Creative Critics at MIF19

Look out this summer for fresh reviews and opinions from young people on five key MIF19 events. These reviews will be the result of our first Creative Critics programme, an art intervention celebrating young people’s voices and encouraging them to engage with new art more closely than they may ever have done before.

Students at Manchester Communication Academy in Harpurhey and Newall Green High School in Wythenshawe are developing their skills in art criticism through a series of pre-Festival workshops, each hosted in their school by local artist facilitators.

Then during the Festival, the young critics will visit Atmospheric Memory, BELLS FOR PEACE, David Lynch at HOME, Invisible Cities and Tree, produce reviews and publish them online via our MIF Live platform – with Voice Magazine, North Manchester FM and Wythenshawe FM as key supporters.

Workshops have already started – and we caught up with our artist facilitators to see how things have been going so far:

Sarah Cotterill 

I’m thrilled to be a part of such an internationally renowned Festival, especially with a project that’s so vital to young people’s appreciation of the arts in 2019. Inspired by MIF’s emphasis on the people that make up this diverse city, Ryan Gilmartin and I are exploring a variety of subjects with pupils at Newall Green High School, celebrating the individuals in our workshops through a range of personal responses. And as a restaurant critic, I can’t wait to check out the street food in Festival Square in July.

Ryan Gilmartin 

I’m an actor, theatre-maker and VJ who didn’t see himself as an artist until I took part in a workshop with Scottee a year ago – but I’m now really looking forward to having two-way conversations with young people about art and the role it plays in our lives. I’ve already been blown away by the openness of the young people at Newall Green High School, and I’m very much looking forward to working with them and seeing them become Creative Critics at MIF19.

Lisa Thornton 

I’m a theatre-maker and facilitator whose practice predominately focuses on working with young people and on issues that are pertinent to health and well-being. I can’t wait to see exciting the new work that’s being presented at MIF19, while also challenging and empowering young people to critique it. The enthusiasm and energy of year-8 pupils at Manchester Communication Academy is already filling me with confidence that they’re going to produce some really thought-provoking reviews.

James Varney 

I’m a writer and theatre-maker who moved to Manchester in 2015 when I attended my first MIF events. I’ve worked with a lot of groups of young people in Greater Manchester – and having met the group from Manchester Communication Academy, I can say they’re as vibrant and switched-on as I have come to expect from the youth of this city. I’m fascinated to learn from them how they see their relationship with the city of Manchester and what the Festival means to them.

Creative Critics is an All Ways Making project presented in partnership with MIF19 and supported by Arts Council England.

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