Manifest Arts Festival will return to the North West this summer for the third time from the 12th-21st July. Showcasing the talent of artists based in the region, the biennial festival has doubled in size, featuring over 50 events, exhibitions, workshops and talks across venues in Manchester, Salford, Bolton and Wigan.

With 25 premieres of new work and exhibitions, 15 open studios, 3 workshops, 4 artist/curator talks, 4 performances, several specially extended exhibitions, and over 350 artists – this year is set to be even bigger and better than the previous two. What’s more, everything remains free to attend.

Festivalgoers will be treated to an eclectic programme of events at unique and unusual artist spaces such as Rogue Artists’ Studios, which is housed in an old primary school, and AWOL Studios, which is based in a former Mancunian mill. Events are also taking place at some of the most prestigious institutions in the region, including Manchester Art Gallery, to host the return of popular quick-fire artist talks ‘Manifest Calling’, and Manchester Craft and Design Centre, where Redeye’s professional speed networking for photographers will be held. 

Other highlights include Richard Shields’ tragicomic Opera and exhibition at Chetham’s Library, and Rowland Hill’s premiere live performance, incorporating British Sign Language and spoken word, at The Portico Library – both of which are Manifest Arts Granada Foundation Micro Commissions, new to this year’s programme.

The festival was set up and is run by local visual artists, Elisa Artesero, Roger Bygott and John Lynch.

“The vibrant culture of different artistic practices in the North West region contains spaces that most people don’t get to see ordinarily, and some don’t know exist at all. It’s a melting pot of different types of people with a whole range of interests and approaches to their artwork. This is our third festival and we just keep growing with more artists wanting to be involved and show their work to the public, and more visitors wanting to come and experience the festival.” said John.

“Whether you’re a seasoned arts professional, or you’ve never been to something like this before and are curious to know what lives are being lived in big and small artist studios across the region – everyone is invited to attend. Grassroots art is going on right under your nose, and Manifest Arts Festival is an opportunity that opens the doors to this culture. The best part is that it’s free to go and see. We hope you’ll like it – maybe you’ll even want to join it!” Elisa explained. 

Roger added: “For me, the inspiration and spirit of Manifest is about community association, trusting grassroot links and mutual encouragement. As artists, practicing within this broad vibrant community, we aim to help strengthen those connections and to share more widely and publicly the artistic fruits emerging from it.”

For more information about Manifest Arts Festival, please visit 


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