Venture Arts

Venture Arts supports learning disabled people to reach their life potential through the visual arts. From its fully-equipped studio in Hulme, Venture Arts provides a safe and empowering space where people make great art, and play a valued role in Manchester’s culture. Each year it supports over 300 people, delivering over 1,500 professional workshops and outreach sessions.

Venture Arts' professional tutors lead daily projects in a wide variety of artforms. Venture Arts has a twice-weekly Young People’s Art Club for participants aged 8-18. All its studio projects are supported by brilliant, skilled volunteers.  

Venture Arts shows its artists on prestigious platforms, most recently Tate Liverpool, The Lowry, The Manchester Contemporary, Glasgow International Festival and The Whitworth.

Venture Arts grows talent too. It works with artists one-to-one to develop their skills and portfolios, ensuring their work is seen by art viewers, collectors and curators. More and more of its artists are achieving artistic success: selling work, receiving commissions and exhibiting nationally and even internationally. Venture Arts was thrilled earlier this year when its artist Barry Finan had a piece acquired by The Whitworth for their permanent collection; he also became the first learning disabled artist to be shortlisted for the British Ceramics Biennial Prize.

Venture Arts runs two employment initiatives for learning disabled people: supported placements in Manchester’s museums and galleries, and paid work as artists in schools.

Why is Venture Arts work so important? Learning disabled people are amongst the most marginalised and excluded in society. The vast majority are unemployed, and lack the basic freedoms most people enjoy. Many experience loneliness every day.

Venture Arts is a lifeline to much of Manchester’s learning disabled population. There simply is no other charity like Venture Arts in the region, and very few nationally that do what it does. 

With Venture Arts, people discover incredible artistic talents, make great friends, gain confidence and develop valuable life and work skills. It ensures learning disabled people are visible and valued in Manchester’s vibrant cultural sector, as artists, participants and workers. And it helps debunk stereotypes about what is possible.

“Without Venture Arts, my life would have been nothing” – Horace Lindezey, Artist