Meet Our New Artistic and Curatorial Advisors

We are delighted to announce three new additions to our team. Simeilia Hodge-Dallaway, founder of Artistic Directors of the Future, has been appointed as Curatorial Consultant, while Hannah Azieb Pool and musician and broadcaster Cerys Matthews have taken roles as Artistic Advisors. 

All leaders in their respective fieldsSimeilia, Hannah and Cerys bring substantial insight and experience at a crucial time for the organisation, as we strengthens our team in readiness for The Factory, the new world-class arts venue being built in Manchester, which will be our permanent home.  

Simeilia Hodge-Dallaway has international experience of building diversity in organisations, especially in theatre and the arts, through her founded organisations: Beyond The Canon Limited and UK-based charity Artistic Directors of the Future, as well as co-founded organisation Black Lives Black Words International Project. Simeilia will advise MIF on artists, companies and curatorial approaches, as it continues to develop programming for the Festival and The Factory that is relevant, diverse and representative 

Hannah Azieb Pool and Cerys Matthews also bring important expertise and insights. As well as an acclaimed writer, Hannah’s background includes being a Senior Programmer for Contemporary Culture at the Southbank Centre (including curating the annual Africa Utopia festival and for the WOW Women of the World festivalCerys Matthews has built a reputation as an international musician, award-winning broadcaster and writer, hosting and programming weekly shows on BBC Radio 2 and BBC 6 Music 

John McGrath, Artistic Director and Chief Executive for MIF and The Factory saysSimeilia, Hannah and Cerys bring a fantastic range of insight and experience to the organisation at a crucial time – as we plan for next year’s Festival and for The Factory, the international cultural space which will be our permanent home. They will also bring key perspectives as we continue to navigate the ongoing impact of COVID-19 in our changing world.” 

Simeilia Hodge-Dallaway says: “I am thrilled to be appointed into a position where I can utilise all of my artistic experience, creative networks and organisational development expertise to support the ambitions of The Factory. I have always admired MIF for creating a platform for intersectionality across multiple artistic disciplines where creativity, imagination and risk-taking can thrive. I look forward to working with the team to create big, bold and exciting international collaborations, for The Factory, as well as playing my part to support their efforts to create an equitable, safe and inclusive infrastructure where relationships can be brokered, developed and nurtured.  I am beyond excited and cannot wait to get started.” 

Hannah Azieb Pool says: “I am delighted to be able to bring my skills and expertise to the team at Manchester International Festival at this crucial time as they journey towards the Factory. I grew up in Manchester and have seen the vital role that culture and diversity has played in its growth and development. I am looking forward to playing my part in what I am sure will be a landmark moment for the city and the region.” 

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