So why culture and why Manchester?

3 Oct

Cultural context

There has been significant investment in early years learning within the museum and gallery sector.  Strong partnerships have emerged with key early years providers.  In coming months, Manchester’s museums and galleries will be identifying the key areas to focus limited investment.  Early years work, including early intervention is an increasingly high priority across the city (with shared posts across organisations).

Across the cultural sector more widely, work is being developed apace within performing arts, especially theatre for the under 2s. Music organisations are starting to explore this area of work and audience development. However, programmes or dedicated partnerships and work with 0-2 providers, carers/parents or activities with babies are still rare within museums.

Image, Children taking part in activities in Museums and Galleries in Manchester

Manchester context

Early years provision within Manchester is changing rapidly as services are restructured and Manchester is referenced within the Graham Allen report for its approach to early intervention.

Manchester‘s museums and galleries  have developed a strong reputation and track record for engaging young children and families across the city. This has predominantly focused on 3-5 year olds within some of the most socially and ethnically diverse and economically deprived neighbourhoods and wards in Manchester. To find out more please follow the links to Earlyarts for our case studies and publications and to each of the museum and galleries websites for details of current programmes and resources.

Image, Exploring Treasure Baskets

They are now well placed to lead the sector and develop distinctive and enriching opportunities to engage Manchester’s very youngest children (0-2) and those who care for and work with them.

We feel that this is an appropriate time to host this seminar.

  • Early intervention is high on the political agenda
  • Evidence is being regularly published to support the case that this is the best time to make interventions to improve outcomes
  • Manchester has been referenced for its approach to partnership working on the early intervention programme and there should be future opportunities to lever funding and work in partnership.
  • Research has emerged which highlights the value of developing the communication skills and environment of very young children.
  • Museums and galleries have yet to prioritise this audience and there is a gap in provision relating to this area of policy/practice.

We would be really interested in hearing how are policies, research and restructured services affecting your practice?  Please feel free to comment below.

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One Response to “So why culture and why Manchester?”

  1. Claire Teague October 26, 2011 at 3:53 pm #

    Hi Elaine

    Please can you send me your contact email, I have a question for you about this article.

    Many thanks
    Claire Teague, National Waterways Museum

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