Julie has been back in the constituency over the May Bank Holiday Whit weekend to celebrate the opening of HOME in Manchester, a new arts centre created following the merger of two of the city's best-loved arts organisations, Cornerhouse and the Library Theatre Company.
Whilst there, Julie contributed to "A Nations Theatre: Nationhood and Devolution", a Battersea Arts, Guardian and HOME panel exploring the effects of devolution on the UK's theatre industry. In attendance were Guardian critic Lyn Gardner, BAC’s David Jubb, Walter Meierjohann, artistic director: theatre at Home; Matt Fenton, artistic director at Contact theatre; Gemma Bodinetz, artistic director of the Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse; Blanche McIntyre, associate director at Nuffield theatre and director of Home’s production of The Oresteia; Alison Clark-Jenkins, director of combined arts and director, north, at Arts Council England; and the poet, playwright and actor Yusra Warsama.
“The opening of HOME marks the beginning of a new and exciting phase in the cultural development of Manchester and reaffirms the crucial role the arts can play in the regeneration of our cities and towns. The multi-art-form venue is testament to the sustained commitment of a Labour City Council who believe that a vibrant, healthy and sustainable city needs to take its cultural offering seriously; with patrons such as Danny Boyle, Nicholas Hytner, Jackie Kay and Rosa Barba, it’s clear the creative community think so too. It’s encouraging to see a diverse opening programme with work from around Europe and the world standing alongside the celebration of local talent. HOME demonstrates Manchester's position as one of the most culturally diverse and enterprising cities in the world and I look forward to seeing how the venue will build on this in the coming years as part of a wider Northern Powerhouse." - Julie Ward MEP, at the opening of HOME, Manchester.