Milton Keynes Youth Council Conference with The Cowper & Newton Museum

The Cowper & Newton Museum was delighted to partner with Milton Keynes Youth Council (MKYC) for this year’s  MySayMK youth conference. 

Voices – Amazing Grace 250 Youth Conference

Tuesday 11th July 2023

With activities based at the Cowper & Newton Museum and the parish church of St Peter & St Paul, the conference day offered opportunities for young people to demonstrate how they can develop their own views and voice on a topic and share this with the wider group.

Pupils from 9 Milton Keynes Secondary schools  explored the use of voice in protest, and messaging in music, poetry and creative writing as tools of engagement.

9:30 – Arrival at St Peter & St Paul Church

9:45 – Introduction to the day

  • Peter Taylor, Electoral Services Manager, Milton Keynes City Council, 
  • Amanda Molcher, Trustee Lead on AG250
  • Cohen Braithwaite-Kilcoyne, Folk Musician

Workshops & Activities

Writer and performer, Dr Rommi Smith, delivered a workshop which encouraged young people to develop “for and against”, relating to John Newton and the Transatlantic Slave Trade.  Rommi Smith

Folk Musician Cohen Braithwaite Kilcoyne  delivered a workshop using the concertina and voice which explored the voices of sailors in song.    Cohen Braithwaite Kilcoyne

The young people also investigated the Cowper & Newton  Museum to learn more about the Transatlantic Slave Trade, as well as the life of John Newton, his life as a slave trader and abolitionist, as well as an ordained minister and writer of the hymn, Amazing Grace.

‘Just a huge thank you from us.  It was a wonderful day for the children and they grew in confidence and in their academics and ability to look at the world more critically. We really enjoyed the tour and the music lesson as well as the poet. All of these activities allowed our students to step outside their comfort zone and grow a bit as well as educating them.’

Members of the Youth Council also played a key role in deciding on the content of the day, as well as the organisation of the day, by welcoming the schools on arrival, registration and helping with the smooth transition from session to session.

As part of the Milton Keynes City Council commissioned documentary about Amazing Grace 250 project and programme, the Youth Council members also worked with film maker James Stiers, gaining experience in filming, film making and interviewing.

Find out more about MKCC Youth Council at Youth Council – About Us 

Rommi Smith Poet and Writer
Cohen
Cohen Braithwaite-Kilcoyne, Folk musician

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Our Museum building remains CLOSED.  We are opening our gardens on limited entry.  The Cowper & Newton Museum gardens will be open to welcome you on Wednesday 5th August 10.30 – 12.15 and Saturday 8th August 10.30 – 12.15

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