Lates events run after hours, usually with a food and drink offering, to open up science, art and culture in new, surprising and sometimes challenging ways and tend to particularly be focussed on attracting young professional audiences. Probably the most well-known and popular of which takes place monthly in the Natural History Museum in London and is a consistent sell-out. Inspired by this, PER Team, Cultural Engagement and the Lapworth Museum of Geology decided to see whether ‘Lates’ might work for our own beautiful, but rather less well-known treasure of natural history.
A pilot event with the theme ‘Dinosaurs in Popular Culture’ was held in July 2018 and attracted over 150 people to the museum, many of whom had never visited before. On 7th November 2018, our second event, themed ‘HERE BE MONSTERS’ was held and this attracted over 180 people, 48% of whom had never been to the Museum and 53% had no direct link to the University (staff, student, alumnus). Both events were enormously well received and attendees loved the mix of research, art, performance and geology. The events were also praised for their warm, playful and hospitable atmosphere. But more than anything people loved to see all sorts of research come to life after hours.
We had a great time working with researchers, artists and volunteer students to put together the first two highly successful events,. We are now looking to be even more ambitious by taking the model we’ve developed to new museums and settings off campus so that we can engage even more diverse audiences. If you’d like to get involved in our next Lates event get in touch to find out more.