Culturebaby: taking art to the under-twos

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Culturebaby is a new programme rolling out in Manchester which aims to help practitioners and families find new ways to engage very young children with art and culture.


The Whitworth Art gallery, Manchester Museum and Manchester Galleries are working collaboratively to highlight innovative, cultural practice with the under-twos and share creative ideas for working in early intervention - particularly in relation to language and social development.

Supported by the Manchester Cultural Strategy Team, the programme will involve early years practitioners, those working in early intervention, families, charities and partner organisations.

Planning is currently underway for a seminar which will be held at the Whitworth Art Gallery on 23 November. Elaine Bates, early years and family learning co-ordinator at Manchester City galleries (Renaissance), says, 'Over the last five years museums and galleries in Manchester have been developing new models of engagement in partnership with early years and other professionals working with children under the age of five and their families.

'Our focus this year is to develop engagement opportunities and practice with very young children under two and their parents to explore how culture might contribute to early intervention programmes, especially in relation to language and social development.

'The Culturebaby seminar will be part of this work and will aim to bring together current policy, research and innovative practice from across the cultural sector. We are very keen to hear from Nursery World readers about any inspirational cultural experiences they have engaged in with  under-twos.'

Culturebaby builds on the strong track record Manchester has developed for its work with under-fives in some most ethnically diverse and socially deprived wards and neighbourhoods of the city.

'The context within Manchester is changing rapidly,' says Ms Bates. 'Manchester is highlighted within the Graham Allen report for its pioneering approach to early intervention. There has never been a more appropriate time for our seminar.'

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