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The Foundling Museum

Katy Hamilton, from The Foundling Museum is organising her second Heritage Open Day. As Public Events Programmer for the Museum, she organises events from concerts to talks, workshops and film screenings. Booking musicians and speakers, and liaising with the curatorial team who prepare exhibitions and displays.

Katy Hamilton - Public Events Programmer / The Foundling Museum, London

Why I take part

In the middle of a busy, culturally rich part of London, visitors sometimes overlook the quiet little road that leads to the Foundling Museum. Being part of Heritage Open Days gives us an opportunity to shout about all the great things we do! 

What we do

For 'Extraordinary Women' the Museum has a new display focused on female singers who worked with Handel / © Gerald Coke Handel Collection

In particular, we have taken the opportunity to make more of our music programming and rich collections around the life and works of George Frideric Handel, an early benefactor of the Foundling Hospital in the 1740s and 1750s. We waive our entry fee for the day so that anyone can come and explore.

The difference it's made

Being part of the Heritage Open Day scheme has been great for bringing new audiences to the Museum – and the range of events run across the country has certainly given me a few ideas for future things we might try here!

My favourite moment

Last year, we hosted a fantastic concert by the young soprano Josephine Goddard, who performed a brilliant selection of solo arias from Handel operas. The opportunity to have such a brilliant performer here in the Museum, performing alongside manuscripts and first editions, was a wonderfully rich one for both the performers and our audience. We were delighted to hear that this year, Josephine won second prize in the highly prestigious Kathleen Ferrier Awards for solo singers.

My top tip

As well as art and objects to marvel at there are lots of activities in the Galleries / © The Foundling Museum

The resources offered by HODs to help you plan and publicise your events are really thorough and helpful. As ever, the crucial factor is time: the more planning you can do well in advance of the day, the more chance you have of putting together something really unique and enjoyable for audiences and organisers alike.

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