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

  • Date: 12 May 2014
  • Area: South West
Bhangra band posing with arms in air

Bhangra Extravaganza with RSVP. Credit: Courtesy of RAMM

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 over 60 taking place across the South West.

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.

In the South West discover how a murder was solved, learn about Victorian knife crime and understand what art on graves really means at Arnos Vale Cemetery in Bristol; uncover Dorset's long and personal military past at The Keep Military Museum; or enjoy a magic lantern show - an opportunity to see Rashleigh Mineral Collection in a new light - at the Royal Cornwall Museum.

Or why not dance to the Bhangra beat with RSVP at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter; enjoy an evening of myths, short stories with local storyteller at East Pool Mine in Cornwall or visit Sally Lunn's - Bath's oldest eating house & museum - by candlelight.

John Orna-Ornstein, Director, Museums, South West, Arts Council England said: 'I love the opportunity to explore brilliant museums and wonderful collections 'at night'. And even better when the creativity of talented artists illuminates those collections. Don't miss your chance to see great art and culture at a museum near you!'

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 artist's partner museum was chosen by the public through an online vote that drew more than 62,000 votes as 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.

Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum (The Wilson) is one of the 10 organisations nationwide to have been paired up with an artist. Fred Deakin, Mercury and Brit Award nominated musician, who was once half of Lemon Jelly, will be travelling to Cheltenham to host an evening of music and visual arts. He will collaborate with The Wilson Collective - a group of 16 - 25 year olds interested in arts and culture.

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.