A radical new arts project, THE NEXT TERM is set to transform a former Manchester school for a free weekend festival 24-25 March with the aim of using artistic platforms to improve the UK education system.
Formerly belonging to Varna Street Community Primary, the Grade 2 listed Victorian school building is the new home to Rogue Artists' Studios CIC, the largest artists' studio provider in Greater Manchester. THE NEXT TERM invites communities across Manchester to reclaim this impressive space with immersive installations, video projection, 3-Dimensional poetry and an infinite cast library, the festival will present an alternative world to our education system, challenging the increasing pressure on young people and their educators who are losing options, facilities and valuable skills gained from creativity across the curriculum.
The festival will address topics such as the culture of ‘teaching to the test’ and explore other areas such as the importance of mental health in schools, teacher-student dialogues and how young people navigate disinformation online. Casual ‘Sofa debates’ throughout the weekend will prompt positive discussion surrounding the debate, to hear what young people and their educators have to say about the future of twenty first century education.
Free creative workshops will be led by a mixture of emerging and and nationally-recognised practitioners from Manchester such as Sam Meech and Nikky Storyteller, in areas such as digital knitting, origami and spoken word. Performances will include spoken word and music from emerging poets and musicians including Keisha Thompson, who has just returned from her UK tour of solo theatre show ‘Man on the Moon’.
THE NEXT TERM has been developed by three artists - Joanna Roy, Jessica Loveday and Sophie Mahon - following a year-long research project working with students and young people aged 5-25 from communities in the surrounding area in Manchester as well as over 100 teachers and educators in the North West and beyond.
Formerly belonging to Varna Street Community Primary, the Grade 2 listed Victorian school building is the new home to Rogue Artists' Studios CIC, the largest artists' studio provider in Greater Manchester. The event will mark a new chapter for Rogue in their long-term vision to establish the Varna Street site as an international arts production hub and creative resource for both Manchester and the local community in Openshaw and Gorton - directors Martin Nash & David Gledhill say:
"Rogue is delighted to be hosting The Next Term Festival as the inaugural event of our relaunch at the former Varna Street School… Together with our partner organisations, we envisage the studios substantially enhancing the cultural offer in the area, providing residents and schools with a unique and sustainable creative resource for the future."
This 2-day festival invites educators and communities from across Manchester of all ages to create a diverse public discourse drawing attention to these issues, claiming THE NEXT TERM as a vehicle for change.
The project is kindly supported by Arts Council England and Future’s Venture Radical Independent Arts Fund and will take place 11am-6pm, Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th March 2018 at Rogue Artist Studios, Former Varna Street Primary, Openshaw Manchester, M11 1WP.