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Bicentenary Celebrations

1816 - 2016 - Built for Learning and Leisure

Officially opened by Robert Owen on 1st January 1816, the Institute for the Formation of Character building at New Lanark is celebrating its Bicentenary this year. Built for Learning and Leisure, many of the Millworkers who lived at New Lanark & within the surrounding area enjoyed leisure activities within this building such as dancing, games and musical concerts.

When the building was officially opened, Robert Owen made a lengthy speech to the assembled villagers and assorted local dignitaries. In what was subsequently known and published as the Address to the Inhabitants of New Lanark, Owen described the new opportunities that were to be offered to his community, and the very significant resources that were to be committed to it. It was a long and wide-ranging peroration covering education, religion, justice, health, industry and society. Mercifully for the twelve-hundred strong audience, the proceedings were punctuated by a musical interlude, a chorus of music emanating from the adjoining apartment, where musicians and singers were stationed in readiness. 

Today the Institute for the Formation of Character houses the reception of the New Lanark Visitor Centre and the River Room which is used for temporary exhibitions & functions. Upstairs features the stunning Musicians' Room which is used frequently for wedding receptions by the New Lanark Mill Hotel, and the impressive Gallery Room which has been used for large-scale exhibitions such as the Great Tapestry of Scotland. 

We're celebrating the Institute's '200th birthday' throughout 2016 with a range of linked events and exhibitions. Take a look below! 

16 January: Music in Lanark - Tyde.
Scottish folk band with a contemporary edge playing within the Institute.

6 - 9 February: Guided tours of the village.
Discover the history of the village with tours starting at the Institute. 

8 - 9 February: Bicentenary Craft Workshops.
Kids have the chance to make their own mini model of New Lanark!

11 February: Music in Lanark - Yehudi Menuhin School.
An opportunity to marvel at tomorrow’s great musicians, the Class of 2016, from Nicola Benedetti’s alma mater.

18 February - 31 March: Keeping Glasgow in Stitches
Free exhibition within the Institute's Gallery Room. 

5 March: Music in Lanark - Cuillin Sound.
Three of Britain’s leading wind players – Dana Morgan (flute), Sarah Watts (clarinet) and Laurence Perkins (bassoon) – make up one of the UK’s most celebrated chamber ensembles.

18 March: Ferio Saxophone Quartet (Music in Lanark)
A Tunnell Trust Award brings this exciting young chamber ensemble on tour to Scotland.

23 April: Scottish Family History Fair.
The Lanarkshire Family History Society host on the theme of 'Heritage along the Clyde'.

2 June - 12 August (closed 1 August): Building Scotland.
Free travelling exhibition showing the diverse materials used to build Scotland's traditional villages & cities. 

13 May: Robert Owen Commemoration Lecture & Bicentenary Celebration.
A celebration of this iconic building & Robert Owen.

14-15 May: Bicentenary Activities
Celebrating the Bicentenary of the Institute with guided tours and drop-in, self-led crafts in the Institute for the Formation of Character.

2 June - 31 July: Scotstyle.
Free exhibition within the River Room showcasing Scotland's 100 'best buildings' from the last 100 years. 

17 July: Back in Time Experience.
Step back in time with a day of 1820's family fun. Further details available soon!

10 - 11 September: Doors Open Weekend.
A behind-the-scenes look at the production taking place at New Lanark. Further details available soon!

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