Week-long Welsh Museums Festival kicks off - Museums Association

Week-long Welsh Museums Festival kicks off

Black History Month and Halloween inspire physical and virtual activities
Black history Festival
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Eleanor Mills
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St Fagans will run a virtual ghost tour of the site
St Fagans will run a virtual ghost tour of the site

The Welsh Museums Festival launches its week of events on Saturday with physical and virtual events in museums across Wales. The festival ends on Sunday 31 October.

An annual event presented by the Federation of Welsh Museums, the strategic body for museum and art gallery professionals in Wales, the festival currently comprises more than 100 Accredited Welsh museums.

Most events are free or very low cost, and this year there are strong ties to Black History Month, the climate crisis, and Halloween.

Rhondda Heritage Park in South Wales hosts two Black History Month themed events. Mary Seacole – An Extraordinary Life, takes visitors back in time to the 1850s, to remember and explore the life and work of a Black nurse, Mary Seacole, who worked during the Crimean war.

The heritage park will also host a Mindfulness African Drumming Session for Adults to celebrate the traditions of Ghanaian music and drumming. Abass Dodoo, a master drummer, will lead the session exploring authentic African music, jazz rhythms and improvisation.

For those wanting to act on the climate crisis, head to the National Waterfront Museum’s event, We’ve got the power. Exploring how fossil fuels affect our climate, as well as the physics and chemistry of storing electricity, this show put together by the Royal Institution is guaranteed to inspire visitors to make positive change.

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With All Hallows’ Eve fast approaching, it’s only fitting that there should be a host of events in preparation for the occasion.

St Fagans National Museum of History is hosting an online ghost tour, so that attendees can get spooked from the comfort of their own homes. The Dark Wales Tours team will recount ghostly tales from the very spots where inexplicable things have been repeatedly seen, heard and felt by generations of museum staff and visitors.

If you’re after a classic family-friendly movie, head to the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery in Swansea where they’re hosting films throughout the week. Highlights include the witty Wallace and Gromit – Curse of the Were Rabbit and David Bowie in his epic performance of Jareth the Goblin King in Labyrinth.

Torfaen Museum has set up a spooky workshop and bat trail for kids, while Y Lanfa Powysland Museum and Welshpool Library in Powys aren't mucking about with their event exploring witchcraft in Roman times, Hex like a Roman. By the end of the session, you will have written your own curse on a Roman tablet.

But if curses aren’t your thing, then Celtic emoji masks might be. If you're not otherwise familiar with Celtic emojis, Oriel Ynys Môn in Anglesey is holding an inspired mask making session on the topic. Artist Hannah Coates will work with visitors using themes inspired by the Celts to create an original mask expressing emotions with an emphasis on creative mindfulness.

If your creative thirst is not sated with that, then there’s leaf printing on at the Conwy Culture Centre. Taking inspiration from the Book of Leaves in the museum’s collection, attendees will make and take home colourful, layered prints with the guidance of printmaker Ruth Thomas and her printing press.

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And Storiel in Bangor is running a slate decoration course, inviting families to celebrate the slate region's new Unesco World Heritage Site status by decorating slates for an online exhibition.

See the Welsh Museums Festival website for a full list of events.

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