21 June 2016

ISAN On The Road makes first stop at Manchester Day

Manchester Day 2016 welcomed more than a 20-foot tall T-Rex and Archimedes’ bathtub on wheels to the city – it also played host to the Independent Street Arts Network’s first networking event of the summer.

The ISAN On The Road series is travelling across the UK, making stops at festivals and with member organisations to encourage debate about topics and issues affecting the outdoor arts sector. As the sounds of scientific enquiry from the BrainBox event echoed around the historic Manchester Town Hall, a committee room full of participants including Julie Ward MEP, Vicky Rosin of European Open Science Forum 2016 and a pair of mirror-bedecked performers from Travelling Light Circus discussed and debated the role of the arts in civic life.

A panel made up of Walk the Plank’s own Liz Pugh, Dr. Louise Platt of Manchester Metropolitan University, the aforementioned Vicky Rosin, also known for her work as former Head of Culture and Deputy Chair of Manchester City Council and Nancy Barrett of Creative Scene in West Yorkshire steered the event, highlighting the necessity of outdoor arts as an act of reclamation and an exercise in empowerment to communities.

After the event, participants flowed back to Albert Square for the close of the day. As rain fell heavily, the delegates and crowd mingled together as samba band Batala provided the drum-heavy soundtrack to spectacular pyro effects erupting from the roof of the Town Hall – a fitting end to a critical discussion.