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24 Hour Arty People

Manchester City Council finds a way of making the abstract concrete with Reification – the Tony Wilson Experience

Published on May 16th 2008.

24 Hour Arty People

The longest day of the year is set to be a life-changing 24 hours for 200 talented individuals from Manchester and beyond. Billed as Manchester’s ‘longest ever creative conversation’, Reification – the Tony Wilson Experience will run from midday on Saturday 21 June to Sunday 22 June and will take place in the much talked about Stephenson Bell architect designed marquee that is currently based outside Urbis in the City.

“This will be a unique occasion – organised and programmed to reflect Tony’s inimitable creative style and the ways in which he engaged the people he met, worked with, played with.”

Funded by Manchester City Council, The Tony Wilson Experience will see some of the country’s best known and celebrated creative talents brought together to deliver their ‘experience’ in the form of a continuous 24 hour conversation to an audience of up to 200 specially chosen ‘students’. The event is named in memory of broadcaster, entrepreneur and creative champion, Anthony H Wilson, the man behind some of Manchester’s most successful bands as well as being the founder and manager of The Haçienda.

Submissions close on Monday 26 May. Then the talented 200 will be for the potential they show across a broad spectrum of creative arts that includes design, art, screenwriting, photography and film production. The aim is to bring together, in memory of Tony Wilson, an accumulated wealth of experience across a comprehensive range of creative disciplines for the benefit of these impressionable young talents.

The experienced creatives taking part in the event, each of whom has achieved significant success in their chosen field, and who all testify to the influence, support and inspiration of Tony Wilson, are all giving their time freely to share their experience for the benefit of the young people listening.

Speakers already confirmed are Alan McGee, Matt Greenhalgh, Sue Woodward, Stuart Maconie, Kevin Cummins and Grant Gee as well as designer Peter Saville, architect Ben Kelly, actor/comedian Steve Coogan, broadcaster Mark Radcliffe, artist Liam Spencer, and musician Peter Hook. The gifted members of this eclectic line-up are just the latest to add their voice to the event where they will be debating, engaging and challenging each other non-stop over the 24 hour period.

This will be a unique occasion – organised and programmed to reflect Tony’s inimitable creative style and the ways in which he engaged the people he met, worked with and played with.

Speaker Peter Saville, Creative Director for Manchester, who co-founded Factory Records with his long-standing friend and colleague Tony Wilson, explains: "There was always a bigger picture in play with Tony. If there was a chance to foster new talent he'd take it. If he could fuse different disciplines together into something brave and new and unexpected, he'd make it happen. He was at all times crucible, catalyst and collector.

"Great things are going to come out of this weekend – both for the students and for the experienced creatives themselves. Everyone there is going to be able to learn from and to share ideas with the rest of the participants."

Artist Liam Spencer knows of many reasons why this event is so crucial to any budding talent: "Anything to encourage young people to be creative is a good thing, and getting the different creative disciplines together is going to make for a really interesting and informative discussion.

"Having a network and a community of artists to work with was fairly crucial in helping me to survive and to establish myself as an artist when I first started out, so if this event gives people a chance to talk to each other and to draw inspiration from other creative people then this is going to really benefit everyone involved."

Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, said on the memorial: "Tony Wilson gave a lot to Manchester and was always fiercely proud both of his northern roots and the talent that came out of the city.

"In recognition of this, the Tony Wilson Experience is designed to stimulate, inspire and engage the next generation of cultural innovators from Manchester.

"We've had a fantastic response to the whole idea so far and I am confident that with the pool of creative talent we have at our disposal to take part in the event, this is going to be literally one of the most unmissable, creative 24 hours in the history of Manchester."

Reification – the Tony Wilson Experience is set to be one of the most talked about conversations this year as it readies itself to hail in a new wave of creative talent in Manchester. What a difference a day makes.


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