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21 arts and culture venues reopening in Manchester over the next few months, The Manc

21 arts and culture venues reopening in Manchester over the next few months

As ‘Step Three’ in the government’s roadmap to lifting England’s national lockdown commences, it’s set to be an exciting time for Manchester’s arts and culture sector.

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Some of the city’s most beloved venues are gearing up to reopen their doors.

Starting from 17th May – the date from which such venues are permitted to welcome the public back from – all the way through to the summer season, museums, galleries, theatres and libraries across the city will begin to reopen after almost 200 days of closure.

Alongside a series of planned reopenings, some unique and highly-anticipated exhibitions and festivals are also set to take place.

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To celebrate this momentous step, a selection of the city’s venues have launched a #HereForCulture campaign – which is supported by the government’s Culture Recovery Fund – to portray culture as the beating heart of Manchester, inspire confidence that venues are safe, and remind people that a cultural experience can have a transformative effect.

You can read more about the #HereForCulture campaign here.

For now though, we’ve rounded up the reopening dates and plans for 21 arts and culture venues across Manchester city centre, so you can begin filling up your diaries.

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Here’s everything you need to know.

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Museums

21 arts and culture venues reopening in Manchester over the next few months, The Manc
Wikimedia Commons

Museums have been given the green light to begin welcoming visitors back through their doors from 17th May as part of ‘Step Three’ in the government’s roadmap to lifting England’s national lockdown.

Many of Manchester’s most-notable museums have now set out reopening dates and plans.

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National Football Museum

The National Football Museum will reopen doors from Thursday 27th May.

The Cathedral Gardens-based venue has announced a number of exclusive new exhibitions, galleries and objects for the summer, including the ‘English Football Hall of Fame’ – which is the first time the museum has put on a full-scale exhibition showcasing some of those who’ve made an outstanding contribution to football, both on and off the pitch – a photographic exhibition about the history of UEFA Euros tournament, and so much more.

A number of COVID safety measures will be in place upon reopening, and advanced ticket booking is encouraged if you’re keen to visit – which can be done here.

IWM North

The Imperial War Museum North will reopen doors from Wednesday 19th May.

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In a place where everything on display is “designed to live long in the memory”, you can explore the timeline from the First World War to the present day, immerse yourself in the Big Picture Show, discover the forgotten histories of service personnel and civilians, see conflict through the eyes of artists, and more.

The exhibition – Aid Workers: Ethics Under Fire – has been extended for a limited time only, and brings together “powerful stories from humanitarians working in conflict zones”.

A number of COVID safety measures will be in place upon reopening.

You can pre-book your visit here.

Science and Industry Museum

The Science and Industry Museum will reopen doors from Wednesday 19th May.

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Alongside the launch of the highly-anticipated Top Secret: From ciphers to cyber security exhibition and other exciting events, the reopening of the Science and Industry Museum gives you the chance to explore Manchester’s rich legacy of innovations, discoveries and ideas that changed the world.

While a number of COVID safety measures will be in place upon reopening, the museum’s café will be open for both eat in and takeaway service, and the museum shop will also be open to selling a wide range of gifts, books, games, toys and science kits.

You can start planning your visit and book your free tickets here.

People’s History Museum

The People’s History Museum will reopen doors from Wednesday 19th May.

You can explore a range of new exhibitions and objects, including a major loan from the British Museum, and the headline exhibition More in Common: In memory of Jo Cox – which will feature a Jo Cox Memorial Wall on public display for the first time since her tragic murder in June 2016, alongside a specially-commissioned virtual Wall of Hope to add your personal tribute message.

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A brand new sustainable cafe – which intercepts food that would otherwise go to waste – will also offer a delicious all day menu for museum visitors.

You can plan your visit here.

Manchester Museum

The Manchester Museum will reopen doors from Wednesday 19th May.

The opening of one of the city’s most iconic museums gives you the chance to explore three floors of unique and fascinating displays and exhibitions that feature objects from all over the world – including Stan the T.rex, the Vivarium, newly bred Harlequin frogs and so much more.

A number of COVID safety measures will be in place upon reopening, and advanced ticket booking is encouraged if you’re keen to visit.

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You can plan your visit here.

Manchester Jewish Museum

The Manchester Jewish Museum will reopen doors from 2nd July 2021.

Following a multi-million pound redevelopment, the Cheetham Hill-based museum will include a new gallery, café, shop, and learning studio and kitchen, as well as complete restoration of the stunning 1874 synagogue featuring an installation by Turner Prize-winning artist Laure Prouvost as part of a collaboration with Manchester International Festival (MIF).

Manchester Jewish Museum will be open seven days a week, with a number of COVID safety measures in place, and tickets for general admission will go on sale before the end of May.

You can plan your visit here.

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Galleries

21 arts and culture venues reopening in Manchester over the next few months, The Manc
Visit Manchester

Galleries have also been given the green light to begin welcoming art lovers back through their doors from 17th May as part of ‘Step Three’ in the government’s roadmap to lifting England’s national lockdown.

Many of Manchester’s most-notable galleries have now set out reopening dates and plans.

Manchester Art Gallery will reopen doors from Wednesday 19th May.

The city’s flagship art gallery has been busy getting things ready to welcome visitors back this week. Alongside the exciting additions to the main gallery, there will also be a display curated by artist Jade Montserrat, and a new display that introduces the gallery, its origins, how the collection was formed, and how it relates to Manchester and its people.

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Grayson’s Art Club will also display selected works by artist Grayson Perry during his popular Channel 4 TV series.

If you’re looking to visit the main gallery, then tickets are not required and you can just turn up, but advanced booking is required for certain exhibitions.

You can plan your visit here.

The Whitworth

The Whitworth will begin to reopen doors from Wednesday 19th May.

As part of the venue’s initial phase of reopening this week, a new two-screen film by London-based artist Imran Perretta will be shown. Drawing on the artist’s own experience as a young man of Bangladeshi heritage and shot on location in Tower Hamlets, East London, the film explores personal and collective experiences of marginalisation and oppression, and looks at the complexities of ‘coming of age’ for young Muslim men living in the UK.

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The rest of the gallery remains closed while the next exhibitions are installed, following COVID-19 safety guidelines.

The Whitworth gallery reopens fully on 2nd July with new exhibitions, and extended opening times as part of Manchester International Festival (MIF) 2021.

You can find more information here.

Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (CFCCA)

CFCCA will reopen doors from Wednesday 19th May.

Housed in CFCCA’s Northern Quarter galleries, a duo of exhibitions – Multiplicities in Flux, which brings together works by contemporary artists Grace Lau and Eelyn Lee in a dialogue around identity and belonging, and Autopsy of a Home by Omid Asadi, which explores the experiences and domestic spaces of migrants using the concept of heterotopia – will investigate and unpick themes of belonging, identity and citizenship in a “globalised and hyper-connected society”.

Both exhibitions are free to attend, with pre-booking encouraged but walk-ins also welcome.

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You can find more information here.

Castlefield Gallery will reopen doors from Wednesday 19th May.

From 19th – 23rd May, the gallery will showcase its “lockdown exhibition” – Obstructions – which was originally due to open back in November and has only able to welcome visitors in the virtual realm since then. Conceived during the early days of the pandemic, Obstructions brought together 15 artists from across Greater Manchester to put a positive spin on things and work together safely.

You can find more information and plan your visit here.

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Libraries

21 arts and culture venues reopening in Manchester over the next few months, The Manc
Wikimedia Commons

For those keen to exercise their brains, public libraries have too been given the green light to begin welcoming visitors back through their doors from 17th May as part of ‘Step Three’ in the government’s roadmap to lifting England’s national lockdown.

A selection of Manchester’s libraries have now set out reopening dates and plans.

John Rylands Library

John Rylands Library will open doors from 24th June 2021, and you can find more information about the library’s architecture, history, collections, exhibitions and more ahead of reopening via the website here.

Chetham’s Library

Chetham’s Library will begin to reopen from Monday 21st June.

Chetham’s Library – which is in the heart of Manchester’s Medieval Quarter – is the oldest public library in the English speaking world, and its entire collection has been designated as one of national and international importance. 

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To mark the library’s 600th anniversary, a new tour programme will guide visitors through Manchester’s illustrious history.

You can plan your visit here.

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Theatres

21 arts and culture venues reopening in Manchester over the next few months, The Manc
HOME MCR

Theatre fans will be pleased to know that independent theatres have also been given the green light to begin staging productions and welcoming visitors back through their doors from 17th May as part of ‘Step Three’ in the government’s roadmap to lifting England’s national lockdown.

Some of Manchester’s most iconic theatres have now set out reopening dates and plans.

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The Lowry

The Lowry Theatre will stage its first production from Tuesday 18th May, with an outdoor performance of the critically-acclaimed live production of C-O-N-T-A-C-T by Aria Entertainment and WEF Productions.

From Saturday 22nd May, the galleries will re-open at weekends on a timed-entry, socially distanced operation to offer visitors both the permanent LS Lowry collection and the exhibition exploring people from Salford’s experiences of lockdown, Days Like These. On Sunday 30th May, comedian Michael Spicer will be the first artist to perform indoors on the main Lyric Theatre stage, with his ‘The Room Next Door’ tour to a socially-distanced audience.

Northern Ballet follows in the Lyric Theatre with a five-day run of Dangerous Liaisons 1st-5th June.

You can book all tickets and pre-booked timed entry here.

HOME

HOME MCR will reopen doors from Monday 17th May.

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The reopening of one of Manchester’s best-loved theatre spaces will bring two new exhibitions, a programme of film releases including three Best Picture Oscar nominees and a new film season exploring filmmaking on film, and so much more.

Dave Moutrey – HOME’s Director and CEO – said: “It’s exciting to be able to announce details of our fantastic reopening programme of exhibitions and film screenings at HOME just a week after we told everyone about our plans for theatre at our temporary outdoor venue, Homeground. Between HOME and Homeground, we promise a summer of brilliant film, art and theatre for the people of Manchester”.

Homeground – a new festival-style temporary outdoor venue – is also set to reopen later in May, and you can plan your visit via the HOME website here.

Royal Exchange Theatre

Royal Exchange Theatre will reopen doors from 23rd June 2021.

After more than a year of its doors being closed, the Royal Exchange Theatre will reopen to the public with a programme that is “bursting with life” featuring bold, daring and exciting writers, directors, performers and makers all coming together to “reignite the Exchange”.

Full programme details will be announced on the Royal Exchange website on Thursday 20th May, and you can plan your visit here.

CONTACT

CONTACT Theatre will begin to reopen and stage productions from Thursday 10th June.

This summer, the iconic theatre will be presenting a series of outdoor shows, taking audiences out onto the streets and into unusual spaces across the city.

In the meantime, the newly-expanded and equipped Contact building continues to host the organisation’s long-running music, drama and youth leadership programmes, and provide rehearsal space for early-career artists in Greater Manchester. In particular, they’ll be working with projects to look at the connection between art, health and science, including a commission with artist Ali Wilson exploring neuro-diversity.

You can find more about CONTACT’s extensive programme of events, and plan your visit here.

The Stoller Hall

The Stoller Hall will reopen doors from Monday 7th June.

For the first time in 14 months, The Stoller Hall at Chetham’s will open its doors to live concert audiences, with Soweto Kinch – one of the most exciting and versatile musicians in both the British jazz and hip-hop scenes – being the first artist to perform as part of the first post-lockdown jazz programme, initially with COVID-safe measures and social distancing in place.

Classical music audiences will then return to the venue – with a major international piano series in summer and a chamber music programme – throughout autumn.

You can plan your visit here.

Hope Mill Theatre

Hope Mill Theatre will begin to reopen doors from Monday 25th May.

With programming ranging from professional high-end musicals, to local independent theatre, Hope Mill Theatre offers a range of entertainment “with quality at the core” and provides a platform for up and coming Manchester-based theatre playwrights, programming a yearly ‘Powerhouse Plays’ initiative.

The theatre’s first visiting production ‘Meet Me at Dawn’ will be staged in accordance with all government guidelines and COVID safety measures.

You can plan your visit here.

Z-Arts

Z-Arts began a phased reopening from 20th April, but there’s plenty more lined up for the summer months, with the The Tiger Who Came to Tea exhibition set to reopen at the end of this month and be extended until at least the end of 2021.

The theatre and gallery is also set to reopen in due course, with a number of COVID safety measures in place.

You can sign up to the mailing list for updates, and plan your visit here.

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What else is coming up?

Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM)

While Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) is yet to announce an official reopening date, it’s expected in due course, and over the next few weeks, there will be plenty of concerts, Q&As and the return of Future Music coming up online – all streamed live the RNCM website and social channels.

You can keep an eye out for more events, and reopening information via the RNCM event here.

Manchester International Festival (MIF)

Manchester International Festival (MIF) will be arriving in the city from 1st-18th July, and the festival organisers last month unveiled the “vibrant programme” of events as it makes its highly-anticipated return this summer.

The jam-packed MIF21 lineup will showcase original new work from across the spectrum of visual and performing arts and music by artists from over 20 countries.

Performances are set to take place safely at both indoor and outdoor locations across Greater Manchester, including the first ever work on the construction site of The Factory – the landmark cultural space that will be MIF’s future home.

You can find more information here.

Thumbnail credit: https://www.instagram.com/neilhodkinson/

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