Fiesta at the Museum: A Museum LATE

Missed out on a ticket to our recent sold out ‘Museum LATE’? Read on to find out what happened their and learn about how you could be involved for the next.

On the 27th January, The Museums of the University of St Andrews hosted a Museum Student LATE in partnership with the Hispanic Society. This saw over 120 students attend the Wardlaw Museum to party the night away at the Fiesta at the Museum.

President of the Hispanic Society, Andrew Halyburton, talks about the LATE they just helped organise and named Fiesta at the Museum.

The LATE was set up to give students a sneak peek of the recently installed exhibition ‘For Peatlands’ Sake’.

“The peatlands exhibition focuses, at least in part, on Peruvian people [and] bogs, and given that Peru is, of course a Hispanic country with largely Spanish speaking communities, it was appropriate for the Hispanic society to look into that through the party. It was also good for us because we, despite being the Hispanic society, we didn’t actually have anyone in the committee, specifically from Peru and so we had to do our own research and learned a lot about Peruvian culture.”

The party was not what might be expected. It had a whole range of activities and events, crammed into the evening. Most party goers started the night with a drink. A Hispanic themed cocktail, either a Mojito or White sangria and snacks before heading down to the rest of the activities in the museum.

Revelers salsa dancing at the Museum Student LATE. Image © Naomi Cooper

There was “live music included; a silent disco included some [Salsa] dance instruction. It included collaborative art pieces and, for example, a photo booth where you could add your own Polaroids onto a map”. We also had Weaving, Inica Tote bags and salsa dancing from St Andrews University Salsa and Bachata Society.

“I love the quiet room” said Andrew, it was there to give space for party goers to take a break, chat about what they had seen and respond to the exhibition via an activity called Postcard to Peru.

Getting involved at the Inica tote bags activity station. Image © Naomi Cooper

Andrew lets us know why the Hispanic society decided to take part in this collaboration between themselves and the Museums of the University of St Andrews.

“After the museum, reached out to us, we discussed it among ourselves, among the Committee of the Society, and we thought it was a great opportunity to One: Promote things that we are passionate about, which in our case is Hispanic culture [In this case Peru]. And secondly, we thought it would be a good way to advertise ourselves and show that, you know, we’re a fun society to join.”

The Hispanic society were supported though the process of creating there LATE by the University Museums team. The team helped with all areas form marketing to ordering and aided the committee in the development of skills.

“I’ve learned a lot about the value of always being very communicative with the others that you’re working with and because there were moments where we weren’t communicating very effectively. We learned the value of communicating with each other and the value of taking the initiative and being more decisive with your own choices and not second guessing yourself all the time.”

Members grew not only in confidence but also developed skills around events planning, marketing and design, publicity and activity planning. The LATE provided all for them.

Thanks to the Hispanic Society for a memorable night at the museum! Image © Naomi Cooper

Finally, when asked why another society should take part in a Museum LATE, Andrew said:

“It’s a good chance to get your own experience organizing a larger scale event. It’s a good chance to promote your own society and to further the goals of your society, whether that be spreading, the word of what you’re passionate about or just getting a lot of people in the same place for a fun time.”

So in answer to our first question did you miss out on our last Museum LATE? YES! However, we are looking for a society to partner with us on our next Museum LATE: Party Animals on Friday the 15th September 2023. Could that be your society? Drop us an email on [email protected]. Sign up to our mailing list to hear when tickets drop so you don’t miss out.

Blog post by Naomi Cooper, Learning and Engagement Officer