Beneath the Make-up
Coming to the end of a phenomenally successful Manchester International Festival. With all the red carpet premieres, some aspects of the Festival, including an extensive Education programme, have remained relatively hidden from view.
This morning I'm with MIF and the British Council at an event centred around a programme supported by them, the International Talent scheme, that has brought young producers, directors, etc. from all four corners of the world to gain experience in the Festival. It's just one aspect of a programme that has both reflected the international nature of the festival and increased the involvement of Manchester communities. At the event the British Council 'unveiled' their new artistic advisor (Graham Sheffield, Artistic Director at the Barbican in London), and it says something about how quickly the standing of MIF has grown that they chose to do it here.
Then it's off to Resources and Governance Overview and Scrutiny where I spend a happy two hours as unusually I have three items on the agenda for which I'm Executive lead, Statutory city-regions, Communications, and the State of the City suite of reports. The last of these, a set of four very detailed reports, attempts to give a comprehensive, warts and all account of progress made on the Manchester Community Strategy over the past year. As you would expect, there's some good news and some not so good news, but we have little chance of taking the city forward if we don't know where we are at present.