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  • Writer's pictureSTEVE COOKE AATA


With the creative community seriously affected by the Covid-19 crisis, MIF has been looking at different ways it can offer support to artists and other people from the sector who are based in Greater Manchester.

Following a recent call out, 35 artists and creative practitioners out of around 150 have been selected to develop a variety of projects during the lockdown. These will be produced and presented online over the next few weeks and range from performance, music, dance, exhibitions, and workshops to residencies.

Several artists are presenting work as part of Festival in My House….and Yours, reimagining MIF’s popular commissioning programme, which has previously seen people presenting events to audiences invited into their own homes. These are being streamed as part of the MIF Live series of online events and talks, which have been curated for people to watch at home during the lockdown.

Festival in My House….and Yours has already featured Manchester-based playwright, poet and performance artist Chanje Kunda, DJ Collective RebeccaNeverBecky and poet Roma Havers.

Next week, multi-disciplinary artist Chunky is presenting Pre 'n' Tea, when he will be bringing together music and food with the help of his talented housemates, fashion designer and performance artist Meme Gold and bass music producer Biome (from MC collective Levelz), plus the creative chef Sunny Wray, who is getting involved from Barcelona. Viewers will be invited to join in, as Chunky and Sunny cook up a storm in their respective kitchens, accompanied by musical bangers from Meme Gold and Biome. Pre 'n' Tea is being streamed on MIF’s YouTube channel at 7:30pm on Wednesday 6 May.

Some artists are undertaking Remote Residencies, which sees them exploring ideas within their own homes, whilst others are making work more specifically designed to reach out to the wider public. These are due to be presented on artists’ own social media channels over the coming weeks.

Other artists being supported to create work include drag superstar Cheddar Gorgeous, performance artist David Hoyle, performance poet Ella Otomewo and actor Adam Ali.

John McGrath, Artistic Director & Chief Executive, Manchester International Festival says: “In these really worrying time for artists and freelancers, MIF has been very focused on supporting the creative community in Greater Manchester, providing advice, opportunities to share work, and now this thrilling range of local commissions. We’re looking forward to seeing the work the selected artists produce and we hope the results will provide inspiration and joy to a wide range of people.”

More details about the MIF Live programme, including Festival in my House House…and Yours (Wednesdays), the MIF Encounters conversation series (Thursdays) and MIF Rewind (Fridays), and the rest of the current MIF creatives programme can be found at

MIF’s online drop-in sessions for artists and freelancers also continue every Tuesday and Friday at 2pm, offering a space to get information, support and advice. Hosted by MIF’s Artistic Director John McGrath and MIF’s Creative Director Mark Ball, more information about the drop-ins can be found on the website, along with a list of resources.

ARTISTS – more details, including social media details will appear on MIF’s website. All information subject to change.


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