A four day celebration of transgender arts appears across Manchester city centre in July. SPARK is a new festival that celebrates trans and non-binary artists. In partnership with Sparkle, the national transgender charity, SPARK is curated by award-winning artist and Trans Creative director Kate O’Donnell. Whether you’re into readings, paintings, movies or flat-out partying, SPARK has it covered. Here’s what you can expect in its inaugural year.

Live Literature at The Library: There Is No Word For It

The (Trans) Mangina Monologues, inspired by the classic theatre production The Vagina Monologues, first toured last decade and has since appeared everywhere from schools to sex shops. This new showing at The Portico (Mon 3 Jul, 6.30pm, £6, www.sparkle.org.uk) promises trans masculine stories with more than a little dusting of explicit content, poetic language and sly wit.

BFI Flare Film Festival at SPARK

British Film Institute programmer Zorian Clayton hand-picks highlights from this year’s Flare LGBT film festival. The shorts on show at No. 70, aka the former Cornerhouse (Tue 4 Jul, 6.30pm, £6, www.sparkle.org.uk) include Anne-Marie O’Connor‘s family reunion film ‘Mum’, Lucie Rachel’s lauded documentary ‘Where Are We Now’ and Zeyad Salem’s exploration of the non-binary, ‘Else’. Kate O’Donnell, who co-created ‘Mum’, will host.

Trans Tour of Manchester Art Gallery

See artworks from an alternative perspective on this special visit to Manchester Art Gallery (Thu 6 Jul, 6.45pm, FREE, www.sparkle.org.uk). Your trans tour guides include playwright Jo Clifford, the Museum of Transology’s EJ Scott, Victoria and Albert Museum curator Zorian Clayton, electropopper Alfie Austin, and Romario Wanliss, a filmmaker and performer know to many as Mr Black Branson. Free but booking advised.

Trans Vegas!

SPARK will end with a glittering knees-up with music from DJs Kim Lana Blackburn, Grace Oni Smith and Drunk At Vogue’s chief party officer Greg Thorpe. This Vegas-themed dance fest happens at the high-tech bar space Texture on Lever Street (Fri 7 Jul, 10pm, £5, www.sparkle.org.uk), so expect to be wowed by visuals. It’s supported by Superbia at Manchester Pride.

Mon 3 Jul - Fri 7 Jul
Fat Roland
Published on:
Sat 1 Jul 2017