The Old Haa Museum

Erin Burke, Doors Open Days Intern, Scottish Civic Trust

Shetland (28th - 29th September)

I’m a Doors Open Days Project Intern at the Scottish Civic Trust, where I’m responsible for coordinating the festival in Shetland and East Renfrewshire. I am also lead on a Doors Open Days 30th anniversary project that charts cultural connections between Scotland and the European Council member states. In addition to my work here at SCT, I intern at the Glasgow Building Preservation Trust, where I am the audience development and outreach assistant for the Glasgow Doors Open Days Festival. I work to increase and diversify programming and participation in the Glasgow Doors Open Days Festival. I’m also currently a student at the University of Glasgow, where I am finishing up a MSc in Museum Education.

I applied to work as a Doors Open Days intern because I loved the festival’s mission. The festival seeks to engage all people with heritage and create a sense of belonging. This appeals deeply to me, as I believe that the stories we tell about ourselves and the spaces we are made to feel at home in have huge impacts on our wellbeing, empowerment and sense of self.

The best thing about coordinating the Shetland Doors Open Days programme has been liaising with the different participants and meeting new people from Shetland. As an American living in Glasgow, coordinating the Shetland festival has been an amazing opportunity to learn about different parts of Scotland. However, sometimes the geographic distance between Glasgow and Shetland can be a challenge. I wish I could develop deeper relationships with participants by visiting venues or having in-person meetings. The more I learn about Shetland the more I want to visit! Maybe a trip to the festival in September will be in order…

A highlight of Shetland’s 2019 programme is the Old Haa, which will be participating in the festival for the first time this year! The Old Haa is a museum, garden and tearoom on the island of Yell. Visitors are in for an engaging experience, as Shetland’s Doors Open Days weekend (28 & 29 September) coincides with the museum’s wool week exhibition!

You can see the full programme of events, activities and buildings that are opening their doors in Shetland here.

If you are an organisation based in Shetland that would like to take on delivery of Doors Open Days, please get in touch with the national coordinator at the Scottish Civic Trust.