Three Of Preston's Top Organisations....

Three Of Preston's Top Organisations....

Jan, 17 2020

~For the past seven years a print publication has been celebrating the fantastic work people in the North of England are contributing to and how the work can go forward.

The name of the group is inspired by Hannah Mitchell (1872–1956), a suffragette and rebel who tried to create ‘beauty in civic life’ in her work on public libraries, parks and gardens.

The Hannah Directory gathers the years best activity in the following five areas:-

  1. Arts
  2. Music
  3. Business
  4. New kinds of social organisation
  5. Scientific discovery

Now in 2020, Preston based places have been recognised. The Harris Museum, Art Gallery & Library, artist-led studio, The Birley, and public art project In Certain Places have been selected as three of the top fifty most socially valuable organisations in the north of England.

The Hannah Directory looks for outstanding contributions in any activity that is for the common good of places in England’s north.

The Harris, The Birley and In Certain Places have been selected for this year’s top 50 based on their continuing determination to create high quality work which stands up against the best that can be found in the UK’s largest cities.

Tim Joel, Deputy Head of Culture at Preston City Council expressed these words of joy in response to the excellent news,

“We’re delighted to see such a strong showing from Preston in the Hannah Directory again this year. Preston has a rich cultural mix combining contemporary artist-led studios such as The Birley, with the UCLan-led In Certain Places work as well as our own Harris Museum, Art Gallery & Library, managed in partnership with Lancashire County Council”.

Last year, In Certain Places led the Beautiful and Brutal: 50 Years of Preston Bus Station anniversary project which included two public artworks, PEOPLE by LOWPROFILE and Conductor by Keith Harris, a three month exhibition co-curated with the Harris and a national conference. Two new publications on art and place, Practising Place and Searching the Shadows, have also been launched.

Going forwards The Harris has plans to complete a £10 million pound project called ‘Harris Your Place’ to revitalise its Grade I listed building and turn it into a community and cultural hub for Lancashire.

The Birley was recently awarded an Arts Council Funding to develop the building and in  Spring 2020 it will introduce a series of workshops and activities, leading to a ‘relaunch’ celebration in early Summer.

Andrew Wilson, coordinator of the Hannah Directory gave the city a positive accolade in this statement,

“Preston has been punching above its weight as a cultural destination for many years, and the strength of The Birley, the Harris and In Certain Places as innovative organisations which support the artist community are critical to this success.”

With Tim Joel, Deputy Head of Culture at Preston City Council making an affirmative sentence in clarifying the artistic influence of the organisations,

“All deliver high quality cultural experiences alongside the many other community-led and start-up cultural businesses in this growing city.”

The three Preston organisations unite artists, musicians, community groups, digital technology companies, and policy think tanks in the 2020 edition.

^Alex Ashworth