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Theatres across Greater Manchester, in association with Community Arts North West, have produced a incredibly useful new document providing clear and accessible information for developing artists about the opportunities available and the suitability of venues and particular programmes to specific artist needs.

This guide is a starting point for anyone looking to find their way around the wealth of opportunities on offer to theatre makers in Greater Manchester. It includes information from some of the leading theatre organisations in the area – some venues, some not – about the kind of work they support, the programmes they have available and the best person for you to contact if you want to find out more.

The document recognises the wonderfully rich and diverse theatre ecology of Greater Manchester, particularly in the independent sector, but draws attention to the fact that many emerging Manchester artists aren’t necessarily aware of what options are available, or which organisations best suit their needs as an artist.

The guide will be updated regularly and will respond to change, needs and feedback.

Venues involved are: Contact, HOME, The Lowry, Manchester International Festival, Octagon Theatre Bolton, Oldham Coliseum Theatre, Royal Exchange Theatre, Z-Arts.

Contact’s Statement:

“Contact is where young people change their lives through the arts, and audiences of all ages experience exciting and diverse new shows. It is the leading national theatre and arts venue to place young people at the decision-making heart of everything: where young people aged 13-30 work alongside staff in deciding the artistic programme, making all staff appointments and act as full Board members. The result is an outstanding, diverse and accessible artistic programme for everyone.  

Artist Development Mission Based in our unique creative building in Manchester, we provide a range of support programmes for artists of all career stages, and emerging arts leaders. An ecology under one roof, Contact supports artists across live performance forms (theatre, dance, spoken word, music, cabaret, live art and comedy) progressing from youth programmes to professional development for artists from across Greater Manchester and the UK. Support takes the form of supported residencies, early career seed funds, festival commissions and major productions and co-productions for national touring.

Contact’s talent development offer also includes year-long programmes covering programming and producing (ReCON), community arts leaders (Future Fires), technical/design (Technique), and marketing and communications (iCON)….”

Read more in the full document available here:

Open Doors – GM Artist Development Guide

Community Arts North West (CAN) is a Manchester based arts development organisation producing work with the communities that live in Greater Manchester. CAN work in partnership with communities, the third sector, independent and mainstream cultural organisations and other agencies to create access to cultural resources, new production and platforms for sharing and distributing work.