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Two month festival shines spotlight on Salford talent

A rooftop fashion show and a recreation of a First World War ‘tram tank’ are just two highlights of the Create Salford Festival.

The festival, showcasing the best creative work from the University of Salford’s School of Arts and Media students, is back for its fifth year and is now even bigger and better.

The event will start with a launch at Manchester city centre’s HOME arts venue on April 18, but will continue over two months with events showing Salford’s innovative work at venues including Hotel Football, Islington Mill off Chapel Street, Art Work in Greengate, as well as the MediaCityUK campus and other locations across the University.

The launch event will feature a talk to by the University’s Chancellor Jackie Kay, named last month as the third modern Makar or Scottish poet laureate, while specially invited guests will be able to get a sneak preview of some of the work being showcased throughout the festival.

The Fashion Runway Show, with professional models showing off clothes designed by the University’s Fashion Design students, will take place in the open air on the roof of Hotel Football, owned by former Manchester United players, on May 24.

Music fans can enjoy the work of the Salford University Symphonic Wind Ensemble, taking place at the University’s Peel Hall on April 27, or at a series of pop, rock and jazz concerts at The Old Pint Pot on Chapel Street on May 16-20, while comedy students will demonstrate their perfectly honed sense of timing during a showcase at MediaCityUK on May 4.

Students from across the University will also mark the centenary of the First World War when they bring their creation Albert the Tram Tank to Salford Quays on June 1.

A tram tank was a tram designed to look like a tank, which were created by British communities and paraded through the streets as a stunt to raise money for the war effort in 1916.

Engineering students have now worked with the Tram Tank Society and Manchester Tramway Museum Society to build a replica of one of these creations, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The students will display Albert at MediaCityUK’s foyer, before it goes on a tour of Greater Manchester from September along with performing arts students from the University and pupils from local schools, to mark the 100th anniversary of the first ever use of tanks in warfare.

The Pilot Light TV Festival, coordinated by University of Salford Film Studies graduates with academics, and aimed at celebrating the University’s links with the television industry and the success of former students, is also being held as part of Create. Featuring talks from leading writers in the industry, it will be held at MediaCityUK alongside events at HOME and Gorilla between May 5-8.

Final year students studying a wide range of media courses from Journalism and Media to Animation and English will be given a masterclass preparing them for the world of work at a special event hosted by festival partners The Telegraph at MediaCityUK on May 3.

The session will feature practical workshops led by The Telegraph staff, advice on video and digital portfolios and expert guidance to prepare students for the ‘assessment days’ which are now used by large media organisations when choosing graduates to work for them.

A degree show, featuring the best work by a wide range of Visual Arts, Graphic Design, Photography, Fashion Image Making & Styling and Interior Design students, will be held at the University’s Allerton Studios from June 9-17, with a special preview event held for invited guests in a marquee outside featuring food and drinks on offer from the Northern Quarter’s Soup Kitchen.

A huge range of other events will take place throughout Create Salford Festival, from a BBC Chamber Orchestra concert dedicated to the Salford men who lost their lives in the First World War, on June 13 at Peel Hall, to a celebration of work by students on the University’s Animation and Computer Video Games courses on June 9.

The Doors Are Open, two nights of activity by Performance students, will take place at MediaCityUK on May 25-26. This will include Run – a piece written and performed by students in collaboration with London’s award winning Theatre Ad Infinitum exploring the experiences of refugees in the current migrant crisis.

Jackie Kay will also be hosting the Flight, Feathers and Quilt event, taking place at the University’s Clifford Whitworth Library on April 21 as part of Create Salford.

She will be talking about the items she has selected for the University’s art collection, while Anna Pincus from the Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group will also be talking along with poet Patience Agbabi who will read from her work Refugee Tales.

Professor Allan Walker, Dean of the School of Arts and Media, said: “From Ben Kingsley and LS Lowry to Peter Kay and Jason Manford, the University of Salford is well known for producing artists and performers who become household names.

“We are not only continuing this proud tradition, but improving the quality of our students’ training all the time. The fact that the Create Salford Festival is now being held over two months demonstrates the sheer scale, as well as the professionalism, of the work being created here in Salford.”

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