The Festival has confirmed the appointment of three new Board members: the writer Jeanette Winterson, journalist Ngozi (Goz) Ugochukwu, and Chief Executive, Food, The Co-op, Jo Whitfield.

Jeanette, Ngozi and Jo bring substantial insight and experience to MIF’s Board, which is chaired by Urban Splash founder Tom Bloxham MBE and is seeking to ensure that the Company is equipped to build on the success it has had since being launched in 2007.

Their appointment comes at a significant time for MIF, which is planning next year’s Festival and looking ahead to the opening of the major arts space The Factory – currently being built in Manchester and its future home – plus its continuing programme of pre-Factory events.

MIF, like the rest of the cultural sector, is also having to evaluate the impact of the Covid-19 crisis and has already brought in a number of initiatives that respond to the situation – these include the MIF LIVE programme of online events and a number of initiatives to support local artists during lockdown.

Tom Bloxham MBE, Manchester International Festival Chair, commented: “We are really delighted to welcome Jeanette, Goz and Jo onto the MIF Board. They have fantastic enthusiasm and energy, plus a breadth of experience and knowledge that is going to be invaluable as we take forward our plans for the next few years.

“As well as planning next year’s Festival, we are developing our plans for The Factory, which marks a real step change, not just for the organisation, but for Manchester and the whole of the country. We’re building a strong and talented team to ensure we have the resilience and a robust strategy in place so that we can continue to produce thrilling art and reach even more people. This will be even more crucial as we all come to terms with Covid-19 and its full impact becomes clearer.”

MIF made a number of other significant staff appointments earlier this year, to strengthen the team as it prepares for The Factory. They are Executive Director Randel Bryan, whose background includes Endemol Shine and Discovery Education; Director of Music Jane Beese, who has joined from the Roundhouse; and Helen Faulkner, Director of Audiences, who comes from the Southbank Centre.


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