Arts organisations from across Manchester have come together to launch a major joint campaign that aims to encourage audiences from all walks of life to return to their venues and embrace the city’s rich cultural offer.

After an incredibly challenging year for the cultural sector globally, and a slow start to 2021, a consortium of Manchester arts organisations are working together on a new campaign that has launched today as the country moves into Step Three of the roadmap out of the Covid-19 crisis.

The campaign, which is supported with funding from the UK Government’s Culture Recovery Fund, aims to showcase that culture is the beating heart of Manchester; inspire confidence that venues are safe, welcoming and open to everyone; and remind people that a cultural experience can have a transformative effect on health and wellbeing.

A major poster, radio and digital campaign goes live today with creative by Manchester’s Instruct Studio which features bold, emotive imagery and inspiring lines of poetry that aim to capture the attention of audiences and highlight the range of cultural experiences on offer in the city.

The campaign launches just over 200 days after many venues closed their doors when the UK’s second lockdown came into effect in November. It will run throughout the summer and into autumn, aiming to inspire audiences from all walks of life across Greater Manchester to make the most of the cultural offering available on their doorsteps.

Dave Moutrey, Director of Culture at Manchester City Council, said: “It’s been a long road to get here, but from today cultural venues across Manchester begin to reopen and they couldn’t be more ready or more excited to welcome back audiences. This new joint campaign is backed by some wonderful organisations and its message is very clear: come visit our venues and embrace what’s on offer.

“Whether you want to keep the kids busy throughout the holidays, have a shared night out with friends, or just enjoy a day of solo reflection; immersion in culture has been proven to help improve mental health and our arts venues and organisations are returning a brilliant selection of shows, exhibitions and events, with something for everyone.”

Arts organisations involved in the #HereforCultureMCR campaign include the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art, Chetham’s Library, Contact, HOME, Hope Mill Theatre, The Lowry, Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester Camerata, Manchester Independents, Manchester International Festival, Manchester Libraries, Manchester Museum, Music Venues Trust, National Football Museum, Palace and Opera House Theatres, People’s History Museum, Royal Northern College of Music, Royal Exchange Theatre, Science and Industry Museum, The Stoller Hall, The Whitworth and Z-arts.

The campaign is supported by Arts Council England, Creative Tourist, Oxford Road Corridor, Manchester City Council, NHS, Network Rail, and has received valuable support from Transport for Greater Manchester who will significantly amplify the campaign with access to advertising assets across their network.

Marketing Manchester will be hosting the campaign hub at visitmanchester.com/culture.

Sheona Southern, Managing Director at Marketing Manchester, said: “Last month when we moved to Step Two of the Government’s roadmap, it was a big moment for operators in our retail and hospitality sectors who were given a chance to reopen and welcome people back safely; however, that same opportunity was held back for museums, galleries and theatres, meaning many venues have gone over 200 days without audiences.

“That changes today and it’s fantastic to see so many venues working together to celebrate the value of cultural experiences in Manchester. It’s a fun and inspiring campaign and we’re proud to be hosting some amazing content on visitmanchester.com and promoting our strong cultural offer.”

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