Museums at Night is the UK’s ‘lates’ festival for the culturally curious and from tomorrow 529 events will take place at 415 venues up and down the country.

At the Whitworth Art Gallery, University of Manchester, there will be a D’Arts tournament complete with compere and specially commissioned oches designed and made by artists, Jai Redman, Mary Griffiths, Joe Hartley & Rob Bailey.

As a complete contrast Holst Birthplace Museum, Cheltenham is holding a bake-off by taking the successful concept but creating food from the Regency period including English rarebit, pickled mushrooms and anchovy and Parmesan sandwiches.

“After hours’ lates is an important part of the festival but it’s starting to mean much more than just about the timing,” said Nick Stockman, campaigns manager at organisers Culture24. “It’s about the experimentation, the programming, who to collaborate with and who to reach out to. It’s about communities not usually coming in to museums to see how they can reflect their stories. Museums at Night is a great platform for that.”

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“Museums at Night really gives a platform to medium and small size museums and provides them with the opportunity to get onto to a national stage with the festival.”

Nick Stockman, campaigns manager, Culture24

This month’s Museums at Night will see 40 new venues taking part including St Alban’s Museum, Royal College of Nursing Library and Heritage Centre, Huguenot Museum and the V&A Museum of Childhood.

“Some of these are the result of our roadshows and event workshops, so we are certainly going to pursue that approach in the future and nurture new museums,” said Stockman.

The festival encourages museums to work together in clusters in certain regions and experience collaborations in all aspects of museums work, such as marketing and reaching new audiences through social media.

“It’s the whole idea of getting people to do something different in museums and see museums in a different light. We are working around future developments even when the sector is tight on resources and not in an expansionist period.”

For the October Museums at Night there is an artist-led event called Connect, which will see five artists connect with 18 venues. There is currently an open vote for your favourite arts and heritage venue to win a contemporary artist-led event. The venue with the most votes when the polls close on Saturday 14 May wins the artist and £3,000 towards staging the event.

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