Mad for it

Simon Stephens, 25.10.2017
Bring your ideas to the party for Manchester 2017
What comes to mind when you think of Manchester? Its football teams, the city’s music scene, industrial heritage or its history of radicalism.

All these and much more will feed into the programme for the Museums Association Conference & Exhibition, which is taking place in Manchester on 16-17 November.

Holding the conference in Manchester has already given me the chance to start reacquainting myself with the city and I will be visiting lots this year in the run-up to the event.

And Manchester is certainly a place worth keeping an eye on as it is constantly evolving, particularly its cultural scene.

In recent years we have seen the £15m redevelopment of the Whitworth Art Gallery, a project that won the Art Fund Prize for Museum of the Year in 2015.

That year also saw the opening of Home, a venue as formed by the merger of two of Manchester’s arts organisations, Cornerhouse and the Library Theatre Company.

And earlier this month Manchester City Council approved plans for Factory – a £110m cultural venue that will offer audiences the chance to experience a wide range of artistic experiences, including dance, theatre, music, opera, visual arts and spoken word.

The city already has a well-established cultural offer that includes the People’s History Museum, Manchester Museum, the Museum of Science and Industry and Manchester Jewish Museum.

As if to put a stamp of official approval on the city’s approach to culture, it was also announced this month that Maria Balshaw, the director of the Whitworth and Manchester City Galleries, has secured one of the most powerful roles in the UK arts sector as the first female director of Tate.

With Manchester having so much to offer, it would be great for as many people as possible to be involved in the MA Conference & Exhibition, whether as speakers, exhibitors or delegates.

The event will include a fantastic range of social events and the chance to see lots of the city’s cultural offer as part of a day dedicated to activities, tours and events in museums, galleries and other arts venues.

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Propose a session for the MA's 2017 conference in Manchester