAL, if you could meet any historical figure, who would it be? Why?

As a massive astronomy lover, I’d love to speak to anyone from the Apollo 11 crew, it’s something stepping on the moon itself but I can’t imagine how it feels to stand on that rock and look back at our planet hanging in space. I’ve read that it causes a shift in awareness, the ‘overview effect’ where you become overwhelmed at the fragility and unity of life, so to speak first-hand about how that feels would be incredible!

In your short time working here is there anything, object or building, that you’ve come across that you particularly enjoy?

At the moment I’m really enjoying the object stores, large and small and having a look through the collection because it’s one thing reading the information on cards and eHive but it’s so much more fun to actually get the object out and go through it. I’m sure within time I will find a favourite place. I am loving visiting the animals regularly and I’m excited to see what the Heritage Farm building is going to look like.

If you want to know more about Kate’s project and volunteering for it please click here.

Kate with her new friend Meg, on the museum’s riverwalk









Lois Garrod-Smith

Heritage Trainee, September 2019


Museum Futures is The British Museum’s latest Skills for the Future training programme. It has been generously supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.


Share this article