Arts in Preston

harris museum

The Harris Museum is the cultural centre of the city and has been since Victorian times

Preston has a strong arts community who flock to gallery openings, exhibitions, theatre and more throughout the city. Here are some of the best places to find out about all things arts-based.

Since 1893 the Harris Museum and Art Gallery has been a host to unique, interesting exhibitions, including fine art, photography, history, and costumes and textiles. Free to visitors, this is now recognised as one of the leading museums in the region.

Current exhibitions include Behind the Scenes: The Secret Life of Clothes which explores how the Harris’ costume and textile collection is cared for and celebrates everyone who help out.

There is also an exhibition from Faye Spencer, who was one of the most promising graduates from UCLan’s Fine Arts programme in 2013 and a new history gallery called Discover Preston, which enables you to see just what makes Preston special. You can find out more information at the Harris Museum website.

The Preston Arts Association contains local groups, organizations and individuals who have an interest in voluntary arts. Anyone can become a member for five pounds a year.

The company compile, print and distribute a newsletter three times a year and also host the Annual Preston Arts Festival. Members can take part in everything from dance, music, theatre and more, and the association has a very close conjunction with the Harris Museum. Find out more information at the Preston Arts website.

Preston Guild Hall and Charter Theatre are two venues, which host around 300 events per year, with over 100,000 visitors.

The Grand Hall Arena was originally constructed as a concert venue seating up to 2000 people, but is now host to a range of activities including sports events, dance events and more. Upstairs is the Charter Theatre, which is a smaller, more traditional theatre, seating around 780 guests. The bar is a very quiet area where you can enjoy a drink before and, or after a performance.

It has gained a reputation for hosting quality professional and amateur theatrical productions. Every Christmas, they host an annual pantomime, which has been a tradition for many years. Find out more information about what’s on at the Guild Hall website.

Words by Holly Sutton. Image credit to Tony Worrall.

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