Didsbury Arts Festival

Didsbury Arts festival is a volunteer led multi arts festival celebrating creative culture in Didsbury, through working with local, national and international artists. 

We are a biennial festival. The next edition will take place from 24th June - 2nd July 2017. The festival theme will be Roots. If you would like to join the 2017 team, please get in touch.


Mapping Didsbury's Culture
Manchester Metropolitan University

Didsbury Library, 692 Wilmslow Road, Manchester, M20 2DN
0161 227 3755

How do you feel about your Didsburyness? 

We wish to keep our community alive and well read. That is why we would like to listen to your desires and inspirations. Help us create a creative interpretation of Didsbury and understand how our Festival impacts your suburban experience.

6 29 MappingDidsburyCulture whitetext


This session will be led by George Chatzinakos, a PhD researcher at Manchester Metropolitan University who is currently researching the socio-cultural impacts of suburban festivals in Manchester, focusing on aspects of community engagement and participation. Through this work he aims to understand how a suburban community is constructed through arts festivals and through the actions of the people that make those festivals happen. We are very pleased that George has chosen Didsbury Arts Festival as a case study. 

You can also take part in Mapping Didsbury's Culture at the following events:

24th June -  As part of Art on the railings at Fletcher Moss Park
25th June -  As part of the Makers Market
1st July -    As part of the 'Roots Stage’ at Didsbury Park



What is cultural mapping?

Cultural Mapping is a very accessible and creative activity that involves community engagement, collaboration, and grass-root art. A very influential urban sociologist of our times called William F. Whyte, termed cultural mapping as the perfect example of participatory action research. Arguably, it is a methodology that takes social science and research closer to society; helping to overcome the sharp separation between the academic world and the world of practice. Accordingly, it can be considered as a methodology that can link research to action, advancing both scientific knowledge and practice. Essentially, this is because it can make visible the various ways local stories, practices, relationships, memories, and rituals constitute places as meaningful locations. In that sense, cultural mapping can become a mean for making local knowledge systems more visible, tangible and understandable.



Furthermore, cultural mapping can been seen as a mode of inquiry and methodological tool. It has been widely and globally used in urban & cultural planning, cultural sustainability, event management and community development. At the same time, it has been recognised as a community engagement catalyst that could mobilize collaboration among community actors, build cross-sectoral networks, and communicate across community sectors and (internally) across city departments. It has a threefold purpose: to build a knowledge base, to mobilize community collaboration, and to strategize or make decisions. From this perspective, cultural mapping is regarded as a way to give communities a voice, whilst recording local cultural assets. Thereafter, the created knowledge can then be used to inform collective strategies, urban and art interventions and wider planning processes, since cultural mapping can provide further possibilities for the collective identification and understanding of place. A cultural map, in turn, allows a creative and innovative interpretation of a place - including an appreciation for its built environment; its social relations in the context of such an environment; its sense of place; its economic imperatives, constraints, and opportunities; its culture, history, and heritage - to emerge.



Broadly, it is a process of collecting, analysing, and synthesizing information in order to describe cultural resources, networks, links, and patterns of usage of a given community or group. Therefore, it becomes clear that cultural mapping is addressing both tangible (e.g., physical spaces, cultural organizations, public forms of promotion and self-representation, public art, cultural industries and other material resources) and intangible assets (e.g. values, norms, needs, narratives, histories, memories, relationships, traditions, identities). Together, these assets help to define communities (or probably help communities define themselves) in terms of cultural identity, vitality, sense of place, and quality of life.


In association with Manchester Metropolitan University. 




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