If there were to be a word cloud of news tweets, the phrase ‘spending cuts’ would surely be prominent. Education, the arts, in fact every not-for-profit sector is affected. Yet despite this, Manchester’s Blank Media Collective having been pushed to the edge, have returned triumphant.
A not-for-profit, artist-led initiative based at their gallery and creative hub BLANKSPACE, since 2006 Blank Media Collective have provided a platform for emerging creatives to share, sell and develop their work through exhibitions, live events, publications and collaborations. Run by a body of volunteers, Blank MEdia Collective raise money and funding to finance such projects. Despite this, at the end of 2012, they almost faced closure.
Fortunately a recent ruling by Manchester City Council’s Treasurer has granted Blank Media Collective 100% relief from Business Rates, in recognition of the value the organisation brings to the local community of Greater Manchester. John Leyland, Blank Media Collective’s Director said “Now that the Business Rates issue has been settled, we can get back to what we do best, creating opportunities for artists to develop and show work.’
“Now that the Business Rates issue has been settled, we can get back to what we do best, creating opportunities for artists to develop and show work.’
No sooner had they received the good news, than their recent bid to Arts Council England for a Grants for the Arts Award was announced as successful. This meant they could realistically plan for the year ahead with confidence.
The funding will enable a series of Artist’ Masterclasses to be held throughout March and April. This will bring four nationally recognised established artists (in illustration, fine art, theatre and literature) to BLANKSPACE, Hulme Street, to deliver an evening’s entertainment open to all. The following day, a select group of emerging practitioners will get to work with the professionals on their practice either individually or in a group environment.
In recognition of their achievements, Blank Media Collective do not only have the support of the City Council and the Arts Council, but of artists and organisations from across the city.
To further support the Masterclasses and their 2013 programme, Blank Media Collective is hosting a fund-raising event on the 9th February at BLANKSPACE. Doing what the council recognised them for doing best, the collective will present so much art, music and crafts that it will spill outside of the building. Live outdoor graffiti will be provided by Manchester’s very own Dirty Work. There will also be the opportunity for people to see exactly how street artist AKSE actually works. Famous for his iconic Anthony Hopkins wall art in the Northern Quarter, AKSE will be there, spray can in hand.
Bringing together more of Manchester’s creative innovators, there will also be a clothes swap and upcycle session by eco-couturists Stitched-Up. And as the sun fades the focus will become musical with local electronic wizard (murmur) choosing the event to launch his brand new EP and DJ Jazzbo of Creamfield fame getting to the decks.
With raffle prizes kindly donated from the likes of Future Everything, Threshold Festival, Cornerhouse and Royal Exchange Theatre, as well as by bands, writers and music venues from across the region, the day is certain to be a real success.
In the current arts-affecting climate, is it positive to see creativity thriving in the city.
The Winter Warmer is to be held at BLANKSPACE, Hulme St, Manchester on saturday 9th February from 2pm onwards. Tickets for the raffle can be bought there on the day.
FutureEverything Conference ticket
4x tickets to Screaming Maldini at Sound Control (14th Feb)
RT this flyer and include (@BlankMedia) in the tweet for a chance to win a cinema package for two at Cornerhouse.