Offcanvas Wave

Get in touch

Venture Arts, 43 Old Birley Street, Manchester, M15 5RF

+44 0161 232 1223

We’re always happy to hear from journalists and writers who are interested in Venture Arts and our work. Please contact Debbie Cowley, Marketing and Communications Officer, on 0161 232 1223 or email

About Us

Three abstract artworks displayed on a wall at the YESS LAD exhibition
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What we do

Venture Arts is an award-winning visual arts organisation working with learning disabled artists. Through our studio programmes, exhibitions and collaborative projects, we remove barriers to the arts, we put artists in the lead, we champion neurodiversity and provide pathways for every individual to develop their creative identity.

Venture Arts equips people to succeed as artists, advocates, cultural workers, educators, curators and critics.

Young man, artist Liam Ashworth, stood in a gallery in front of the framed pictures in the wall. He is wearing a microphone and is smiling.

Our vision is for learning disabled people to be recognised, celebrated and valued in the arts and in society.

Each year the Venture Arts team mentor over 200 artists across a wide range of specialisms. Collaborations and partnerships are integral to what we do. Our studio artists exhibit regionally, nationally and internationally and work is represented in collections worldwide.

We develop young artists through our Young People’s Art Club and school projects, and our ground-breaking Cultural Enrichment Programme of placements in galleries, museums, cultural venues and festivals increases representation and makes our cultural sector a fairer, more equitable place.

Barry Anthony Finan working during the 'YESS LAD' exhibition launch - he is writing with black pen on paper attached to the wall
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Our mission is to be leaders in the arts, striving for equity and supporting artists to excel.

Our Values


Artist led: Our artists drive everything that we do in partnership with the wider artist community.

A space for belonging: We bring people together in a welcoming and supportive space.

Ambitious: We are leaders in our work, fighting inequality and empowering learning disabled people to succeed as individuals in society.

Protective of our planet: We take responsibility for actively reducing our impact on the environment and being environmentally sustainable.

Championing of diversity: We actively support, respect and champion all individuals and communities.

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The Studio

Our accessible art studio is based in Hulme, close to Manchester city centre. The studio is a welcoming, friendly and respectful place, working in painting, illustration, animation, photography, printmaking, ceramics, textiles and more.

The studio features a dark room, a kiln, printing press, digital photographic and video equipment, and specialist textiles equipment. Artists use iMacs, MacBooks and iPads as well as professional editing software such as Photoshop and AfterEffects.

Close up of a hand working on an embroidery project
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Our Partners

We work with a range of partners nationally and internationally, and are always happy to hear from anyone who is interested in Venture Arts and our work.

See more

…it doesn’t matter that these artists are learning disabled or neurodiverse, because what they’ve made eclipses the everyday: this is just fantastic contemporary art, filled with fun and love and humour.

Eddy Frankel, Time Out London

By refusing to distinguish between outsiders and non-outsiders, everyone is able to just be an artist.

Tom Emery, The Double Negative

Their huge skill is in getting to know people’s individual personalities and areas of interest and then enabling people to follow their own path.

Artist family member,

Portraits by Leslie Thompson

Meet the team

Ink drawing of Abz Abby drawn by Leslie Thompson

Abz Abby

Workshop Assistant & Arts Award Project Assistant

Ink drawing of Alison Yates drawn by Leslie Thompson

Alison Yates

Administrator & Receptionist

Ink drawing of Amanda Sutton drawn by Leslie Thompson

Amanda Sutton


Ink drawing of Amber Stother drawn by Leslie Thompson

Amber Stother

Public Engagement Assistant

Our Trustees

We are incredibly grateful to our Trustee Board, who volunteer their time, sharing their knowledge to help lead Venture Arts.

Our Artist Steering Group

Our Artist Steering Group is made up of eight Venture Arts artists and is chaired by former participant, Amber Stother, our Public Engagement Assistant.

Venture Arts, 43 Old Birley Street, Manchester, M15 5RF

+44 0161 232 1223

We’re always happy to hear from journalists and writers who are interested in Venture Arts and our work. Please contact Debbie Cowley, Marketing and Communications Officer, on 0161 232 1223 or email

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Find us

Our Hulme-based studio is accessible and close to Manchester city centre so there are many ways to get to us. Below are some transport options, but before visiting please get in touch so we can give you advice about the best transport options.

By car

If you are driving, there is on-street parking on the roads all around our studio, free for two hours. We also have an accessible parking bay just outside our studio on Old Birley Street.

By bus

You can get the 85 or 86 buses to Venture Arts from Piccadilly Gardens in the city centre. The 86 stops outside Hulme Garden Centre, which is directly across the road from us.

You can also get the 263 and 250 busses which stop on Stretford Road by the Co-op. This is about 300 metres away from our studios. You can plan your journey online.


By train

Oxford Road is the closest rail station to Venture Arts and there are bus stops outside The Principal Hotel where you can get the 86 or 85. For information on train services, routes and timetables, please visit the following links:
Or call +44 (0)8457 484950

By tram

The nearest Metrolink stop to Venture Arts is Deansgate-Castlefield, which is approximately 1 kilometre from our studios. For more information please visit

On foot

We are about 1.5 kilometres from Oxford Road train station. You can find directions to Venture Arts using Google Maps, just type in Venture Arts as your destination and your location as your journey origin.

By bicycle

There are on street bike racks available directly outside our studio and we are happy to find extra room if needs be.

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