Arts organisations from across Manchester have joined forces for a major campaign to encourage people to rediscover the city’s culture after almost 200 days of venue closures.
From May 17, more COVID-19 restrictions are being relaxed in England – enabling bars, restaurants, theatres, libraries and cinemas to welcome back guests indoors.
To celebrate the momentous step, local venues have launched a #HereForCulture campaign supported by the UK Government’s Culture Recovery Fund – portraying culture as the beating heart of Manchester; inspiring confidence that venues are safe; and reminding people that a cultural experience can have a transformative effect.
A major poster, radio and digital campaign goes live today – with designs by Manchester’s Instruct Studio featuring emotive imagery and uplifting poetry to highlight the range of cultural experiences on offer in the city.
#HereForCulture will run throughout the summer and into autumn, with multiple arts organisations involved including Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art, Chetham’s Library, Contact, GM Independent Artist Initiative, HOME, Hope Mill Theatre, The Lowry, Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester Camerata, Manchester International Festival, Manchester Libraries, Manchester Museum, Music Venues Trust, National Football Museum, Palace and Opera House Theatres, People’s History Museum, Royal Northern College of Music, Royal Exchange Theatre, Science and Industry Museum, The Stoller Hall, The Whitworth and Z-arts.
The campaign is supported by Arts Council England, Creative Tourist, Oxford Road Corridor, Manchester City Council, NHS and Network Rail.
Dave Moutrey, Director of Culture at Manchester City Council, said: “It’s been a long road to get here, but from today cultural venues across Manchester begin to reopen and they couldn’t be more ready or more excited to welcome back audiences. This new joint campaign is backed by some wonderful organisations and its message is very clear: come visit our venues and embrace what’s on offer.
“Whether you want to keep the kids busy throughout the holidays, have a shared night out with friends, or just enjoy a day of solo reflection; immersion in culture has been proven to help improve mental health and our arts venues and organisations are returning a brilliant selection of shows, exhibitions and events, with something for everyone.”
Sheona Southern, Managing Director at Marketing Manchester, said: “Last month when we moved to Step Two of the Government’s roadmap, it was a big moment for operators in our retail and hospitality sectors who were given a chance to reopen and welcome people back safely; however, that same opportunity was held back for museums, galleries and theatres, meaning many venues have gone over 200 days without audiences.
“That changes today and it’s fantastic to see so many venues working together to celebrate the value of cultural experiences in Manchester. It’s a fun and inspiring campaign and we’re proud to be hosting some amazing content on visitmanchester.com and promoting our strong cultural offer.”
More information is available about the campaign online.
Featured Image: #HereForCulture
Art & Culture
Corn Exchange has a cute new vending machine strictly for pre-loved books
Every now and again we stumble across a clever little idea and we think ‘why hasn’t someone thought of this idea before?’ That was definitely the case when heard about Corn Exchange’s new vending machine for books.
Having appeared in the popular city centre food hall and trader spot only earlier this week, most people might be unaware of the Corn Exchange‘s fun new initiative and some people might have walked straight past it without noticing what’s actually in it — yet another reason we love stuff like this.
The concept is called ‘Read. Swap. Repeat.’ and the idea is to not only keep people reading when they come into the city or are perhaps staying here in the likes of the Corn Exchange, but also to provide a home for pre-loved books with an added incentive.
It’s a great little idea, isn’t it? You even get a free bookmark for your trouble.
As you can see, all you need to use the vending machine is to bring a book with you, ask a member of staff for a token and then select which generously donated second-hand read you want to select for yourself.
Beyond just being a cool and interesting way to entertain local book lovers and hopefully get more people reading again, it’s also good for the environment as it provides yet another outlet for people to donate their old texts without any waste.
So, if you’re looking for a new read or looking to share one of your favourite old books with someone else, why not give it a try?
Manchester to be filled with fresh blooms as annual Flower Festival returns this summer
Manchester is set to become one of the most picturesque places in the UK this summer, as the city gets dressed up in celebration of the annual Flower Show.
Back by popular demand for its fifth year, the four-day festival – which is often dubbed the “most Instagramable event of the year” – will see Manchester bloom to life and be draped from head to toe in magnificent floral displays.
Plants and flowers will be seen covering landmark buildings, shop windows, doorways, balconies, statues, fountains, and more right across the city centre.
Taking place over the late May bank holiday, festival organisers say to expect a “fabulous floral spectacle” – with a dedicated ‘Manchester in Flowers’ floral trail gearing up to be the star of this year’s show, and several other stunning show gardens and green installations all set to weave through central streets.
Organised annually by Manchester BID, the festival usually sees tens of thousands of people flock to the city centre – and this year will be no different.
With the event now only a few months away, festival organisers are on the hunt for budding and professional gardeners, florists, landscapers, businesses, charities, community groups, and schools across the region to be part of the celebrations.
Manchester Flower Festival is known for offering both seasoned and aspiring gardeners the chance to showcase their talent, while helping to create “a unique floriated experience across the city” – with opportunities open this year to lend a hand with large-scale headline gardens and displays, floristry displays, and smaller ‘Bijou’ gardens.
Local traders can also sign-up to sell the Festival Market, which will feature everything from plants, and produce, to garden decor, street food, art, and so much more.
Businesses in the city centre are also being encouraged to show their support for the festival by creating window, building, or in-store displays, and hosting dedicated events, and food and drinks specials.
Volunteers are also needed to help at this year’s event, with festival organisers promising the chance to “gain valuable experience” and enjoy being part of the team at one of the city’s annual flagship events.
Find out more about Manchester Flower Festival 2023 here.