Manchester Culture Awards 2023 – winners announced

The winners of the prestigious Manchester Culture Awards 2023 were announced earlier this week on Monday night (4 December) at a special awards ceremony held at the city’s newest cultural venue, Aviva Studios.

First launched back in 2018 by the city council, the annual awards celebrate the very best of culture and the arts in the city with nominations invited from the public, arts professionals and others.

More than 400 nominations recognising cultural organisations and events big and small, were made in the twelve different categories of the awards this year, with the judges having a tough job to whittle the entries down to the final winners.

As well as award categories recognising everything from best event, best exhibition and young creative of the year, to the promotion of health and wellbeing, environmental sustainability and education, three Special Recognition Awards were also made.

The Special Recognition Awards were awarded by the judges to recognise the huge individual contribution made to culture and creativity in Manchester by the three recipients over a number of years.

The ceremony also saw the announcement of The Manchester People’s Culture Award – a special award made in partnership with the Manchester Evening News, with the winner chosen entirely by public vote.

The judging panel this year included Jackie Kay, writer and Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Salford; Yandass Ndlovu, Artistic Director of I M Pact Collective; Pete Courtie, former Senior Relationship Manager Arts Council England; Councillor Luthfur Rahman OBE, Deputy Leader Manchester City Council; and John Rooney, Director of Neighbourhood Delivery, Manchester City Council.

Councillor Luthfur Rahman OBE, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council said: “Manchester is a city that literally mops up culture in all its many forms and its audiences positively embrace every cultural and artistic opportunity that comes their way.  

“Once again, the sheer number and breadth of nominations made shows just what an incredible cultural scene we have in Manchester and just how much talent, potential and excitement about culture there is here.

“We’re a city that champions culture and the arts and that recognises both the point and the value of creativity.  They deliver real social and economic benefits to the whole city, bringing visitors and new business to the city and play a massive part in making Manchester the vibrant, exciting and world-class city it is.”

The winners in each category are as follows:

Best Business Partnership The Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting

Best Exhibition South Asia Gallery, Manchester Museum

Best Event Black Gold Arts x Whitworth Takeover

Best Performance Grandad Anansi, Z-arts

Independent Creative of the Year Abel Selaocoe

Promotion of Culture & Education Pushing Boundaries, Community Arts North West and Curious Minds

Promotion of Environmental Sustainability The History of Climate Change, Manchester Histories Festival 2022

Promotion of Equality & Social Justice Stanley Grove Primary Academy

Promotion of Health & Wellbeing (x 2 awards are being made in this category) Create+ Lime Arts

Promotion of Health & Wellbeing String of Hearts

Promotion of Talent & Leadership Factory Sounds, Factory International

The Made in Manchester Award Cold Chips and Pick N Mix by Sonia Jalay, Royal Exchange Theatre

The Manchester People’s Culture Award Qaisra Shahraz MBE

Young Creative of the Year Sally Hirst

Special Recognition Award John Summers OBE and Sir Mark Elder, Halle

John Summers is the former CEO of the Halle Concerts Society who retired in 2020 following more than 20 years at the Halle, having taken over the leadership in 1999. He turned around the fortune of the orchestra, together with Music Director Sir Mark Elder, who remains in post until the end of this season and with whom John worked in close partnership for over 20 years.  Their partnership is a remarkable commitment to the orchestra and the city in an industry where senior leadership tenures can be very brief. John received an OBE in 2021, a year after his retirement.

Special Recognition Award SuAndi OBE
Doctor of Arts (DArt), SuAndi OBE receives her award in recognition of her significant contribution to art and culture, in particular to the Black Arts Sector and within the North West. She is a poet, performance artist, dramatist, librettist and writer. Her three published collections are Style, Nearly Forty and There Will Be No Tears; her one-woman show The Story of M is on the curriculum for A level English Literature and the MA in Black British Literature at Goldsmiths.

In her role as the freelance Cultural Director of the National Black Arts Alliance, SuAndi has led members in training weekends, exhibitions and performances as well as producing three pieces of ground-breaking historical research: Afro Solo UK, Voices for Freedom, and Strength of Our Mothers. She is a Writing Fellow at Leicester University.

To find out more about the Manchester Culture Awards, visit here…

Written by Theatrefullstop