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2 Oct 2019

Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery reveals Autumn and Winter season

  • Two new exhibitions – Dressed to the Nines and Birmingham Revolutions – to open in December.
  • Audio guides launch, including the ‘Be Mindful’ mindfulness tour of the museum.
  • So much more including, Black History Month, Fierce Festival, Hidden Spaces, Halloween and Christmas. 

Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery (BMAG) is launching into its Autumn and Winter season with a programme of fascinating exhibitions, magical events and new audio guide tours set to bring a whole new perspective to popular displays. 

Two new exhibitions open in December at BMAG. Showcasing gems from Birmingham’s costume collection Dressed to the Nines opens on Saturday 7 December. Whether you’re off to a formal do or a night out on the town with friends, clothes play an important part in special occasions. These clothes might only ever be worn once or twice. They can become treasured possessions and reminders of the occasion they were worn for.   

This display is about dressing up and going out from 1850 to the present day. Displaying a selection of garments, accessories and works of art, many of which have never been on display before, the exhibition explores some of the changes in clothing over time. Expect dazzling shoes and impressive attire!

Also opening on Saturday 7 December is Birmingham Revolutions – Power to the People . This exhibition is a chance to discover the different voices and ideas that have contributed to the fight for a better Birmingham, from the Priestley Riots of 1791 all the way through to the LGBTQ+ campaigns of today.

Exploring the city’s vibrant and varied history of protest and activism and the role Birmingham has played in some of the most important campaigns and movements in British history, Birmingham Revolutions will look at campaigns such as voting reform, nuclear disarmament, trade unionism, anti-racism and human rights. The exhibition aims to show the different ways in which a person can protest and campaign, what we can learn from past protests, and show everything we as a city have achieved so far. 

Audio guides have launched at BMAG and will transform the way visitors explore the galleries. Choose from an audio guide tour which explores some of the highlights from the collection, available now for £3. Showcasing the breadth of the displays you’ll learn about everything from ancient mummies to contemporary art. Currently available in English, and available in French, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, German and Chinese from Saturday 12 October. 

Visitors can take an alternative tour of the museum with the ‘Be Mindful’ audio guide for 30 minutes of self-care. Take a moment to breathe, relax and enjoy the art from a different perspective led by a professional mindfulness coach. This tour will be permanently available and launches on Saturday 5 October as part of Be Well at BMAG , a day of activities and sessions which focus on making space for wellbeing through creativity. The day is taking place as part of Birmingham's BEDLAM Festival of arts and mental health.

BMAG will be hosting a series of free drop-in arts sessions for adults. Taking part in creative activities has been shown to improve wellbeing, so these new sessions will encourage everyone to make a little space for creativity in their lives. 

October is Black History Month. As part of the nationwide celebration of Black History, arts and culture, on Saturday 12 October BMAG is hosting a day of storytelling, poetry and music celebrating and exploring the experiences and resilience of African people as they have journeyed to the Caribbean and the UK. One One Coco Full Basket, named after a Caribbean proverb, is a free event in partnership with Black and Gold, Wellbeing 24/7 and The Red Earth Collective.

On Saturday 19 October see a special screening of a trilogy of films, by director Yugesh Walia, which explore specific cultural moments and experiences for black and asian communities in Birmingham. The screening will be followed by  an exclusive talk with Yugesh Walia and producer Roger Shannon. The free event takes place 11am-1.30pm.

Fierce Festival is back celebrating international art, performance and experiences and BMAG is proud to be hosting the grand opening event on Wednesday 16 October. Join this free event 7-9pm for performances around the museum, DJs and drinks, all hosted by the raucous and hilarious Ginny Lemon. 

Halloween is coming to BMAG. Bring little mummies, witches and vampires for a Spooktacular Monster Party on Wednesday 30 October complete with music, dancing, ghoulish games and prizes. The party runs 1.45pm - 3.30pm, with a separate relaxed session  from 11am to 1pm with reduced numbers, lower lighting and music levels for visitors with sensory or special needs.

Visitors can explore BMAG at night as part of the Edwardian Tearooms Late: Museums at Night Festival with Hidden Spaces on Saturday 2 November. This exclusive after-hours event includes dinner and live music in the Edwardian Tearooms, and a chance to explore the museum by torch light while listening to ghost stories.

Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery will be getting in the festive spirit for Christmas with a magical array of events to take your fancy. Santa Claus is coming to town… and into the doors of the museum! During weekends between 7 – 22 December, Santa will be spreading festive cheer in his glittering grotto in the heart of the museum. Book in advance to avoid disappointment.   

On Friday 20 December join in with a Christmas sing-along in the grand surroundings of the Round Room from 1-2pm. Each December community choirs from around the city perform at the museum, but this year you are invited to join in and sing along with Quinborne Choir. This event will leave you feeling warm and fuzzy, as you ring in the season with fellow Brummies. 

Visit www.birminghammuseums.org.uk/bmag/whats-on to find out more about these highlights and the full season of Autumn and Winter events and activities at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery.

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