Spark: A Brand New Trans Arts Festival in Manchester

Spark is a brand-new transgender arts festival, curated by pioneering Manchester based trans theatre company Trans Creative.

By Ben Brown | 19 June 2017

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Spark is a brand-new transgender arts festival, curated by pioneering Manchester based trans theatre company Trans Creative – a pioneering new transgender led theatre company which aims to increase the visibility and positive representation of transgender people and stories through excellent art, advocacy and education.

Bringing over 25 multi-disciplinary trans and non-binary artists of local and national acclaim to Manchester, Spark celebrates their stories and achievements and aims to raise visibility and positive representation of the trans community.

Spark was founded with the premise of exploring ‘what lies beneath the tip of the trans iceberg’, pushing for diversity of opinions and perspectives, to highlight the fact that only certain facets of trans stories find public representation and few authentic trans voices are being heard.

Through a series of events taking place in some of Manchester’s most respected cultural institutions, SPARK strives to open up the city and its buildings to trans people, inviting audiences to engage with high quality art, advocating diverse content and intersectional representation in the North.

Taking place from 3rd to 7th July, Spark is comprised of four events, including a live literature event at the Portico Library, a guided trans tour of Manchester Art Gallery in which art is reviewed and discussed from a series of transgender perspectives, a selection of British Film Institute’s LGBT Flare festival’s short films at the Cornerhouse, and a fabulous Trans Vegas club night with pop-up performances at Texture.

Live Literature at The Library: There Is No Word For It
Monday 3rd July, 7pm
Back by popular demand The (Trans) Mangina Monologues comes to Manchester’s Portico Library for a one-off reading. First toured in 2009, this collection of trans masculine stories has played theatres, sex shops, nightclubs, schools and bookshops in London, New York and Ljubiana. Funded by The Arts Council of England, and wowing audiences with its explicit content, poetic language and sly wit, you can now to be part of the experience.

The Portico Library, 57 Mosley Street, Manchester
Tickets: £6/£5 concession​


BFI Flare Film Festival at SPARK
Tuesday 4th July, 7pm
British Film Institute programmer, Zorian Clayton curates a hand picked edition of trans and nonbinary films from this years Flare LGBT film festival. On tour from Southbank to Manchester, Trans Creative are excited to co-present a programme of local and national work screened in the north for the first time.

The Cornerhouse, 70 Oxford Street, Manchester
Tickets: £6



Trans Tour of Manchester Art Gallery
Thursday 6th July, 7pm
A one-off Trans Tour of Manchester Art Gallery, led by an exciting group of trans artists, performers, writers and curators. Using art works as a starting point, the guest tour guides discuss trans visibility from their perspectives. Following the tour, there will be a discussion hosted by Kate O’Donnell, encouraging people to share experiences and ask questions.

Manchester Art Gallery, Mosley Street, Manchester
Tickets: FREE, advance booking required: ​


Trans Vegas!
Friday 7th July, 10pm
A suitably spectacular closing party for the inaugural SPARK Festival. Expect Vegas-style thrills in this super-cool dance space with great music, stunning visuals and plenty of surprises. Hosted by Kate O’Donnell and Grace Oni Smith with music from DJs Kim Lana Blackburn, Grace Oni Smith and Greg Thorpe of Drunk At Vogue. Remember: What happens in Trans Vegas, stays in Trans Vegas…!

Texture, Lever St, Manchester
Tickets: £5/ £4 concession