About Creative Engagement

Culture is created by all of us, not only artists or institutions. So everything we do needs to reflect and celebrate collective experience. It needs to invite you in and offer opportunities to contribute.

Through an eye-opening programme of performances, collaborative projects and learning opportunities, we hope that Factory International becomes a second home to you.

The place to get inspiration, use your imagination, find meaning and experience more joy and fulfilment in life.

A lot has been written about how the arts can improve our wellbeing, and how cultural learning boosts educational attainment and professional development. Not convinced? Well, let’s test it out.

Whatever your interest or ambition – whether it’s throwing your limbs around in the name of art or building a career in game design – you’ll get lots of encouragement here.


creative engagement

Get involved

Here are some of the ways you can get involved with Factory International and MIF.

Factory International will explore art’s potential to deepen our understanding of the world around us at three key stages – early years, 9-14 and in later life. We are developing strong relationships with the education and youth sectors, particularly local schools, colleges, universities and support groups.

See what 1,000 primary school children managed to create after following artist Jeppe Hein’s breathing exercise for Today I Feel Like Manchester at MIF21. More on learning here.

Factory International is more than a venue. It’s a state-of-the-art training ground with a very clear ethos: create, invent, play.

Our year-round programme helps aspiring artists across the North to develop their practice, then find their place in the creative industries.

You could shadow our team as an MIF Fellow, learning how commissions are produced and making important connections.

Or join a Creative Lab – hacking away, playing and performing as you respond at a rapid rate to some of the themes of our festival.

We also offer remote residencies where you can learn a specialist skill such as virtual production through hands-on sessions and workshops with industry experts.

To create a hub that benefits the whole of Greater Manchester, we need to go beyond the arts and cultural sector. That means partnering with sports associations as well as healthcare and social care providers.

A key goal is to team up with more third-sector organisations, as we did with a group of charities who support anyone that’s experienced homelessness. Out of that collaboration, came a new arts project and charity called Manchester Street Poem.

Factory International is piloting 12-month Community Partnership agreements, worth £10,000 each, with four charities and non-profit organisations in Greater Manchester. Our goal is to find the best way to make a bigger difference together in local areas.

These close relationships will also give partners and their communities more opportunities to create, collaborate on and participate in Factory International events. Also, to open doors to new skills, training and jobs.

Through honest conversations with them, we hope to make our artistic, learning and training programmes more reflective of, and responsive to, the needs and interests of different people across the region.

Interested? Our Community Partnerships Manager Abi Clarke would love to hear from you.

Supported by

One of the best bits about Factory International is when the people of Greater Manchester get to work on large-scale commissions with some of the world’s leading artists.

Like French choreographer Boris Charmatz, who invited 140 residents to create waves of movement on Deansgate at MIF2021. His “resistance piece” Sea Change celebrated togetherness in a post-lockdown world.

South African artist Kemang Wa Lehulere followed up his MIF19 libraries residency by asking more than 100 locals to share heart-shaped stories about people, places, even possessions. Then 11 Manchester writers transformed them into a series of love letters to the city in a 232-page book called I Love You Too .

You see, you don’t need to be an artist or ‘creative’ to take part. Up for trying something new? Then join in.

Neighbourhood Organisers are vital links between us and everywhere from Rochdale to Salford and Gorton to Wythenshawe.

They are passionate about people and want to help their local community get the most out of Factory International.

Our next open call for this paid role is in Autumn 2022, but you can register your interest now. Email neighbourhoodorganiser@factoryinternational.org.

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