Norwich's museums and heritage venues will be opening their doors after dusk this May as part of the nationwide Museums at Night. The 2012 events have just been announced and there is something for everyone - from twilight tower tours and torchlight trails to food tastings, live music and chilling tales. And what's more, all events in Norwich are FREE!
Museums at Night is the annual after-hours celebration of arts, culture and heritage when hundreds of museums, galleries, libraries, archives and heritage sites nationwide open their doors for special evening events.
Norwich is hosting seven events of nocturnal goings-on on Friday 18 May and Saturday 19 May with some of Norwich's key museums and heritage attractions unlocking their doors after hours as part of the nationwide event. This is the third year Norwich has taken part in Museums at Night on such a large scale and this year promises to be the most exciting yet.
On Saturday 19th May (5-10pm), experience Norwich Castle after dark for the Museums at Night special family event. Explore the Castle Keep by torchlight, meeting amazing characters along the way. Watch comic book artists, Savage Pencil and Eyeball, performing their live action drawings as part of the Norfolk & Norwich Festival or meet nocturnal creatures in the natural history galleries.
And it's not all for children either - adults get to join in the activities too. On Friday 18th, connoisseurs of fine foods are invited to partake of one of Norwich's best known foodstuffs - Colman's Mustard! At the History of Colman's - Talk & Tasting Evening (6pm-7.15pm, Colman's Mustard Shop & Museum) you'll hear about the fascinating history of this well-loved condiment before sampling some of the delicious range of foods stocked by the shop. And it's not just mustard, you know - there's mustard chocolate too!
Or how about something a little darker? Dave Tong, the Yarnsmith of Norwich, delves into some the history of real-life Norwich characters in The Shaming of Agnes Leaman - An adult storytelling performance (Friday 18th, 7pm & 8.30pm, The Guildhall). Expect a fantastic fusion of factual stories taken from the Mayor's Court in the Guildhall of Tudor Norwich with traditional stories from that time, including tales of beggars, thieves and tricksters, merchants, mayors and Kings.
Stop the press! It's time to hold the front page at the John Jarrold Printing Museum at St James' Mill (Friday 18th, 6 - 8pm), for a fascinating history of print, huge impressive printing machines in action, and even the chance for you to try hand setting type from the case.
And if that's not enough for one night, how about a unique exhibition of circus history at St Laurence Church (Friday 18th, 7pm - 10pm, St Benedicts Street)? Circus acts perform around you as you move through the exhibition, bringing to life events that happened hundreds of years ago.
Over at the Cathedral of St John the Baptist visitors can take part in Twilight Tower Tours & Hidden Spaces Tours (Saturday 19th, 7.30pm & 8pm). Take a deep breath and climb up 230 steps to enjoy fantastic views of Norwich by twilight from the tower, or explore the hidden spaces of this magnificent cathedral.
The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts will also be opening its doors to night-owls from 5pm to midnight on Saturday 19th. Join in as the Centre turns into a night-time playground of art, music, performance and more, all on the theme of 'Night'. Come dressed in your nightwear to add to the fun!
Rachel Barrett, Project Officer at Norwich HEART said: 'This is a fantastic chance to explore some of Norwich's attractions and heritage sites at night. There's also something for everyone - from family events and torchlight trails in Norwich Castle to storytelling for adults at The Guildhall. Be sure to make the most of this unique after-hours celebration of arts, history and heritage.'
Barry Stone, Cabinet Member for Cultural Services at Norfolk County Council said: 'What a fantastic event this is; one that captures people's imaginations and celebrates the city's rich and diverse cultural heritage. It gives us the chance to go behind closed doors and see our museums and wonderful historic buildings in a different light, and I am delighted that so many well-known and much loved city landmarks are getting into the spirit of this popular event and throwing open their doors after hours.'
For further information on Norwich's Museums at Night events please email email@example.com, visit www.heritagecity.org/museumsatnight or pick up a leaflet from Norwich TIC, participating venues or leaflet racks around the city.
The Museums at Night special at Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery and promotion of all events are supported by the SHAPING 24 project. SHAPING 24 is being led by HEART with Ghent City Council as the partner organisation. The project is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund from the European Union's INTERREG IVA 2 Mers Seas Zeeën Cross-border Cooperation Programme 2007-2013.
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Notes to editors
For more information and a selection of images, please contact Christina Lister, Communications Manager at Norwich HEART on 01603 599570 / email firstname.lastname@example.org or Jan Robertson, Communications Officer on 01603 599578 / email email@example.com.
About Norwich HEART
Norwich Heritage Economic and Regeneration Trust (HEART) is a private, charitable trust set up to act as an umbrella organisation for all of the heritage on offer in Norwich. We strategically plan, regenerate, manage and promote Norwich's heritage and act as a best practice model internationally for developing heritage as a social and economic regeneration vehicle. HEART receives core funding from Norwich City Council and further project funding from a variety of sources which has to date included the European Union, HM Treasury, the East of England Development Agency and Norfolk County Council.
About Museums at Night
Museums at Night is the annual after-hours celebration of arts, culture and heritage when hundreds of museums, galleries, libraries, archives and heritage sites open their doors for special evening events. It is coordinated by Culture24, and takes place over the weekend of Friday 18th - Sunday 20th May 2012.
About SHAPING 24
SHAPING 24 - Strategies for Heritage Access Pathways in Norwich and Ghent - is a new cultural tourism initiative that will link together the 12 heritage sites in Norwich that make up Norwich 12, with 12 heritage sites in Ghent. The project seeks to promote and support the 24 sites, raise the profile of Norwich and Ghent as significant cultural heritage cities and increase awareness of the longstanding historical links between this part of England and the Low Countries. By working together, the two cities will benefit from the experiences and professional expertise in both cities, and will be able to apply innovative approaches to the challenges facing historic cities.
SHAPING 24 is being led by HEART with Ghent City Council as the partner organisation. The project is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund from the European Union's INTERREG IVA 2 Mers Seas Zeeën Cross-border Cooperation Programme 2007-2013. The total value of SHAPING 24 is €4.5m, of which Norwich's share is €2.3m, which includes match funding from a variety of organisations.