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Manchester museums and galleries – at home

With Manchester's museums and galleries temporarily closed again, many have moved activity online to provide a whole range of amazing cultural digital experiences. Here are some of the best.

People's History Museum

Although the doors to People's History Museum are currently closed, this marks the start of a series of new ways to discover the stories, collections and spirit of the national museum of democracy.

You can join their Head of Collections and Engagement, Jenny Mabbott, and actor Alfred Enoch on a Google Art for Two tour, or explore their collection for yourself with a 3D tour of the galleries. They will also continue to bring people together for inspiration, conversation and creativity through their online programme of events, Ideas Worth Exploring.  

Find out more on the People's History Museum website

3D tour of People's History Museum

Manchester Museum

Over the coming weeks, Manchester Museum will continue to connect and inspire, sharing content from its collection, exploring narratives to spark joy and wonder during these challenging times.

Visit their online exhibitionsBeauty and the Beasts: falling in love with insects, Minerals: sustainability and hidden stories, and The British Museum spotlight loan, A Ming Emperor’s seat—and explore the wonderful stories of their collection.

Parents, carers and teachers are also covered with resources for families and adults to entertain and inspire, while creative and fun activities with workshop ideas for carers can be downloaded with the Cultural First Aid Kit.

Listen to the Manchester Museum Podcast series with special guests, and join the museum in an open and honest conversation and reframe how museums care and take action to build understanding, empathy and love for our world and each other.

The website brings the museum to you.

Shelves with various museum artefacts on them

National Football Museum

Play has been postponed at the National Football Museum for a few weeks but there's still plenty of action off the pitch. The current exhibition Strip! How Football Got Shirty is available online, alongside an accompanying weekly podcast. Join the museum's curators and experts as they delve into the stories behind football shirt design and technology.  

From 23 November there's five days of football chat to look forward to as the Football Writing Festival goes digital. There are also plenty of at-home activities to inspire you alongside the regular series of ‘11 best’ objects on the National Football Museum's YouTube channel.

Find out more on the National Football Museum's website

Castlefield Gallery

Castlefield Gallery have launched their Obstructions exhibition online. Last year, the gallery invited 15 artists from the North West of England to re-make an existing piece of their work with one condition: they had to accept a bespoke ‘obstruction’ given to them by another artist in the exhibition. Inspired by a long history of artists using self-imposed restrictions to aid creative or free thinking, it also riffs off the restrictions and disruptions caused by COVID-19. 

The gallery will also launch the second edition of the Creative Care Kits for young people. The kit is full of ideas, stories and activities, which at the very least will help you pass the time and may even inspire you to be the change you’d like to see in the world. Download a copy here.   


HOME's trio of exhibitions may have only had their doors open for less than a fortnight, but that's no reason to miss out—all three are now available online with a video tour from curator Bren O’Callaghan, image galleries and artist interviews. Explore Joy Yamusangie’s bold and thought-provoking Blue Glass Fortunes, immerse yourself in the unsettling dreamscapes of MSR FCJ’s Bubbling Pitch or join the villagers of a fictionalised version of Eyam as they battle through Our Plague Year as reimagined by Nick Burton. 

You can also engross yourself in the strangely beautiful post-apocalyptic Last Place On Earth, created during lockdown by the Future 20 Collective. The Future 20 Collective is a group of artists aged 18–25 who undertook HOME's 12-month training initiative in 2019–20. The collective is made up of filmmakers, poets, spoken word artists, photographers, visual artists, musicians, theatre performers and producers and a glass artist.

Working with artist Ivan Morison, Future 20 have created a virtual reality (VR) environment that invites you to imagine the last place on earth. A utopian place, not to feel alone in but where you can consider reconnecting with mother nature and planting seeds for change.

IWM North

While IWM North's doors are temporarily closed, visitors can explore stories from their Refugees season from home. Read more about their exhibition Aid Workers: Ethics Under Fire and learn about the challenges faced by those helping refugees on the frontlines of conflict zones. 

A refugee family in a pick-up truck

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