Manifestos for the Future Summer School

Two figures in brightly coloured sports wear, grappling. Spiral Holds #03, Phoebe Davies, 2020

Part of The Truth to Power Project

Mansions of the Future X Proto-type Theater

Proto-type collaborated with the MOTF team to invite artists, theatre makers, and creative practitioners living or professionally based in the Midlands to encounter radical and challenging approaches to creating work and developing their practice.

The Arts Council England funded Summer School (part of Proto-type’s ongoing Truth to Power Project), saw a range of participants at all career stages come together for a series of led workshops and talks, WIP sharings, and public facing events. 

The artist in an elaborate red mask of leaves, recording sound with a handheld microphone in a windswept field.


The week included an invitation for participants to develop and share their own manifesto for change – artistic, personal, or societal. The curated programme included talks, performances, and contributions from walking artist Alison Lloyd; social artist and researcher Phoebe Davis; Latinx Trans artist Imogen-Blue Hinojosa; poet, playwright and performance artist Chanje Kunda; award-winning writer and performer Francesca Millican-Slater; folklorist and performance artist Arianne Churchman; and self-producing artist duo Chatum Tanning (Rohanne Udall & Paul Hughes). 

Participant Feedback

The week for me revolved around means of formulating practice, methodologies of thinking, planning and addressing wider social issues through acts of making.

[I learned] to be ambitious, to think bigger and more outward looking. I understood the moral power in taking responsibility for ones actions, whatever they are, small or large.

The structure of each day with one artist session and one Proto-type workshop was fantastic – the links between each session were so synchronous and fluid.

The diversity, eloquence and generosity of the guest artists overwhelmed me. They were vulnerable and strong at the same moment.

It was brilliant. To be given the opportunity to consider and probe working methodologies and solutions is rare. The reward is an expanded toolbox and introductions to a diverse set of practitioners and practices.

Thank you for generosity of time and for the collective thought that went into curating a brilliant week of provocations. I wanted the journey to continue.

Thank you. It was a highlight of my summer and so great to get to meet so many other great artists and wonderful people. The week was adapted so well to be online and I learnt so much.

The artist wears a crown of tropical foliage and has a large white and yellow bloom painted over one side of her face. She has bright pink lipstick and is stood against a bright pink background.

Further info

The Summer School was hosted by Mansions of the Future, an arts and culture hub located in Lincoln dedicated to exploring the relationship between art, culture and democracy. They are now in their legacy year of delivery and you can find out more about their work here:

Participation in the Summer School was free, and we provided support in the form of a bursary to applicants who required assistance with travel or accommodation expenses.

Candidates who faced cultural, social, physical or economic barriers to applying for opportunities in the arts and those who have lived experience of incarceration or detention were particularly encouraged to apply – with our assessors understanding our commitment to equality and diversity.