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We want to talk to people who are interested in helping us transform the future of Contact.

Manifesto: a public statement of beliefs, aims and policies

If you want to make change, it helps to have a plan.

Where do we want to be and how do we get there?

Political parties and social movements create manifestos to explain their vision of what the world should look like – and how to make it happen.

How can we make the world more caring? How can we look after each other and the planet, in the face of public service cuts and climate crisis? It’s a huge task that can often feel daunting. At Contact, we’ve decided to take our own organisation as a starting point. What can we do to become a more caring arts institution? How do we relate to the people and communities we serve?

Burnout is a huge issue in the arts workforce

On a daily basis, we collaborate with freelance artists and creatives who are fighting to make ends meet in an underfunded and precarious industry. Our own staff are always trying to do more with less, and burnout is a huge issue in the arts workforce. Many young people don’t feel welcome in arts and cultural spaces in Greater Manchester, and shows and exhibitions can often seem a world away from the challenges audiences are dealing with day-to-day. By thinking about how we care for each other and for ourselves, we can start to find new ways to change things for the better.

What does a caring arts institution look like?

We want to talk to people who are interested in helping us transform the future of Contact. Over the next few months, we’ll be meeting with our staff, artists, young people, audiences and freelancers to ask questions about care. What makes you feel safe, supported and respected? What does a caring arts institution look like? How do you cope with your work life? How can we make sure that people who come to Contact have the best experience possible?

We’ll use these conversations to create our own Manifesto of Care – a public statement of the beliefs and rules that should shape a caring arts institution. The Manifesto will inform Contact’s vision and working practice. We’ll develop a set of principles and rules for our caring institution.

Be a part of the discussion – POSTPONED

We will be delivering a variety of workshops ad would like to include you in the discussion. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic we have had to postpone the confirmed dates and will release new dates as soon as the lockdown is lifted. In the mean time please stay safe.

We’re interested in hearing from each of these groups, but if you fit into more than one group you’re very welcome to attend as many of the sessions as you like:

Workshop 1 – Young people – COMPLETED

Thank you to everyone who attended this workshop on Thursday 12 March. Facilitated by poet, producer and creative practitioner, Nasima Begum, it was a pleasure to meet you all and enjoyed discussing all your ideas of a caring theatre. We will be in touch soon.

Workshop 2 – Audience and Community – POSTPONED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.

This workshop is facilitated by Sheni Ravji-Smith. Sheni is currently working as Leadership & OD Lead at Greater Manchester Health & Social Care Partnership. She was previously a trustee at Contact, has worked in events and production and ran her own festival in Manchester.

Due to COVID-19 this workshop has been postponed until further notice.

Workshop 3 – Artists – COMPLETED.

This workshop is facilitated by Demi Nandhra. Demi is a neurodiverse artist based in Birmingham. She was the 2017 Flying Solo Commission Winner presented by Contact. Her challenging questions and comments about care inspired us to create our Manifesto.

Please note: A workshop with core staff and freelance creatives will be taking place, facilitated by Pelin Basaran and Chloe Courtney. However, due to COVID-19 this workshop will also be been postponed until further notice.

Update Jan 2021

We are pleased to announce we have recruited, Pelumi Fatayo who will be joining the Creation of Manifesto Team, as well as Audrey Albert who will be creating a piece of artwork based on the manifesto. Click here to read full announcement.

Contact Theatre exterior view - artistic impression