Posted May 04 2023
Recap: National Development’s Spotlight Series

Across April, our National Development team have taken the reins on social media, spotlighting some of the most ambitious and innovative cultural events, projects and programmes occurring across the country. If you’re looking for a local event or an exciting day out further afield, there’ll be something for you here. Read on to learn more…

North West

  • Liverpool is set to host the upcoming 67th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. The finals will be taking place at M&S Bank Arena: 9 – 13 May.
  • Manchester Museum re-opened in February 2023 after a once-in-a-generation £15 million transformation & have already welcomed over 100,000 people. The museum features historic displays as well as new galleries, alongside a new café and shop. Not one to miss!
  • This year, Leeds is “letting cultural loose” for the Year of Culture 2023. LEEDS 2023 is led by the Leeds Culture Trust (LCT) and Leeds City Council.
  • Next up is internationally acclaimed gallery, IKON, situated in central Birmingham, offering free entry to all. Ikon Gallery transforms its galleries into a platform for performance art, with the first UK exhibition by acclaimed Indonesian performance artist Suryod Armomelati. ‘Passionate Pilgrim’ opens from 17 May – 3 September 2023. Free entry, donations welcome.

North East

  • The National Railway Museum in York is opening a new interactive gallery for 2023. The NRM states “Wonderlab: The Bramall Gallery is an unmissable new interactive experience for families—where nothing is off limits.”
  • Next up on our regional takeover is The Late Shows, Coordinated by Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums. The annual late-night culture crawl returns for two nights this May across Newcastle and Gateshead.
  • The Late Shows state “During The Late Shows, museums, galleries, studio collectives and heritage venues come together to offer one-off events including activities, behind-the-scenes tours, performances and parties.”


  • This year, the New Gallery Walsall celebrates the 50th anniversary of the gifting of the Garman Ryan Collection to the people of Walsall. From 12 May, the Gallery will also see a major solo exhibition by critically acclaimed Scottish artist, Karla Black. This will be the artist’s largest UK exhibition to date, and is a rare opportunity to see her work in depth.
  • The Void from Nottingham-based theatre company, Chronic Insanity was launched with the support of Arts Council, The Void is a new, intimate, multi-discipline arts venue in the system of caves below the city. The Void will be the city’s first dedicated performance space to be housed in one of the 544 currently discovered subterranean dwellings, housing atmospheric and intimate work that takes advantage of the space’s unique surroundings.

South East

  • To celebrate Towner Gallery, Eastbourne’s centenary, a year of exceptional events and exhibitions is already underway. “TOWNER 100 is a series of major exhibitions which will include celebrations of the Towner Collection past and present, the world’s leading prize for contemporary art coming to Sussex for the first time, and a large-scale presentation of one of the UK’s best loved sculptors. As well as a retrospective of the past 100 years of Towner, these exhibitions also look to the next 100, asking what a museum and gallery can be, and who it is for.”
  • Dive into the untold story of Henry VIII’s favourite ship at the Portsmouth’s Mary Rose Museum – a new immersive 4D cinema experience is to be unveiled! Enter a new state-of-the-art 4D theatre, and join the divers as they discover the 34m long shipwreck!
  • The De La Warr Pavilion (DLWP), a combined arts centre in Bexhill, East Sussex, was recently a key partner in a successful Levelling Up bid, led by Rother District Council. The £19.2m investment will allow a major renovation and improvement of the De La Warr Pavilion, on the Bexhill seafront, and the development of new community facilities in Sidley, to enable a cultural-led regeneration of one of the most deprived areas in the region.  Check out our guest blog from Dan Scales, Fundraiser at DLWP, to see an example of the impact Levelling Up can offer arts organisations and our communities.

South West

  • Together with Global Goals Centre and Artspace Lifespace, Sparks Bristol are working to create an exciting new art and sustainability hub in Broadmead. They are creating a vibrant, positive venue where local people and visitors can shop, recycle, and explore what a greener, fairer and creative future could look like, breathing new life into the old M&S building on a ‘meanwhile use’ basis until the site is redeveloped. The building will be used as a hub for local artists, as well as a reuse shop providing recycled goods, repair, and education projects for schools. There will be installations, stalls and workshops to demonstrate how to take easy actions on climate, equality and wellbeing.


  • Cabaret has a new home at The Centre in Cardiff! Discover unexpected and entertaining delights as they showcase the very best in drag, comedy, burlesque, live music, gig theatre and more. There is so much to see… Various performances on till July 2023.


If you want to see the Twitter content, search our hashtag: #YAFTakeover, or see the Instagram grid @YoungArtsFundraisers.

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