BBC 6 Music DJ Lauren Laverne has spoken of her excitement at the programme for Museums at Night 2011 after becoming the official Ambassador for Culture24's hugely popular annual after-hours celebration.
The Culture Show presenter and former lead singer of 90s indie-punk stars Kenickie will act as the figurehead for a campaign which takes place during the weekend of May 13-15.
Museums and galleries will be looking to repeat the inspirational range of tours, sleepovers, gigs and activities the annual twilight escapade has celebrated since 2009.
“Museums at Night is a fantastic initiative that really makes museums and galleries accessible, fun and interesting," she said.
“It is so important to encourage a new generation to support and embrace arts and heritage in the UK.
“There are countless great events going on over the Museums at Night weekend - I can't wait to sample some of them."
Highlights for 2011 include tours of the 19th century Arnos Vale Cemetery in Bristol, the opening of Cold War nuclear bunker RAF Holmpton in Yorkshire, trips through fabled ghost spot Ruthin Gaol in North Wales and gruesome insights into grisly Victorian surgical techniques at the Old Operating Theatre in London.
In Laverne’s native Tyne and Wear, notorious “culture crawl” The Late Shows will be giving Newcastle and Gateshead another spectacular evening of fun and enlightenment, with other city-wide festivals heading for Liverpool, Stockport, Dorchester, Norwich and Bath.
Research into the 2010 campaign found that half of the 85,000 participants had never been to the venue they visited before, rewarding the campaign’s mission to entice new audiences to enjoy arts and heritage. Almost 300 museums and galleries took part, hosting 345 events.
All the events will be searchable through Culture24, who are encouraging more venues to register their events as soon as possible to take advantage of a publicity and marketing campaign covering everything from national and local TV to print and social media.
Sky Arts will be the official media partner for Museums at Night 2011. They will be supporting the campaign and going behind the scenes at a Museum at Night event for a documentary to be shown on Sky Arts HD from late May. More details of the Sky partnership will be released soon.