We’re back in the G-M-C-A (Culture Fund)

It’s fun to stay in the G-M-C-A!

We are thrilled to announce that we will be part of the Greater Manchester Culture Fund portfolio for 2020-2022. We joined the portfolio for the first time in 2018 and it has been instrumental in helping us to expand our reach and raise our ambitions in delivering high quality, meaningful arts and well-being initiatives that provide lasting impact in our local communities.

We are among 35 organisations who will receive grants from the Greater Manchester Culture Fund, set up by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) to support cultural organisations that provide excellent cultural experiences and opportunities throughout Greater Manchester.

Theatres, museums, festivals and cultural centres from across all 10 boroughs of Greater Manchester are to be given a boost thanks to an £8.6 million investment in arts and creativity throughout the city-region. This 23% increase in cultural investment allows GMCA to support organisations in all ten Greater Manchester boroughs, recognising the important role culture plays in the vibrancy and liveability of our towns and cities.

We’re delighted that there is an increase in support on our home turf of Salford, as well as in Wigan and Tameside, where we work regularly.

Art with Heart’s 2020-2022 Culture Programme

Between 2020-2022 we will deliver an exciting programme of performances, workshops and people-led creative projects across Greater Manchester.

The GMCA Culture Fund will support the development and touring of our new play Stan, named after the T-Rex at Manchester Museum. Stan is a play for children which explores communication, friendship, identity, the family unit… and dinosaurs. A bilingual production performed in English and British Sign Language (BSL), Stan positively demonstrates how we can overcome language barriers and challenges preconceptions of deafness.

The fund will allow us to continue to support LGBTQ+ communities across Greater Manchester through the delivery of our LGBTQ+ history focussed Equalities Workshops in schools and a programme of support for LGBTQ+ artists in partnership with Pride In Trafford and Waterside Arts.

The fund will enable us to continue our work with older communities through Old Stock, New Stock, a photographic exhibition combating the stereotypical imagery of older people in stock photography. In collaboration with Salford based photographer Joe Smith, we will twin residents in Salford, and Stratford in London, creating a space to share the voices and talents of older people both nationally and in their local communities.

Our programme of work will also include: The Coiled Spring Club, which will give young people with ADHD creative tools for managing their neurodiversity; bespoke training workshops, advice surgeries and mentoring for GM based creatives; and a podcast project which aims to amplify the voices of local audiences and participants in conversations around culture.

The other cultural organisations set to receive a share of the funding are:

GM Arts, MancSpirit, Brighter Sound, Manchester Camerata, The Turnpike, Sheba Arts, The Met, Wigan Steam, Company Chameleon Dance Theatre, Manchester Histories, Manchester International Festival, Gaydio, Old Courts, Manchester Pride, Comma Press, Manchester Jazz Festival, Z Arts, Manchester Literature Festival, HOME, Octagon Theatre, Royal Exchange Theatre, Walk The Plank, Oldham Coliseum, Global Grooves, Peoples History Museum, English Folk Expo, Music Action International, Centre For Chinese Contemporary Art, Manchester Jewish Museum, Cartwheel Arts, Contact Theatre, Quays Culture, Arts For Recovery in the Community, and The Halle Orchestra.

A woman chats with an Art with Heart team member in the market in Bury

Cllr David Greenhalgh, GMCA Portfolio Lead for Culture, said: “The groups and organisations recognised here represent some of the very best Greater Manchester has to offer. They are a celebration of the diversity and dynamism of our cultural scene, which continues to produce outstanding talent and provide entertainment and education to our residents and visitors from around the world.”

“Greater Manchester is a place like no other when it comes to culture, creativity and opportunity. Through the Culture Fund, we are reaffirming our commitment to the groups and institutions that are the lifeblood of our communities, and which contribute more than £1.4 billion to our economy every year.”

The increased funding and provision in the Greater Manchester Culture Fund aligns with the Culture Strategy, with the objective that by 2024, Greater Manchester’s cultural offer will reflect the diversity of our people, who feel empowered to share their stories with the world, improving their wellbeing and increasing the prosperity of our businesses and the attractiveness of our places.

This year there were 103 applications to the Culture Fund. The successful organisations will work with and in communities across Greater Manchester, delivering on the four main objectives of the Culture Fund:

  • Contribute to the recognition of Greater Manchester locally, nationally and internationally to attract new investment, new visitors and new talent to Greater Manchester;
  • Make a positive contribution to improving skills and employability of residents in Greater Manchester, including support for the creative education, expression and ambition of young people across Greater Manchester;
  • Play a strong role in developing strong and inclusive communities and an improved quality of life for residents, particularly those residents at risk of disengagement or social isolation;
  • Be able to evidence how the project will make a positive contribution to improving residents’ health and well-being.

This current phase of the grant programme will operate over a period of two years, from April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2022.

Sarah shows a woman in Rochdale to a portrait of herself.