The UK may have left Europe but Manchester is standing by its Europeans with this eclectic city centre arts fete, hosted by EARTS, exhibiting the best of European artists living in Greater Manchester.

Europia Art Collective are to celebrate their first birthday in Manchester this weekend with a pop up event at Whitworth Locke on Sunday 8 March. The cultural extravaganza features work from 18 artists originally from mainland Europe and now living in Greater Manchester.

On offer at the event will be visual and digital art, photography, poetry, music, sculpture, costume design, creative workshops, sound and audio-visual performance and art-swaps, and visitors can view and buy the art on display and also create some of their own at creative workshops for all ages running from 2pm till 4pm.

It’s been a busy and successful first year for Europia Art Collective (EARTS), who, working collectively, are able to share resources and develop entrepreneurial skills together. In 2019 they were shortlisted for the Spirit of Manchester Awards 2019 for Community Cohesion. They then won £9k funding from the Arts Council, which they plan to use to develop more events where people of all backgrounds and cultures come together.

Ruta Skudraite, co-founder of EARTS and project coordinator for the Fete, said:

“In this socially and politically uncertain time in the UK, we came together to bring awareness to the European tradition and weave its beauty into the wider fabric of Manchester’s art scene.

“Europia Art Collective launched in March 2019 and we already have an incredibly strong community of artists who have been able to re-discover and appreciate their heritage more deeply, and do so in a very safe, supportive, and nurturing space created by the collective.

“All of us have grown in our authentic expression much more within EARTS than we could have done independently. It is fascinating to watch our members gain confidence and become bold and active participants in the creative conversation of the city.”

There will be live performances at the fete from 6 till 9pm with poetry reading, a performance piece about sustainability, live music, visual projections, and the premiere of a short-film about EARTS. The event is open to everyone on a Pay What You Decide basis, so its up to you whether you offer a donation, which will go towards supporting future EARTS events.

Karol Kochanowski, an artist with the collective, said. “Being a member of Europia Art Collective gives me the confidence I was missing since the start of my career as an artist. The Collective is building its status within Manchester’s thriving art scene and I feel proud to be part of it.”

Artists from the collective exhibit work for sale and commission all year round online, at galleries and in studios. There are over 132,000 non-UK EU nationals resident in Greater Manchester, representing approximately 4.7% of the Greater Manchester community. All are facing an uncertain future in the UK due to Brexit. Celebrating the great art and artists originating from Europe is one way Manchester can show Europeans that our city will never abandon them.

Conrad Bower

Feature image: composite of EARTS image and European flag

Whitworth Locke, Civic Quarter, Manchester, 74 Princess Street, Manchester, M1 6JD

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  • Conrad Bower

    Reporting interests include social justice, the environment, and human rights. A staunch advocate for the scientific method and rational debate for understanding the world - he believes only greater public understanding and engagement with the problems affecting society, can produce the progressive change we need. Co-founder of The Meteor.


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