Saturday 24 September
Not so Grim Up North
As some of us know, the days of soot-stained chimneys and the factory floor have long disappeared from the North of England. Today the flat caps and whippets belong to the hipsters and the new Factory is a £78 million arts space funded by the Chancellor’s Northern Powerhouse budget.
What does this mean for arts and culture in the UK’s second city? The grand philanthropy of the Victorian era – that created the Manchester Art Gallery, the Whitworth and the Hallé Orchestra – is not yet evident at scale but patronage is resurgent, especially from people who believe great art is needed across the UK. Something even more subtle is happening. Say it quietly, but sometimes art and culture can be bolder, more risk-taking in the North – and audiences are younger, more diverse, more adventurous.
Maria Balshaw, director of the Whitworth, University of Manchester and Manchester City Galleries, shares stories about culture, adventure and the power of art in the 21st Century North; a blueprint for a cultural powerhouse.