There when we need it

From Manchester to Orlando: my blog post for Arts Council England about why communities turn to art and culture when they are most in need…

When I first moved to Manchester to study theatre, I was 18, and I wanted to be an actor. I enjoyed my degree course, and I’m enormously grateful that I had the opportunity to do it, but I am even more indebted to the teacher who taught me most of all: this city.

Manchester, for anyone who doesn’t already know, is overflowing with creativity. I threw myself into the wonderful work made by our producing theatres like the Royal Exchange and Contact Theatre, the world class shows brought here by Manchester International Festival, and the city’s thriving live literature scene, which orbits around Manchester Literature Festival. I came out of these experiences feeling like I was a part of something bigger than myself. Art and culture made me feel at home here.

For those of us who stood in the spectacular Manchester rain last week at that vigil for Orlando, we needed to sing. The experience of singing together helped to unite us, to comfort us, and to remind us of our strength.

Read the rest of this post on the Arts Council website

Blackheath Halls youth choir

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