Tag Archives: event

Museums at Night coverage this weekend

Museums at Night 2014 is here!

All the event listings and lots of features about the festival are on our homepage, www.museumsatnight.org.uk.

There’s a phenomenal amount of media coverage of the festival planned: yesterday comedian Arthur Smith reported from the Black Country Living Museum for the One Show, and this evening author Damian Dibben appeared on Blue Peter discussing his Museums at Night event at Guildford Castle.

On Saturday morning Culture24’s CEO Jane Finnis will be sharing our new art-selfie game VanGoYourself on the BBC Breakfast Show!

a couple recreate a painting of a kiss

Idyll by Lawrence Koe, VanGo’d by Maria and Kelly (image shared under a CC BY SA licence)

We’re all over local and regional radio and television – and Connect10 artist Fred Deakin had a great chat with Lauren Laverne on her 6Music show ahead of his Scribble Jam at the Wilson:

However, the big show that we’re most excited about is this:

A poster promoting the BBC TV show about Museums at Night with Will Gompertz

BBC’s Arts Editor Will Gompertz will present an hour-long programme about Museums at Night from the National Museum of Scotland on Saturday 17 May, 7pm on BBC Two featuring festival venues across the UK, from the National Gallery to the Museum of Witchcraft.

Watch the trailer here.

BBC Arts Online is also be following Museums at Night at www.bbc.co.uk/arts, culminating in a ballet live stream from Imperial War Museum North beginning at 6.30pm on May 17th.

We hope to see you at an event – do share your photos with the hashtag #MatN2014!

Guest post: Nerys Williams on celebrating toilets at Gladstone Pottery Museum

Today’s guest blog post comes from Nerys Williams, Audience Development Officer for Stoke-on-Trent Museums, based at Gladstone Pottery, who tells us why toilets are the unsung heroes of the modern world!


Toilets: the unsung heroes of the modern world. Unappreciated, sniggered at and quite literally … well let’s not go into what we do upon them, this is Culture24 after all.

A young visitor sits on some large toilet rolls in Flushed with Pride - you stick your hands in them to find things which have been used as toilet paper over the years.

A young visitor sits on some large toilet rolls in Flushed with Pride – you stick your hands in them to find things which have been used as toilet paper over the years.

Here at Gladstone Pottery Museum we think loos should be celebrated and recognised as the sanitary ware superheroes they actually are. They played a huge role in making ‘The Potteries’, but are eclipsed by the more palatable tableware we think of as establishing Stoke-on-Trent as ceramics central.

Toilets save lives literally every day and if you’d like to find out more about how please take a look at http://www.wateraid.org/uk – amazingly, one in three people in the world don’t have one.

At Gladstone we have hundreds: early ones, see-through ones, colourful ones, flowery ones, amazing Victorian painted ones, a Crapper, a Hartington flushing one similar to the one used by Elizabeth I and more. Our ‘Flushed with Pride’ section is chock full of toilet history and entertains and educates with more than an occasional nod to toilet humour.

Taking part in Museums at Night

Crowds gather on the cobbles for beer festival as part of the inaugural Gladstone Gig, December 2013

Crowds gather on the cobbles for beer festival as part of the inaugural Gladstone Gig, December 2013

Buoyed up by our initial foray into Museums at Night last year we’ve quite got into this after-dark malarkey, with our splendid Beer Festivals and out pants-wettingly brilliant inaugural Gladstone Gig last December bringing a new lease of life to our cobbled courtyard.

A partnership opportunity

When I heard that those funny Modern Toss people were up to toilet related shenanigans for Museums at Night it would have been rude not to take part. An exhibition of their prints in OUR toilets was just too good to miss.

It includes the Periodic Table of Swearing, which anyone who has developed workplace Tourette’s due to council cuts needs a copy of. (Number 91 is my current favourite).

‘Toilets by Twilight’

The chance to display Modern Toss’ Cistern Chapel exhibition was just too good to miss, so after a few hasty discussions to check what I was planning wasn’t too silly, here we are. A week from now, we’ll be hosting ‘Toilets by Twilight’, an all out loo extravaganza. Visitors can wander around our fabulous ‘Flushed with Pride’ building – the only permanent exhibition to the humble loo in the world, whilst enjoying some slightly-better-than-average wine.

Gladstone Pottery at dusk

Gladstone Pottery at dusk

There’ll be the chance to quiz a toilet expert – for yes, in my role I have access to these people! When you feel the need to ‘go’ you can do so in one of the best appointed facilities around – our visitor toilet has not only the commonplace pan but a urinal and a ‘Lady P’ female urinal, and the walls will be adorned by the edgy (and very funny) prints Modern Toss are providing.

To top it all off we’ll be showing ‘Carry On At Your Convenience’, simply because it would daft not to and there’s always room for a nudge and a wink!

Tickets are £5 and available by calling 01782 237777, and we welcome you to come in 1970s fancy dress if you dare, to celebrate the fact that we became a museum 40 years ago this summer.

Please come along – and if you can’t please consider this next time you spend a penny: http://www.toilettwinning.org/


Nerys Williams, Audience Development Officer for Stoke-on-Trent Museums.
Nerys Williams, Audience Development Officer for Stoke-on-Trent Museums.

Nerys Williams says, “I am the Audience Development Officer for Stoke-on-Trent Museums, based at Gladstone Pottery Museum, a preserved Victorian pottery factory in Longton. A fancy title, but my job is to get bums on seats (or feet on cobbles, in our case) and I love it. Organising events that put our museum in the heart of our community as a fun and interesting place to be is a challenge, but fantastic when it works!”

You can follow Gladstone Pottery Museum on Facebook here and follow Nerys Williams on Twitter  @NerysWilliams.


Thank you, Nerys!

If you’d like to write a guest post or share a case study about any aspect of audience development, event planning or marketing in the arts and heritage sector, please email rosie@culture24.org.uk.

Team Museums at Night meet Neil Gaiman

We love working in partnership with all kinds of organisations to help make the Museums at Night festival a success, and for the last few years we’ve collaborated with the Reading Agency to connect authors with arts and heritage venues for exciting after-hours events.

Nick and I were delighted to be invited along to their annual lecture at the Barbican this week, given by one of my favourite authors, Neil Gaiman. He gave a compelling description of the value of libraries, with examples from his own life, and the importance of reading – you can read the full text of his lecture here.

A very excited lady meets a suave chap

Meeting author, book-lover and all round hero Neil Gaiman

It was amazing to meet the man himself afterwards – and also to talk to all kinds of authors, publishers and librarians, and to hear about the diverse types of events that libraries run all year round.

two handsome men with a book

In a blur of excitement, Neil Gaiman signs a book for Nick Stockman

Thanks to the Reading Agency for inviting us along: we’re looking forward to working together on even more exciting collaborations for Museums at Night 2014!

Calling Welsh venues: free Museums at Night briefings in Cardiff and Wrexham

A man and woman smiling in a garden

Museums at Night project manager Nick Stockman gets a tour of Birmingham venue, Winterbourne House & Gardens

Following the success of our free briefing sessions in London, Birmingham and Bradford, where Nick and I discussed taking part in the Museums at Night festival and entering the Connect10 competition with lots of museums, we’re delighted to announce that we’re coming to Wales!

Working together with the Audience Development Team at All Wales Libraries, Archives & Museums (Llyfrgelloedd, Archifau ac Amgueddfeydd – Cymru Gyfan), we’ll be delivering two further briefing sessions in North and South Wales later this month.

These free morning sessions are open to staff at all Welsh museums, galleries, libraries, archives, historic buildings, heritage and sacred sites and cultural institutions.

Interested in taking part in Culture24’s Museums at Night festival and/or entering the Connect10 competition next year? Then come along to one of our free, friendly and focused sessions:

Wednesday 23rd October, Wrexham Museum & Archives, 10am-1.30pm

Thursday 24th October, The Cardiff Story, 10am-1.30pm

Museums at Night is the annual after-hours festival showcasing the arts and heritage sector, which each year offers a great audience development opportunity. Connect10 is the competition that gives ten venues the chance to win an artist-led event and £2,000 as part of the festival.

Find out about the benefits and challenges involved in hosting an after-hours event, the advantages in working together with other venues and what it takes to be a Connect10 winner.

Learn how to organise a group of venues to take part in the festival, and what it’s like to host a top artist from the people who have done it before!

There will be plenty of opportunities to meet and chat with colleagues from your region, and refreshments and a complimentary lunch will be included on both days.

To claim your free place on one of these workshops, simply sign up below.

Wrexham briefing, Wednesday 23 October – https://museumsatnightwrexham.eventbrite.co.uk/

Cardiff briefing, Thursday 24 October – https://museumsatnightcardiff.eventbrite.co.uk/

We look forward to meeting you!

Sesiynau gwybodaeth Amgueddfeydd yn y Nos – agored i staff holl amgueddfeydd, orielau, llyfrgelloedd, archifau, adeiladau hanesyddol, safleoedd treftadaeth a sanctaidd a sefydliadau diwylliannol yng Nghymru!

Oes gennych chi ddiddordeb mewn cymryd rhan yng ngŵyl Amgueddfeydd yn y Nos, Culture24 ac/neu roi cynnig ar gystadleuaeth Connect10 y flwyddyn nesaf? Dewch draw i un o ddwy sesiwn gyfeillgar a phenodol yng Ngogledd a De Cymru ym mis Hydref 2013.

Gŵyl flynyddol y tu allan i’r oriau arferol, yw Amgueddfeydd yn y Nos. Mae’n arddangos yr adran gelf a threftadaeth sy’n cynnig cyfle gwych i ddatblygu cynulleidfa bob blwyddyn. Connect10 yw’r gystadleuaeth sy’n rhoi cyfle i ddeg lleoliad ennill digwyddiad dan arweiniad artist a £2,000 fel rhan o’r ŵyl.

Dewch i ddarganfod mwy am y manteision a’r sialensiau sy’n rhan o gynnal digwyddiad y tu allan i oriau gwaith, manteision cydweithio gyda lleoliadau eraill a beth mae’n ei olygu i fod yn enillydd Connect10!

Cewch ddysgu sut i drefnu bod grŵp o leoliadau yn cymryd rhan yn yr ŵyl a sut brofiad yw croesawu artist amlwg gan y rhai sydd wedi gwneud hynny o’r blaen! Bydd digon o gyfle hefyd i gyfarfod a sgwrsio gyda chydweithwyr o’ch ardal chi.

Darperir lluniaeth a chinio bwffe am ddim.

Wrecsam: https://museumsatnightwrexham.eventbrite.co.uk/

Caerdydd: https://museumsatnightcardiff.eventbrite.co.uk/

September behind the scenes update

If you’ve been away on holiday, welcome back!

C24 Towers is alive with excitement at present. Nick and I are really chuffed that so many of you are keen to come to our free Museums at Night / Connect10 briefing sessions at the end of the month – which will now feature artists who took part in Connect10 in May sharing their experiences.

Briefing session update

The London session on Monday 23 September is now fully booked, but you can join the waiting list here.

There are still some free places available at the Birmingham briefing session at Winterbourne House on Thursday 26 September and the Bradford briefing session at the National Media Museum on Friday 27 September.

Let’s Get Real conference

LGR hotspot

We’re looking forward to Culture24’s conference in our home town of Brighton on 16 September, Let’s Get Real: an honest look at digital change. Meet the speakers and see the full programme, and find out more about the Action Research Project which forms the background to the new report we’ll be launching.

Find out who else is coming and get yourself a ticket here: https://letsgetreal2013.eventbrite.co.uk/ – and if you come along please say hello! I’ll be handling the front of house, and Nick will be stage managing.

Rosie’s Heritage Open Days highlights

Finally, I was asked to pick out my top ten unusual museum events from the Heritage Open Days programme, but it simply couldn’t be done – there are so many intriguing happenings to choose from over the 12-15 September!

From cult leaders to windpumps and tea parties through the ages, here are my Top 14 unusual museum highlights from Heritage Open Days.

Connect10 artists to speak at Museums at Night briefings

We are delighted to announce that in addition to the expert speakers joining the Museums at Night team for our jaunt round the country in late September spreading the good word about Museums at Night and Connect10, we’ll also be joined by three of the artists who took part in the 2013 festival: Richard Wentworth, Julian Wild and Julia Vogl.

Richard Wentworth at Whitworth Art Gallery for Museums at Night 2013 (c) David Oates

Richard Wentworth at Whitworth Art Gallery for Museums at Night 2013 (c) David Oates

On Monday 23 September we will be joined at the Jewish Museum in London by Richard Wentworth CBE, sculptor and academic who worked with Manchester’s Museum, Art Gallery and the Whitworth Gallery on a joint project to curate visitors’ collected objects for Museums at Night 2013.

A man speaks to a large crowd in an art gallery

Richard Wentworth welcomes visitors to the Whitworth Art Gallery for Museums at Night 2013 (c) David Oates

Richard has played a leading role in New British Sculpture since the end of the 1970s. His playful approach to using everyday and found objects reinterprets them and breaks conventional systems of classification. His Museums at Night event in Manchester invited visitors to think about curatorial and classification issues within the context of their own possessions. The event also featured an entertaining coach journey between the museum and the gallery accompanied by costumed interpreters. We are honoured to have Richard along on what is sure to be a fascinating session.

Book your place at the free London briefing session here: http://museumsnightlondon.eventbrite.co.uk/

On Thursday 26 September, Birmingham University’s Winterbourne House site welcomes artist and sculptor Julian Wild.

A man and two children make a large sculpture out of white pipes

Julian Wild and young visitors collaborating on the Making the Connection sculpture for Museums at Night (c) Enginuity

Julian lit up Ironbridge Gorge’s Enginuity venue during Museums at Night when he brought half a kilometre of plumbing pipe for visitors to play with!

Julian had spent hours painting the pipes with light sensitive paint so that once the visitors’ skeletal-like abstract construction was completed and the lights turned off the piece glowed, a bluish hue bringing to mind a ghostly shipwreck. We look forward to hearing more about Julian’s long nights in the shed with a paintbrush!

Book your place at the free Birmingham briefing session here: http://museumsnightbirmingham.eventbrite.co.uk/

The last leg of our autumn odyssey reaches Bradford’s National Media Museum on Friday 27 September where we will be joined by Anglo-American ‘social sculptor’ Julia Vogl.

A flyer containing instructions for participating in an art event

Instructions for Julia Vogl’s participatory social sculpture (c) Nick Stockman

For Museums at Night 2013, Julia worked with visitors to the Discovery Museum in Newcastle to collect 2,500 empty plastic bottles. On the night visitors were asked to choose a piece of coloured paper matching the regional location they most identify with and pop it in one of the bottles. The bottles were then strung together to create a structure resembling a giant jellyfish hoisted around the central chandelier of the venue’s Great Hall.

Julia is dedicated, articulate and entertaining so the visitors to the northern session are in for a treat!

Book your place at the free Bradford briefing session here: http://museumsatnightbradford.eventbrite.co.uk/

We’re confident that everyone coming along to the briefings will get something new and interesting out of them, so if you haven’t already, sign up to book your free place now – we look forward to meeting you!

Those booking links once more:

London briefing session, Monday 23 September http://museumsnightlondon.eventbrite.co.uk/

Birmingham briefing session, Thursday 26 September http://museumsnightbirmingham.eventbrite.co.uk/

Bradford briefing session, Friday 27 September http://museumsatnightbradford.eventbrite.co.uk/

Team Museums at Night on the road: join our Connect10 briefings!

Nick and I are delighted to announce that we’re going on the road this September! We’ll be delivering three free briefing sessions sharing our learning from the Connect10 competition, alongside people from venues who have actually won and worked together with Connect10 artists.

A man and woman looking exceptionally professional

Stockman and Clarke – travelling the land spreading the word about Museums at Night

Are you interested in taking part in the Museums at Night festival and/or entering the Connect10 competition next year? Come along to our free, friendly morning briefing sessions: they’re for anyone working in a museum, gallery, historic house or other cultural institution, whether or not you’ve run a Museums at Night event before.

Museums at Night is the annual after-hours festival showcasing the arts and heritage sector, which each year offers great audience development opportunities. Connect10 is the competition that gives ten venues the chance to win an artist-led event and £2,000 as part of the festival.

Find out about the benefits and challenges involved in hosting an after-hours event, the advantages in working together with other venues and what it takes to be a Connect10 winner!

Learn how to organise a group of venues to take part in the festival, and what it’s like to host a top artist from the people who have done it before! Plus there will be plenty of opportunities to meet and chat with colleagues from your region.

We’re grateful to the Arts Council for subsidising the cost of these briefings, so they will be free to attend. There are 45 places available on each day, and we hope to welcome as many people as possible to the South, Midlands and North.

The three sessions are:

LONDON: Monday 23 September, at the Jewish Museum, 9:45 – 13:00

BIRMINGHAM: Thursday 26 September, at Winterbourne House, 9:45 – 13:00

BRADFORD: Friday 27 September, at the National Media Museum, 9:45 – 13:00

Click through to book your place! We look forward to meeting you.