Quays Culture and MediaCityUK

MediaCityUK has risen on the skyline and several BBC departments have landed in Manchester and Salford in recent years. I have done my best to help out, by ensuring the right people are being spoken to, and writing a brief for a Digital Cultural Strategy for MediaCityUK for Peel Media, the developers of MediaCityUK.

My hope has been that Salford Quays – the MediaCityUK site and Greater Manchester’s Waterfront – is more than a property development, I want to see vibrant art and culture on the site, and imaginative ways to connect communities to the innovation and knowledge spilling out of the BBC R&D labs and studios.

So I am delighted that three long term friends and collaborators – Lucy Dusgate, Debbi Lander and Stella Hall – have been appointed to lead Quays Culture, a new cultural programme for Salford Quays.

The Speed Of Light by NVA performance involving hundreds of runners wearing specially designed light suits was the first major project by Quays Culture and was timed to coincide with the FutureEverything Summit in March 2012.

The Quays Culture vision is “to make The Quays the place to be for the next generation and a magnet for artists and creative cultures, a place where the public culture, media, business and the aquatic interact on a local and global platform.”

Lucy Dusgate was previously FutureEverything’s lead officer and North West digital manager for Arts Council England, and leading on the Channel 4 artists’ film commissioning partnership ‘Random Acts’. Prior to that Artistic Director of media arts organisation Lumen and a career working across media/digital art, film and photography organisations. Debbi Lander has been a friend and colleague for 20 years, and worked closely with me on the emoto data visualisation artwork for London 2012. She was Creative Programmer for London 2012 in the North West and Programme Director of WE PLAY. Stella Hall as twenty five years experience in Festival production and mixed programming, most recently as Festival director in Preston, which celebrates its Guild every twenty years.

Quays Culture is supported by the Quays consortia (QVDG) which includes organisations such as the BBC, MediaCityUK, Salford University, the Lowry, Imperial War Museum North, Salford City Council, Manchester United and Trafford Borough Council. The arrival of Lucy, Debbi and Stella builds on the work of Kathy McArdle who undertook a lot of the preliminary work for the Quays partnership.

Quays Culture is supported by  Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA) and Arts Council England.

Photo: Quays Culture programme 2013.

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