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- Museum secures Arts Council funding to mark Branwell's bicentenary

Simon Armitage will curate programme of events.
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The Brontë200 bicentenary celebrations are set to continue apace thanks to a generous grant by Arts Council England.

The Contemporary Arts Programme at Brontë Parsonage Museum has been awarded £97,702 through the Grants for the Arts fund. The money will support a range of activities marking the bicentenaries of Branwell Brontë in 2017 and Emily Brontë during 2018.

Poet Simon Armitage is joining the Museum as Creative Partner for 2017 and is curating a programme of exhibitions and events to mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of Branwell Brontë, brother of Charlotte, Emily and Anne. 

Simon explained: “Most people know Branwell either as the ne're-do-well brother of the Brontë family or as the shadowy absence in his famous portrait of his three sisters.  We'll never really know Branwell properly, but in putting together events for his bicentenary I feel as if I've been privy to some of his hopes and dreams. Branwell's early promise and swaggering enthusiasm was ultimately overshadowed by the talents of his siblings, but even before then he appears to have lost his boyish optimism and fighting spirit, and I've found it impossible not be saddened by his disillusionment and decline.”

Jenna Holmes, Arts Officer at the Parsonage, added: “We’re really excited to be working with Simon during 2017.  Branwell remains an enigma for many and we’re planning a series of events which will dig beneath the preconceptions and challenge what we think we know about the only son in the family.   We’re hugely grateful to Arts Council England for their support and are looking forward to revealing our programme in the new year.”

The full programme of events will be announced in January.  Visit for details.  The Parsonage will feature in To Walk Invisible on BBC1 at 9pm on Thursday 29 December. 

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