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Museums at Night 2014 returns for another year of ‘after dark’ events in the South East

  • Date: 12 May 2014
  • Area: South East
Museums at Night at The Polar Museum

Museums at Night at The Polar Museum. Credit: James Linsell-Clarke

Across three exciting nights in May (15-17), we will all have the chance to venture into museums, galleries and heritage venues 'after dark' as they open their doors for Museums at Night - a nationwide festival of inspiring after-hours arts and cultural events.

The festival, which is run by Culture24 and supported by public funding through Arts Council England, bursts into life Thursday 15 May and runs through to Saturday 17 May. This year will see more than 500 venues all over England host events and activities, with more than 75 taking place across the East of England and South East.

Hedley Swain, Area Director, South East, Arts Council England, said: 'Museums at Night is a wonderful project that gives people an opportunity to experience and explore museums in a whole new atmosphere. From an ancient Egyptian evening at Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery through to a 1950s vintage night at the Museum of English Rural Life or an evening of magic at the Ashmolean - there is something for everyone, with more than 75 events taking place across the South East.'

The Museums at Night campaign ties in with its European equivalent - La Nuit Des Musées - which takes place on 17 May 2014, creating a European-wide celebration of arts and culture. In contrast to its European counterpart, Museums at Night is spread across three nights in the UK - giving venues greater flexibility in the programming and providing audiences with more opportunities to get involved.

Museums at Night offers people the opportunity to explore museums they already know and love, but in a new light; or to discover a museum or venue that they have never encountered before. It represents a really important part of audience development for the arts and culture sector and helps to introduce people to the inspiring wealth of arts and heritage venues that we have in England.

There will be a broad range of activities across the East of England and South East, including Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery, Norwich; Lowewood Museum, Hoddesdon; Museum of English Rural Life, Reading; Kettle's Yard, Cambridge; De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill on Sea; firstsite, Colchester; Ashmolean Museum, Oxford; and Pallant House Gallery, Chichester.

A significant part of Museums at Night is Connect10, which pairs up leading contemporary artists with venues across the country to create ten very special events. Each artists' partner museum was chosen by the public through an online vote that saw more than 62,000 votes - venues across the country set out their bids for artists and rallied their audiences to vote for them! Connect10 is supported by public funding from the National Lottery through Arts Council England's Grants for the arts programme.

The Georges House Gallery, Folkestone, is one of the 10 organisations nationwide to have been paired up with an artist thanks to nearly 4,000 votes by supporters; Spencer Tunick's latest nude intervention will see up to 125 volunteers briefly bare all in front of the camera. Each shot will be turned into a one-shot slideshow by insertion into a key-chain viewfinder presented at an evening event.

The final line up for Connect10 is:

  • Alex Hartley at Market Hall Museum, Warwick
  • Amy Sharrocks, Swansea Museum
  • Fred Deakin, The Wilson (Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum)
  • Grayson Perry, Yorkshire Museum, York
  • Janette Parris, The Cardiff Story
  • Jessica Voorsanger, 20-21 Visual Arts Centre, Scunthorpe
  • Matt Pyke, National Football Museum, Manchester
  • Mr Smith's Letterpress, William Morris Gallery
  • Rankin, St Ann's Allotments, Nottingham
  • Spencer Tunick, Georges House Gallery

For more information about events planned near you, please visit the Museums at Night website and enter your postcode.