Vanessa Jackson became an MIF Pioneer for MIF15. The co-founder and co-owner with her husband Richard of Adam Recruitment, Vanessa explains to us why she’s passionate about supporting the Festival.

When we managed to get tickets for MACBETH at MIF13, we were pretty excited. I’d first really connected with the Festival when Elbow played with the Hallé in 2009, but missed out on this real Manchester moment. So we were intrigued to see Sir Kenneth Branagh do Shakespeare in a church. And it was thrilling. More than thrilling, actually – it was extraordinary and completely unique.

That sense of uniqueness is what I really like about MIF. It’s important, I think, that the programme consists of newly commissioned work, not any old stuff that happens to be touring and is parachuted into Manchester. And because it’s all new work, there’s a vibrancy that the Festival brings to the city for a few weeks every other summer, and that really enthuses me. Even if you’re not actually going to anything, the buzz and excitement around the city is tangible.

When you have a successful business in Manchester, it feels like you should try and support that feeling. Adam Recruitment has doubled in size since we moved to Manchester, which is a big reason why we’ve got involved as MIF Pioneers. If we can help MIF get one more big artist, or reach one more person who doesn’t know what a great couple of weeks it is for the city, then that’s good for Manchester.

As for what we get as Pioneers, I know we’ll get invited to launches and exclusive events. But for me, it’s not about hobnobbing – it’s about being a part of a festival I love. You get that feeling from everybody else who’s chosen to support MIF: from big corporate sponsors down to small cool agencies, they all have the same passion about making the Festival a success. There’s a real buzz.

It feels good to be involved. Backing a festival in this way is not something that would usually have occurred to me, but I felt completely inspired by what MIF tries to do. I’m proud of being from Manchester and I’m proud to work in Manchester, so I feel very strongly about being able to support a Festival that genuinely makes the city better.

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