Improving the visitor experience in its widest sense was a key element in the redevelopment of Manchester Art Gallery and new services, including baby change facilities in male toilets, have been introduced.
The exhibitions, collection displays and acquisitions programme strive to redress the past concentration on work by male artists, both in acquisitions and exhibition policies. In 2005/6 we organised Black Victorians, a highly-successful major exhibition that featured forgotten 19thc black women performers, celebrities and reformers, including Miss La La and Mary Seacole.
Other highlights have been the display in partnership with Tate Britain of a textile hanging by controversial artist Tracey Emin paired with Epstein’s Rock Drill, which through very innovative digital interactive interpretation, got visitors thinking about how we define masculinity and femininity. We also launched Button World, a long term display that opened up the traditionally female world of buttons, and continues to provide lots of hands-on fun for small children and their parents.
1. To regularly raise gender issues around service delivery at the Departmental Equality Group and monitor progress through audits, action plans and impact assessments.
2. To review, revise and develop policies and projects to reflect gender issues and improve service delivery in these areas.
Action 1.1 - Minutes from Equality Group meetings to be circulated to Departmental Management Team (DMT) and gender issues raised at DMT meetings.What will this action achieve? Discussion on current issues and agreement on plans for participation in IWW and Men’s Health Week.
Action 2.1 - Review Exhibitions policy, to reflect gender issues as a specific criteria to be discussed in the selection and review process.
Commissioning Group to consider gender issues both in terms of exhibition content and the educational programmes developed to support each exhibition (eg. family activities focused to attract male children).
Timescale: Exhibition Proposal forms have been revised and are in use.
What will this action achieve? All exhibitions (and supporting education programmes) will be considered with reference to gender criteria.
Action 2.2 - Education planning matrix set up to record all activities that relate to equality groups, including gender.
What will this action achieve? Better information on gender-related activities
Action 2.3 - “Family Friendly” activities devised to meet gender differences, eg fathers’ day family architecture trail. Activities appropriately programmed at school holiday times and weekends.
What will this action achieve? Family visiting experience is improved and gender issues addressed.
Action 2.4 - New ‘Sound Pictures’ Early Years session for nurseries and surestart groups now running in collaboration with RNCM. New training course Creative Learning Experiences for Foundation Stage Practitioners planned for June 06.
What will this action achieve? Increased activities for early years groups.
Action 2:5 - New KS2 and 3 school session ‘Who’s that Girl?’ to be developed on how historic and contemporary artists portray women.
What will this action achieve?
Increased understanding of history of gender roles by participating school groups
Action 2.6 - Men’s Health Week and International Women’s Week activities
What will this action achieve? Increased awareness of gender issues among visitors
We welcome comments on our Equality Action Plans. If you would like to make a comment about this Plan, or if you would like more information about the Plan, please contact:
Head of Operations
Manchester City Galleries
Manchester Art Gallery
Tel: 0161 235 8860