Online events from cultural organisations from Manchester and across the North are becoming more frequent as we all adjust to life in lockdown. It isn’t easy to drop everything you are doing or planning in the physical world and suddenly come up with a strategy to compete with the likes of Netflix, Disney+ and those 12-year olds who’ve been raking in sweet, sweet YouTube revenue since as far back as they can remember.
The response from the cultural sector has been fantastic so far and we are delighted to see so many of our partners thinking creatively to deliver what they do best in a new way. Depending on the size of the organisation the response varies, in some cases it feels lovingly homemade and with others as polished as you’d expect from their gargantuan budgets. For some, online delivery is just impossible and we have a guide to supporting those organisations in other ways.
We are so grateful to National Lottery players, The National Lottery, DCMS and Arts Council England for supporting our freelance writers during this crisis. This means that, although venues remain shut and campaigns cancelled, our writers can be reengaged to help arts organisations and artists across the North of England share their online content with our culture-hungry readers.
So, for as long as this thing continues, we’ll share with you our top picks of what’s happening virtually. The best online events from organisations in Manchester and the North.
Here are our picks
‘Craft at Home’ is a new online space where you can continue to support Manchester Craft & Design Centre’s resident makers, pick-up bespoke gifts, and get busy with bee-related craft.
The Degree Show on Mars, online, Until 31 August 2020, free entry - Visit now
Dust of your space helmets and prepare for take-off. Graduating art students from Liverpool John Moores University present: ‘The Degree Show on Mars’ – a multiverse exhibition responding to the many challenges we are currently facing back on Earth.
What it is to be here: Colonisation and Resistance – Online at The Portico Library, online, Until 27 July 2020, free entry - Visit now
The Portico Library marks 250 years since British explorer James Cook first landed on the shores of what we now call Australia with an online exhibition that explores the history of violence and resistance that followed.
Grimmfest TV, online, Until 31 August 2020, free entry - Visit now
Grimmfest TV is a new online channel from the people behind Grimmfest, Manchester’s horror and fantasy film festival. Each week at least two new films will be added to the channel, and all films will remain available to view for free, until lockdown is over.
Wake Up Together, online, Until 31 August 2020, free entry - Visit now
Travel back in time and explore a VR-edition of Open Eye Gallery’s hugely popular 2018-19 exhibition, ‘Wake Up Together’, featuring work by Ren Hang and Robin Hammond; two artists who both champion the rights of every person to love who they want and respectfully live as they wish.
Cinemas are closed right now. We’ll be back front and centre when they reopen but in the meantime, here are top picks of things to stream to the small screen.
Makar to Makar with Jackie Kay, online, Until 27 August 2020, free entry - Visit now
Weekly online show hosted by the Scottish poet laureate Jackie Kay talking to another guest “makar” or maker every episode about their work and influences, with readings of both new and old poems, and music from one of three resident singers.
STRIP! Football Exhibition Goes Online, online, Until 25 December 2020, free entry - Visit now
The National Football Museum presents a major online exhibition of football shirts. Enjoy in-depth analysis, opinion, and discussion by the exhibition curators and shirt industry insiders into what makes certain shirts so special.
Rock Against Racism, online, Until 31 August 2020, free entry - Visit now
Syd Shelton: Rock Against Racism had only been open for days at Gallery Oldham before the venue closed due to the ongoing situation with Coronavirus. Thanks to the hard work of the team at Gallery Oldham and the collaboration of Syd Shelton, the exhibition can now be enjoyed online.
Anthony Burgess on Tape, online, Until 31 December 2020, free entry - Visit now
Anthony Burgess on Tape is an online exhibition from the International Anthony Burgess Foundation comprising of 1,094 cassettes and 87 reel-to-reel tapes from one of Manchester’s greatest and most prolific writers.
Manchester Museum, The University Of Manchester, Oxford Rd, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M13 9PL - Visit now
Manchester Museum has uploaded their digital content onto a new mobile site so that you can explore their collection from your home. Head t0 their new site for entertainment and education until they reopen.
DigiFest / Manchester Histories Festival 2020 – Online, 4–5 September 2020, free entry - Find Out More
Until Manchester Histories Festival returns in the autumn, you can read the Peterloo Anthology, which showcases the talent of young people involved in the Radical Read project. They have also made two short videos highlighting the Peterloo 2019 programme and From the Crowd.
With Bluedot officially postponed until next year (with headliners intact) they have been working on trying to bring the festival experience to your living room. Over the coming weeks, they’ll have a series of takeovers from some of their best-loved artists.
The Hepworth Wakefield, Gallery Walk, Wakefield, Yorkshire, WF1 5AW - Visit now
The building is closed but The Hepworth Wakefield Garden will remain open for people to enjoy. The team will continue to provide inspiring creative content online and will be involving artists and our communities in their digital programming.
RNCM are taking their lunchtime concerts online, with remote recitals by students, staff and alumni live-streamed on Facebook every Monday and Thursday.
Improve your singing and wellbeing by joining The Choir Project’s weekly virtual choir led by Manchester singer and musical director, Dan McDwyer.
Take a tour around select artworks from Manchester Art Gallery’s collection. Lead by different guides every day, each tour is personal to their taste. Tours start at 2 pm from Thursday to Sunday.
‘a place lived’ by Maddi Nicholson is a new public artwork that delves into the near-forgotten history of Manchester’s thriving financial district.
Trading Station at Manchester Art Gallery charts the history and changing social role of hot drinks in our lives.
Embrace the effervescent energy of Sunday Night Waves, a 5Rhythms dance class where you can move with the flow of your own body and explore.
Fresh local produce is always on the menu of the Local Leeds food tour. Visit six pubs and restaurants serving up some of Yorkshire’s finest cuisine.
Eat your way through some of the best street food Leeds has to offer, with insights into the people and stories behind each bite. Try something new with the Leeds Street Food tour.
Visit People’s History Museum’s 2020 display of political banners from across the years – including several that will go on public show for the first time.