Focused around the ten boroughs of Greater Manchester, queerupnorth’s Learning and Participation Programme makes use of queerupnorth’s unique position in the region: a popular arts festival, but with a real stamp of quality; a queer organisation, but not bound by the constraints of Canal Street; a festival with firm roots in Manchester, but with artistic contacts all over the world.

Our Learning and Participation Programme encompasses five broad areas:

1) using queerupnorth’s unique position in the region to create arts projects for young people, operating both within schools and outside of schools.
For example, autumn 2007 saw the tour of FIT, the new play for 11-14 year-olds about homophobic bullying, that was seen by over 9,000 young people around the country.

2) linking international artists with young people in the region to enable participation in arts activities of the highest quality.

For instance, the 2008 festival brings the world-renowned Stephen Petronio Dance Company for a UK premiere performance at the Lowry, but also for a two-day residency working with 11-19 year-olds in Salford.

3) linking international artists with new & emerging artists in the North West to provide unique professional development opportunities.

For example, during his 2007 festival run at The Library Theatre with the queerupnorth commissioned 10 Days On Earth, Ronnie Burkett led a two-day professional puppetry workshop with performers from the northwest, supported by The Puppet Centre Trust.

4) working with venues and partner organisations to offer unique added value to their programmes.
For instance, the 2007 festival incorporated Beyond the Box, a project for young people aged 15-25 co-produced with Contact, providing opportunities to create authentic queer hip-hop.

5) enabling people from all walks of life to get involved in participatory activities at the queerupnorth international festival.

Events have included writing workshops and reading groups in collaboration with library services, exhibition talks in partnership with galleries, and participatory events from debates and community theatre to lantern parades and village fêtes…