This week, museums across Wales are offering an inspirational half term for all as Welsh Museums Festival enters its second week.
With Wales and UK’s autumn half terms straddling a fortnight, museums are hosting a bumper festival to ensure plenty of activity to delight locals and visitors of all ages. And with the cost of living soaring, this year’s festival will have more free festival activities than ever before. These include a fortnight of dragon lore, pirate codes, time travel and treasures, behind the scenes explorations, crafts and halloween hullabaloo.
The Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport, Dawn Bowden visited y Gaer Museum, Brecon to see the activities they have under way including hand print ghosts and cardboard tube mummies, and met with class one, Priory Church in Wales School who are looking forward to the half term break.
The Minister, said:
“Wales’s excellent museums support our sense of nationhood and wellbeing. They are also key to our tourism economy. At a time when families and individuals across the UK are struggling with increased living costs, we feel passionate that Wales’s story and our treasures remain accessible to all. Welsh Government is therefore proud to support Welsh Museums Festival to offer a packed fortnight of events for all ages, welcoming visitors and supporting our communities, with an engaging array of events and activities in museums across Wales. And importantly, enabling more of these events than ever before, to be offered free of charge.
“If you’re looking for something to do over the half term – remember to check what your local museum has to offer.”
Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for a Fairer Powys, Cllr Matthew Dorrance said:
“Each year the Welsh Museums Festival gets bigger and better, with families knowing something exciting will be taking place at our Museum. To be able to bring children and young people back into our buildings is so special and helps to further develop their curiosity for history, art and local heritage. Y Gaer is such a dynamic new venue to discover, with its unique combined museum, art gallery and town library. We always have great fun in y Gaer, and this year we have Halloween covered with messy play sessions, spooky Storytime, Classy Cooking Halloween and Riddle me this workshops!”
Welsh Museums Festival is made possible by funding from Welsh Government. It is an annual event presented by the Federation of Museums and Art Galleries of Wales, which is the advocacy body for museums and galleries and those working in this sector within Wales. It currently represents over 100 unique Accredited Welsh museums, from small independents to national museums. Together, these invaluable collections tell the story of Wales, and are a treasured resource for learning, exploration and knowledge about our local and national identity, and how we have lived here in Wales since the dawn of time.
Nêst Thomas, President of the Federation of Museums and Art Galleries of Wales said:
I’m grateful to our fantastic museums for taking up the gauntlet of participating in a longer festival this year, so that we can support local tourism economies and our communities to have a historic half term. It feels particularly important at this time of increased financial hardship, to do as much as we can to support our visitors’ wellbeing, and so we’re delighted that more Festival activities than ever will be free of charge. Come along to discover our treasures, to enjoy historic hullabaloo, to solve riddles, to learn, to make and craft, to discover a wealth of stories, to time travel and enjoy.”
A key theme of this year’s festival is ‘treasure’. Festival events will explore treasures held in museum collections and asking questions such as ‘what do you treasure?’ and ‘why?’. To that end, the festival will be engaging visiting teenagers in a Photography Competition which encourages them to creatively explore some of their ideas about treasure, while children will enjoy hunting for Black Bart’s treasure chest by solving a series of riddles and cracking a secret code. And, there’s also an opportunity for younger visitors to help track down baby dragons!
For further information, visit Welsh Museums Festival.