Episode 116

Radical Rest: Beating Burnout in Museum Education with Kate Oliver

Published on: 9th November, 2023

In today's episode , we explore the urgent need for rest in the cultural sector, specifically in museum education. My guest, educator and leader, Kate Oliver, a freelancer with extensive experience in museums and learning, recently co-founded the "Radical Rest Network" to address this critical issue.

In today's conversation, Kate shares insights into the Radical Rest Network's research, which revealed widespread exhaustion and burnout within the sector.

She discusses how the passion and commitment of museum educators, combined with unending demands, limited resources, and unrealistic expectations, contributes to our field's sense of fatigue.

Kate emphasises the importance of collective, systemic change, highlighting strategies for organisations and individuals to prioritise rest.

She also introduces the concept of "radical" rest, signalling the need for significant, collaborative changes to address the burnout crisis.

Listen to our conversation to discover practical tips for rest and how the Radical Rest Network is fostering a cultural shift towards a more balanced and sustainable approach to work and well-being in museum education.

Links

Article summarising the Radical Rest project & research: https://www.anewdirection.org.uk/blog/radical-rest-for-the-cultural-sector

Sign up for the Radical Rest Network: https://forms.gle/kaLvPzRRQmgbyQaS7

Connect with Kate Oliver on LinkedIn

Email Kate Oliver

Other great places to learn more:

The fabulous Nap Ministry's "Rest as Resistance": https://www.instagram.com/thenapministry/ 

GLAM Cares - wellbeing support for museum community engagement professionals:  

https://glamcaresnetwork.wordpress.com/

Four-day-week global trial results & how to advocate for: https://www.4dayweek.com/

How to unionise to improve working conditions: https://www.vice.com/en/article/v7gm4j/how-to-unionise-your-workplace

Low-cost counselling service for individuals who work in the Arts: https://www.wellbeinginthearts.org.uk/how-we-help-individuals/ 

Journal of Museum Education 2023 Special Virtual Issue: I QUIT!: ACKNOWLEDGING BURNOUT AND THE NEED FOR EMPATHY AND SELF-CARE IN MUSEUM EDUCATION

https://www.museumedu.org/vsi/i-quit-acknowledging-burnout-and-the-need-for-empathy-and-self-care-in-museum-education/

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The Art Engager podcast is here to help educators, guides and creatives engage their audiences with art, objects and ideas. Each week I’ll be sharing a variety of easy-to-learn flexible techniques and tools to help you create participant-centred experiences that bring art and ideas to life.
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