Didsbury Arts Festival

Didsbury Arts festival is a volunteer led multi arts festival celebrating creative culture in Didsbury, through working with local, national and international artists. 

We are a biennial festival. The next edition will take place from 24th June - 2nd July 2017. The festival theme will be Roots. If you would like to join the 2017 team, please get in touch.

All Day

Creativity Towards Freedom
Mustard Tree

PJ Livesey Marketing Suite, St James Park, Wilmslow Road, Manchester, M20 2RR

Mustard Tree Participants have access to creative programmes from their engagement roles on the Freedom Project, which provides them with opportunities in drama, art and creative writing, and helps to link with other artists in the community.

The Earth Under My Feet

From 2012 – 2014, I worked as an artist-in-residence with a charity called The Turnkey Trust at The Mustard Tree in Manchester, talented artists who had been in prison to make and show art in The Picasso Art Studio. The project was initiated by the probation service. Several artists were selected for studio occupancy because of the quality of their work and their determination to change their lives. One particular artist, who has been homeless many times even with a degree in Fine Art from Salford University, was selected during his residency, to exhibit work at The Derbyshire Open exhibition in 2013 where he sold several pieces of work. The money made from sales was immediately invested in framing more work and it is a selection of that work which is on display here. It is hoped that this body of work will eventually be housed in a more permanent venue.  

The Mustard Tree

The Mustard Tree is based in Ancoats, Eccles and Little Hulton. It is a supportive organisation with a welcoming, family atmosphere. Its remit is to create choice and opportunity for the homeless and disadvantaged. It is currently undergoing a much needed refurbishment. Over the many years of its existence as a charity, it has supported hundreds of marginalised people including the artist who made this art.

My experience of working at The Mustard Tree is rich and colourful in my memory. On several occasions, I arrived early in the morning to find artist Graham Hudson organising the placing of buckets in appropriate places after downpours through the leaking roof, now thankfully being replaced. I worked with some amazing participants who came from all walks of life just like you and I. They had fallen on hard times as we could all.

Art saves lives. I am certain of it. The English Language participants I worked with for a while were able to communicate through making art in a way that immediately made them feel at home. The days in The Mustard Tree were cheerful and noisy especially when the drama group worked on their voice projection projects. Lunchtimes were special as we all sat down to share a meal. Graham designed and built a special room for use as a quiet, contemplative space where participants could draw, write or just sit in peace. Exhibition openings were accompanied by music and drama and supported by the many wonderful patrons who have made donations over the years. Christmas Parties were team events and I think I was even brave enough to dance the tango at one of them!

Feel free to enjoy and appreciate this wonderful work……Carolyn

www.carolyncurtismagri.com  Artsmill Gallery and Studios, Hebden Bridge.

 Open 12- 4.30pm every day 

Mustard Tree rectangle white on red exc strapline





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