It’s the week we’ve all been waiting for! After almost fourteen months, cultural venues finally begin to properly reopen this week. Be sure to check in and plan your visit beforehand though – it’s likely to be a very different experience to what you might have experienced before. To help with your planning, we’ve put together some of the best free things to do in Manchester this week, including Grayson’s Art Club at Manchester Art Gallery, a new film commission from Imran Peretta at Whitworth Gallery and much more…

Get to Know Elizabeth Gaskell | John Rylands Library | Tue 18 May | 7pm – 8pm

Elizabeth Gaskell is one of Manchester’s most celebrated authors – if you’ve not visited the Gaskell House on Plymouth Grove, add it to your list immediately. This Zoom panel features leading researchers discussing Gaskell’s legacy – watch the archives come to life in dramatic readings from the Centre’s Historic Reading Room.

Catch music documentary DIG! | The Deaf Institute | Wed 19 May | 7pm

Here we go! Venues, museums and events begin again this week and loads of Manchester venues are raring to go. One is Deaf Institute – be sure to check out their whole programme for the next couple of months, including a load of free events and screenings. This one looks especially looks good: a music documentary featuring two 1990s bands from the west coast of America with wildly different outlooks – The Dandy Warhols and The Brian Jonestown Massacre.

The Deaf Institute, 135 Grosvenor Street, Manchester, M1 7HE
Explore Grayson's Art Club | Manchester Art Gallery | From Wed 19 May

This should be a very popular one. Throughout lockdown, Grayson’s Art Club has been a fantastic initiative to get Britain flexing its creative muscles. All the artwork in this exhibition reflects on lockdown, with entries from the public, celebrities and artists. Booking is essential, especially for the first week.

Manchester Art Gallery, Mosley Street, Manchester, M2 3JL
Watch Imran Peretta's The Destructors | Whitworth Gallery | Wed 19 May

On the other side of town, the Whitworth Gallery also reopens this week. With it comes an exciting new commission – a short, two-screen film exploring coming of age for young Muslim men in the UK. Screenings are every half hour – find out more by following the link below.

Whitworth Art Gallery, Oxford Road, Manchester, M15 6ER
Return to museums with My Home Is Not My Home | People's History Museum | From Wed 19 May

As well as art galleries, museums also reopen this week. Running until Sunday 11 July, this exhibition from the team at People’s History Museum and The Voices of Domestic Workers explores the hidden world of the domestic work carried out in private homes. Expect a powerful and eye-opening experience.

People's History Museum, Left Bank, Manchester, M3 3ER
Celebrate Manchester Cathedral's 600th Anniversary with a free tour | Sat 22 May | 3pm

One of the region’s most beautiful spaces, Manchester Cathedral this year celebrates its 600 year anniversary. There will be many events through the year that continue the celebrations, but check out this Zoom tour featuring the building’s fascinating architecture – perfect quiet Saturday afternoon viewing.

Explore 100 years of espionage with Top Secret: From Ciphers to Cyber Security | Science and Industry Museum | From Wed 19 May

Manchester’s Science and Industry Museum has been in hibernation since lockdown hit and a lot has changed since its doors closed. In addition to prepping a new special exhibition gallery for customers to explore, they’re also returning with an interactive, free exhibition that explores 100 years of espionage in England. Packed full of key codebreaking objects – like World War II cipher machines and an encryption key once owned by the Queen – Top Secret: From Ciphers to Cyber Security also celebrates Manchester’ icon Alan Turing and includes free activity trails for kids. Booking is essential – follow the link below to secure your tickets.

Liverpool Road, Manchester, M3 4FP
Mon 17 May - Sun 23 May, Tel: Image via Deaf Institute.
Hugh Morris
Published on:
Mon 17 May 2021