The winners of the 2018 awards were:
Young Creative of the Year: Dominic Bennett
A vital part of Project X, a young people’s residency at HOME, and their ‘This Is Human’ takeover project, Dominic led on the collaboration and set up of a regular inclusive music group and club night. He is also a member of Venture Arts Steering Group, influencing accessible visual-arts practices.
Promotion of Health and Wellbeing: Streetwise Opera
Using music to help those that are socially isolated to make positive changes, this organisation brings people together to sing and to visit, volunteer and perform in high-profile venues in the city. The activities bring joy, boost confidence and allow participants to contribute to Manchester’s cultural life.
Promotion of Equality and Diversity: Olympias Music Foundation
This multi-award winning charity is committed to increasing access to music within deprived communities in Manchester. It aims to enrich the lives of and inspire children, bringing people together to make and share music.
Promotion of Environmental Sustainability: Manchester Arts Sustainability Team
A brilliant example of positive collaboration on climate change, this network of 27 organisations work together to reduce their environmental impacts. Using arts and culture they inspire audiences to think about sustainability and take action.
Promotion of Talent and Leadership: Contact
This leading national theatre and arts venue places young people aged 13-30 at the heart of decision-making. The result is an outstanding, diverse and accessible artistic programme, including high quality talent and personal development opportunities.
Best Business Partnership: Bruntwood
Their partnerships with Manchester School of Art across a variety of collaborative projects, and with the Royal Exchange Theatre (for the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting) highlight the company’s appetite for innovative, long-term partnerships that create new opportunities in the city.
Best Event: What is the City but the People?
Commissioned by Manchester International Festival and created by the people of Manchester, the opening event of the 2017 festival - a ‘self-portrait of the city’ - began with an open invitation to neighbours, friends and total strangers to participate in a ‘cat walk’ parade. Its impact was impressive, memorable, great fun and absolutely Mancunian.
Best Performance: Tony Walsh - This is the Place
Performed at the vigil on the evening following the Manchester Arena attack, Tony’s words reached far beyond the gathered crowds in Albert Square, with extensive live coverage on news channels across the world. A powerful moment that became a focal point in the midst of the city’s pain, this performance perfectly demonstrated the capacity of poetry to connect.
Best Exhibition: Never Going Underground: The Fight for LGBT+ Rights at People’s History Museum
Co-curated with volunteer community curators. This exhibition focused on the political importance of being seen, showcasing the ways the LGBT+ movement has championed visibility in both grand and small ways.
Inspiring Innovation: Z-Arts - My Planet
Delivering aspects of the national curriculum through arts and creativity led to an improvement in attitude, motivation and academic achievement of more than half the participating pupils. Teachers reported benefits combining the arts with science, mathematics and English language, and artist-led teaching enabled more pupils to engage and contribute in the classroom.
Outstanding Contribution: Manchester International Festival
The world's first festival of original new work and special events, MIF is staged every two years in Manchester at venues across the city. The programme features artists from across the UK and around the world, and attracts local, national, and international visitors.
The Manchester People’s Culture Award: Video Jam
Curating, commissioning and presenting films with musical accompaniment, Video Jam work with large cultural institutions while supporting young and emerging artists. Part of the grass-roots Manchester arts scene, they have presented over fifty events and projects across the UK and beyond.