Manchester Independents celebrates creatives


Independent arts have come into their own in the past 18 months as small-scale theatre and music projects and have taken the place of conventional theatre seasons, gallery exhibitions and concerts at established entertainment venues.

GM-ArtistHub, Manchester Cultural Education Partnership and most visibly #HereForCultureMCR have all filled the arts bill, and now another has been added to the mix: Manchester Independents.

Throughout the pandemic, Greater Manchester’s artists, creatives and cultural organisations, working with Marketing Manchester, have created new work, both live and online. As the world begins to reopen, Manchester Independents aims to support, celebrate and cast a spotlight on that work in a five-month roster of projects, events, performances and exhibitions as a snapshot of the creativity of the region’s independent artists.

The newest addition celebrates and spotlights new work made in Greater Manchester since March 2020, and aims to show the enormous diversity of arts and artists living and working in the area.

Supported by money and resources from cultural organisations, the project is both a call for projects needing financial support and a plea for artists working independently to join the initiative – all of which can be examined on a website highlighting the range of independent work in the area currently up to October.

An open call in April resulted in 207 proposals across the spectrum of music, dance, theatre and the other arts, pared to a list of 23 independent artist projects to support.

The resulting programme brings together a vast range of work across the city region – City Centre choral works, Hip Hop in Heaton Park, museum takeovers and library phone-ins – as well as gallery and theatre projects, all of which can be followed on the website.

The city council’s honorary director of culture, Dave Moutrey, said of Manchester Independents: "The range and quality of independent arts across Greater Manchester creates a unique creative ecology that is important both locally and nationally. It’s a joy to see many of the individuals and organisations that make up this ecology working together."

The second phase of the project has now begun and includes a call to join the online showcase. Independent artists or companies working on new projects due to be shown in public before the end of October can join the organisation, whether their work is to be presented at a venue across Greater Manchester, in print or online.

All work is listed with its own profile page on the Manchester Independents website.

Click here to find out more.