In Pennine Lancashire (the east bit of Lancashire) we have something called Creativity Works. Creativity Works is a cultural consortium – working collaboratively across local authorities, funders, arts organisations and venues. Its aim is to raise the profile of and engagement with the arts in our region. Two strands of our work are a visual arts network called POPL (Perspectives of Pennine Lancashire) and Arts Engagement and Heritage, which works with 5 key heritage venues.
For Museums at Night 2011 the POPL network is organising activities at a number of venues with support from Arts Engagement and Heritage. We ran activities at three venues last year with good results, but felt we could do more and better. This time we’ve partnered and gained funding from Modern History which promotes the industrial heritage of the North West, we’ve registered our events in Culture24’s database so they feature on the site and in the national PR campaign, we are working with five rather than three venues and we’ve created a strong visual identity for our campaign entitled Night Sites. We are promoting this through postcards, leaflets, posters, PR campaign and digital presence including features on our website, social networking sites and partner sites.
So what’s on in Pennine Lancashire for Night Sites? On Fri 13 May, Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery offer printmaking for all the family with artist Sarah Lawton. Haworth Art Gallery asks for help making a sculptural installation with artist Becky Waite; and Helmshore Mills Textile Museum are running a Lucky 13’s Twilight Mill Tour and textile weaving activity.
On Saturday 14 May, Rossendale Museum offers Dead Good Stuffed Stuff, an evening of story making. Finally, on Sunday 15 May Queen Street Mill Textile Museum is running ‘The Calico People’ art installation and textile printing night.
By combining visual art with the industrial heritage story behind each venue, we hope to create interesting events that give audiences another reason to visit. We’ve made all of our events free and suitable for all the family to encourage as many visitors as possible.
Lots of people are helping make our Night Sites campaign happen! We’ve got a core team of four part-time people plus assistance from the county museums service and local authorities. We also have an enthusiastic representative from each venue to help us organise the activities, not to mention the artists who will inspire the public on the night and the researchers who will ask everyone what they thought. Now there’s only the press release to draft, poster to get printed, websites to update…….and only 3 weeks to go!
Elaine Lees is Communications Officer for Creativity Works, and can be contacted at Elaine@creativityworks.info