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Creative Spaces in Manchester : Part 4 : 2022NQ 02 May

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2022NQ is a creative hub located on Dale Street, who we feel a particular affinity with – as they too have chosen to base themselves underground in a re-purposed tiled basement. The space has been open for just over a year, and in that time has become an excellent resource for Manchester’s creatives, with its fascinating pipes and alcoves – not to mention the well-stocked bar.

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The programme of events at 2022NQ aims to combine art forms, often holding an exhibition in the smaller room towards the back on the venue, whilst a DJ or a band plays in the bar.  This way of doing things means that if you come to see an exhibition, instead of walking a circuit of the room and leaving; you can hang around for a bit longer, have a drink or a snack, chat about the work and see what else is on.

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In keeping with this emphasis on taking the time to engage with what’s on show, 2022NQ also publish a monthly magazine ‘Twenty Two’ – containing listings, articles, interviews, and creative writing from Bad Language. ‘Twenty Two’ functions as an alternative to printing a multitude of flyers every month, and is a whole lot more interesting to peruse.

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As well as a venue, 2022NQ also aims to provide networking opportunities, with their own informal and interdisciplinary twist. Beginning last Friday, and continuing weekly from now on is ‘After work Social’, where drinks, food and ping-pong combine to stimulate conversation and forge new friendships or working relationships. One of the founder-directors of 2022NQ, Jamie, also pointed out how important basic business skills can be for artists, makers and designers, and is planning on offering courses in things like copyright law – as it’s easy to get messed about if you don’t know your rights!

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Proposals for the space are considered on an individual basis, with shiny private corporate events bringing in enough profit to mean that the 2022NQ team are able to support emerging artists, and those without funding, to put on innovative shows and to get their work seen. Friendly professionalism merges with experimental art practice at 2022NQ, giving the venue a welcoming rather than rarefied atmosphere, and managing to make networking fun!

Written by Lauren Velvick

Photography by Elle Brotherhood (except for 1 and 4)

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