Love Your Museum Weekend 2011 - celebrate this year's Art Fund Prize long list

  • 19 April 2011

On the bank holiday weekend of 29 April - 2 May, the ten museums and galleries vying for the Art Fund Prize 2011 invite you to celebrate Love Your Museum Weekend.

Over the course of the weekend the ten long listed institutions will be asking you to vote and comment online in support of their bid for the £100,000 accolade. Free events and activities will be held at nine of the ten long listed museums and galleries.

Love Your Museum Weekend marks the last chance for the public to show their support for their favourite long listed museum before the judges meet to decide on the short list, which will be announced on 19 May. Everyone is invited to participate in the online poll at People can also leave comments online and enter a draw to win an iPad.

Twitter Competition - declare why you love your museum and win a National Art Pass

On Saturday 30 April, the public are also invited to participate in a Twitter competition in celebration of Love Your Museum Weekend. People are invited to tweet why they love museums by using the hash tag #ilovemuseums. In doing so they can enter a draw to win a free National Art Pass, giving a year’s free entry to over 200 charging museums and galleries and 50% off entry to major exhibitions across the UK. Tweets must be entered between 10am and 1pm on Saturday 30 April.

Events and activities throughout the weekend

Special events are taking place at nine of the ten long listed museums and galleries as part of Love Your Museum weekend:

Hertford Museum, Hertfordshire will be hosting special events throughout the day on Saturday 30 April. There will be a ‘Tag your museum’ event where visitors are asked to design a ‘tag’ saying why they love Hertford Museum. Tags will be displayed around the museum and garden. Kids will be able to play giant games in the garden, whilst curator-led tours of the museum and tours of Hertford town centre will be led by local historian Jean Riddell. The local Tesco branch will be donating complimentary tea, coffee and biscuits. The museum will remain open in the twilight hours between 5pm and 8pm for visitors to enjoy a glass of wine in a tranquil and relaxed environment. Live acoustic music will be performed by Nuala, Sam Smith & Kelvin Fuhr.

Leighton House Museum in London’s Holland Park will host special talks on the Saturday and Sunday mornings. The talks will give insight into the Arab Hall, Drawing Room and Dining Room, as well as other parts of the museum and gardens. On Saturday afternoon events will focus on the A Closer To Home project, with impromptu talks happening throughout the museum and Moorish-inspired musical sets from Houria Niati. The museum will stay open late, allowing visitors to roam free after hours. On the Sunday afternoon visitors will be treated to a look inside the museum’s works in storage, led by the museum curator Daniel Robbins. Children can take part in special activities and a Spanish guitarist will perform in the Arab Hall.

Mostyn in Llandudno, Wales will be hosting artist-led drop-in workshops on both the Saturday and the Sunday, working on the theme of Mostyn's history and its place today.

The People’s History Museum, Manchester, will be running a number of family-friendly activities over the weekend. All weekend people can take part in a May Day trail and Decorate a Duck at a spring-themed craft table. On Saturday the museum will run a Print-a-bag workshop, inviting people to create their own souvenir bag to take home. On Saturday, Sunday and Monday there will also be two May Day guided tours of the museum galleries at 11.30am and again at 2.30pm.

The Polar Museum in Cambridge will be open on Saturday and will host a range of drop-in family-friendly activities. These include: try on polar clothing, draw a penguin to join the giant penguin huddle, make your own snowflake, find out about expedition newspapers and create your own polar adventure headline. There will also be a chance to look more closely at Inuit sculpture at 11am, 12pm and 2.30pm with the Keeper, Heather Lane. Visitors are also invited to make a penguin tag to saying why they love the Polar Museum.

The Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Alloway, Scotland will host special events throughout the weekend. A ‘Meet the artist’ session with Kenny Hunter will happen at 2pm on the Saturday. There will also be a ‘Mousie Magic’ session and ‘Magic and Superstitions’ tour for children. On the Sunday, a ‘Meet the Artist’ will be held with Liz Rowley, and the public can take part in a stained glass workshop.

The Roman Baths Museum, Bath will be inviting people to make a laurel wreath, meet costumed characters and take part in Are You a Roman, where people can plot their home on a map and find out whether they are a ‘Roman citizen’ or ‘barbarian'. Activities will run on Friday 29 April to Monday 2 May, 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 4pm.

The V&A will be hosting a series of drop-in sessions to meet students from the University of Wolverhampton’s MA Art and Design (Ceramics) course as they make work inspired by the V&A's collection. This is a unique opportunity to observe students using the new studio space in the Ceramics Study Galleries Studio space and experience their creative process at first-hand.

Yorkshire Museum in York will host a ‘Seeing Stars’ event, inviting people to take the ‘star trail’ through the museum. On the trail people can search through the museum's different galleries to find the gods and animals that can be seen in the night sky. Participants will be able to create their own star-inspired myths and legends, and design their own comic strip inspired by space and cosmos.

Background - Art Fund Prize 2011

Since the Art Fund Prize long list was announced on 2 February, Michael Portillo and his six fellow judges have visited all ten long listed museums and galleries. Shortly after Love Your Museum weekend the panel will meet to draw up a short list of four. Michael Portillo, Chair of the judges, will announce the short list on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row on Thursday 19 May.

The winner of the Art Fund Prize 2011 will be announced on 15 June at a ceremony and party at Tate Britain.

Jeremy Deller’s audio diary series

Jeremy Deller has created an audio diary series chronicling his experience as Art Fund Prize judge for BBC Radio 4’s Front Row. Jeremy took recording equipment with him on all of his visits to the long listed museums. The diaries will be broadcast on Radio 4 during the first half of May, prior to the short list announcement.

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