Things to do in February 2016: KAWS, Queer Contact & CFCCA at 30

Polly Checkland Harding

The Creative Tourist Cultural Calendar. This month: KAWS, Queer Contact & CFCCA at 30 years.

Ben Rivers: The Two Eyes Are Not Brothers. The artist’s most ambitious work to date will be on show at the Whitworth; Rivers’ has used materials from old film sets to create viewing spaces for a documentary, fantasy and fable hybrid film, shot against the dramatic Moroccan landscape. The Whitworth, Manchester, 25 Feb – 22 May

Queer Contact. The eighth annual Queer Contact Festival is bigger than ever, celebrating Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender arts and culture in Greater Manchester as part of LGBT History Month. Various venues, Manchester, 4 – 14 Feb

Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art: 30th anniversary. CFCCA will be celebrating in style with a high profile exhibition programme spanning six months, featuring some of the best Chinese contemporary artists. CFCCA, Manchester, Feb – Jun

The Rhubarb Triangle and Other Stories. A new commission and the largest exhibition of work by renown British photographer Martin Parr since 2002. Hepworth Gallery, Wakefield, 3 Feb – 12 Jun

Chinese New Year. Four days of spectacular celebrations across the city centre with thousands of lanterns, a giant golden dragon and stunning 3D light show. Plus: Street food and shopping, live music and lion dancers, fireworks and the Dragon Parade. Leap into the Year of the Monkey. City centre, Manchester, 4 – 7 Feb

Husbands and Sons. Director Marianne Elliott returns to the Royal Exchange with her critically acclaimed National Theatre co-production of Ben Power’s adaptation of Husbands and SonsDH Lawrence’s classic novel. Royal Exchange, Manchester, 19 Feb – 19 Mar 

Grafters: Industrial Society in Image and Word. Curated by leading documentary photographer Ian Beesley, this exhibition will highlight unseen images of industrial life from important photographic collections. People’s History Museum, Manchester, 6 Feb – 14 Aug

KAWS. Brooklyn-based artist KAWS’ work straddles the worlds of art and design to include street art and graffiti, graphic and product design, murals, paintings and large-scale sculptures. With this exhibition, he brings his trademark style to the UK for the first time. Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield, 6 Feb – 12 Jun

Nothing Happens, Twice. A group exhibition of national and international artists that includes film works, sculpture and painting: six of which are new commissions. Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Preston, 5 Feb – 4 Jun

The Imitation Game. Inspired by Manchester’s rich history of computer science, this exhibition will feature work by international contemporary artists who explore the theme of machines and the imitation of life. Manchester Art Gallery, 13 Feb – 5 Jun

Nico Vascellari. A year after his performance at the Whitworth’s re-opening weekend, Nico Vascellari returns to Manchester with this large solo exhibition. Visitors will be transported into locations from the artist’s own childhood, each of which are surrounded in legend and hidden history. The Whitworth, Manchester, 26 Feb – 18 Sep

I am Thomas. A play about a man being in the wrong place at absolutely the wrong time. Trouble is brewing. Liverpool Playhouse, 19 – 27 Feb

UpClose Trumpet, Jazz and DJ. Tine Thing Helseth joins forces with Manchester-based trumpeter, composer and regular Camerata collaborator, Matthew Halsall, for an eclectic meeting of musical worlds. Gorilla, Manchester, 23 Feb

Culture Guides

Cinema

Explore Hollywood history, queer rarities and squirm-inducing horror across the big screens of Manchester and the North this month.

The Tudors: Passion, Power and Politics

Exhibitions

Let’s make the most of early summer, with this month’s selection of brand new art exhibitions from across the North!

Geronimo Festival 2022

Families

Festivals, shows, museums, and much, much more – there’s plenty of summer fun to be had for families in Manchester and the North, whatever the weather. Here are our top picks.

Poet Caroline Bird

Literature

There’s plenty of sunshine-drenched reading to immerse yourself in from established names and emerging talent, poets and prose writers alike, both in real life as well as online.

Music

From rising stars playing basement sets to open air shows by your favourite bands’ favourite bands, there are some gems in this month’s music picks.

Theatre in Manchester

Theatre

Eclectic theatre festivals, silly slapstick and dreamy outdoor shows, there’s lots of brilliant performances happening inside and outside over the summer.

Classical Music in Manchester and the North

We preview the standout classical music events and venues in Manchester and the north.

Baekdu Korean BBQ Restaurant

Food and Drink

Plan for July’s food and drink outings at some of the best restaurants and bars in Manchester and the North.

Tours and Activities

Get out in the sun this month with tours and activities that will have you engaging positively with the climate, taking the plunge in Salford Quays and getting creative.