Towards a Recoverist Future

The Whitworth Gallery

Past Project

Towards a Recoverist Future...

Join Recoverist’s, artists & stakeholders to discuss International Recoverist Month, a new major annual awareness event for Greater Manchester.

Part of Recoverist Month September 2023

SIX artists, FIVE new commissions across FIVE venues and ONE festival

Towards a Recoverist Future... brings together Recoverist’s, artists, stakeholders and policy, strategy, and cultural leaders from Greater Manchester Combined Authority (including Mayor, Andy Burnham), Arts Council England, Manchester City Council, Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council and The Whitworth, Manchester University.

We are debating, discussing, and contributing to PORe’s strategy for changing the conversation around substance use by focusing on the solution, not the problem and by honouring and celebrating the resilience of people, and lives spent in addiction and recovery.

We’re asking what does International Recoverist Month mean for you?

Join us and contribute your voice to the conversation.

Confirmed speakers and contributors include Mark Prest (Director & CEO, PORe); Andy Burnham (Greater Manchester Mayor); Dr Clive Parkinson (former Director Arts for Health at MMU and Honorary Chair of Creative Health & Social Change, Manchester University); Dave Moutrey (CEO of HOME & Director of Culture, Manchester City Council); Jennifer Cleary (Director, Combined Arts and North, Arts Council England); Marie-Claire Daly (Principal, Culture and Creative Policy (Greater Manchester Combined Authority); Julie McCarthy (Strategic Lead for Creative Health, Greater Manchester Combined Authority); Ed Watts (Interim Deputy Director and Head of Civic Engagement and Education, The Whitworth, Manchester University); Julian Guerriero (Senior Policy, Strategy & Commissioning Manager, Public Health, Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council); Duncan Craig OBE (CEO, We Are Survivors), Harold Offeh (Artist) and Jez Dolan (Artist).

‘Recoverist’ is a new portmanteau word blending recovery and activism and inclusive of those in recovery, their family, friends, and significant others.

Central to PORe’s delivery is working in partnership. This helps broadens out the recovery agenda and embodies recovery as a collective and inclusive process. PORe actively seeks new collaborations and commissioning opportunities for International Recovery Month, September 2024, so please get in touch.

Book your free ticket now

Speakers & Contributors 

Mark Prest (Director & CEO, PORe) 

Mark Prest is a curator, recovery activist and a man in recovery; an experience which instigated a shift in his curatorial practice to working within a social context. He has 25 years' experience as an art’s professional, developing a nationally recognised visual arts/exhibitions programme during his time at The City Gallery, Leicester  

His personal insight into the subject of addiction & recovery combined with his arts background brings with it a unique perspective to the subject. 

In 2011 he founded Portraits of Recovery, an international visual arts charity based in the UK. The organisations work supports people and communities, affected by and in recovery from substance misuse through the emancipatory re-framing of addiction and recovery identities by working with contemporary visual art and artists. 

PORe believes that the arts & culture can be transformational in and of themselves. Its vision and intent are to improve the lives of people and communities in recovery by increasing access to cultural opportunity. A central aim is to facilitate contribution to an emergent cultural identity. 

Andy Burnham (Greater Manchester Mayor) 

Andy Burnham was elected Mayor of Greater Manchester in May 2017, and was re-elected for a second term in May 2021. 

The Mayor joins Greater Manchester’s Combined Authority as its chair and eleventh member. He is also the lead for Policy & Reform and Transport. The Mayor is also supported by Deputy Mayor Kate Green who leads on Police, Crime, Criminal Justice and Fire. 

Prior to being Mayor, Andy was MP for Leigh from 2001. In Government, Andy has held Ministerial positions at the Home Office, Department of Health and the Treasury. In 2008 he became Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, before returning to Health as Secretary of State in 2009. 

In opposition, Andy has served as Shadow Education Secretary, Shadow Health Secretary and Shadow Home Secretary. 

Dr Clive Parkinson (former Director Arts for Health at MMU and Honorary Chair of Creative Health & Social Change, Manchester University) 

Dr Clive Parkinson was the Director of Arts for Health for 17 years and is Honorary Chair of Creative Health and Social Change at the University of Manchester. He has been closely involved with arts and health developments in the UK, Europe and Australia and has been central to strategic development and practical activity in this field. Working collectively with people affected by substance use across Europe, he published the Recoverist Manifesto  (2014). His performative work dis/ordered (2017) performed at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, explored mental difference and his short film, A Gentle Haunting (2020) utilised mobile phone footage made while walking out during lock-down, and in part, was a response to his diagnosis of multiple-myeloma. He wrote A Social Glue for Greater Manchester Combined Authority in 2020, which set out aspirations for Greater Manchester to become the UK’s first Creative Health City Region. He is currently collaborating with the writer Jenn Ashworth on an exploration of walking, mortality and friendship.

Jennifer Cleary (Director, Combined Arts and North, Arts Council England) 

Jennifer joined Arts Council England in April 2021 and leads on its work in the Northwest and Combined Arts nationally. Before joining ACE she was Director of Creative Engagement at Manchester International Festival, leading strategic programmes of participatory commissioning and producing, artist development, education and engagement, talent development and fundraising. Prior to that Jen was Higher Education Festival Manager across the City's Universities and an Innovation Manager for the NHS. She chaired the Employability Task Group of the Manchester Cultural Education Partnership and currently sits on the Internationalisation and Marketing Advisory Board for Marketing Manchester. Qualifications include a Professional Certificate in Executive Coaching and a PhD in Medical Microbiology.   

Dave Moutrey (CEO of HOME & Director of Culture, Manchester City Council) 

Dave Moutrey is Director and Chief Executive of HOME, a purpose built 7,500m2 multi art form venue that launched in May 2015. Dave has overall responsibility for the artistic programme and executive produces major projects working closely with the Heads of Programme. 

Dave has worked in Manchester in leadership roles in the arts since 1984 previously at Abraham Moss Centre Theatre, Arts About Manchester and Cornerhouse. He was awarded a Doctor of Arts honoris causa by the University of Salford, is a Fellow of the RSA, a member of the Chartered Management Institute, and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.  Dave is also Chair of the Theatres Trust and holds a number of non-executive roles on not-for-profit boards. 

Marie-Claire Daly (Principal, Culture and Creative Policy (Greater Manchester Combined Authority) 

Marie-Claire Daly has been Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s Principal of Culture and Creative Policy for the past 5-years. Before this she was part of Stream GM’s producing United We Stream, Greater Manchester’s rapid response to COVID-19, a production company brough together to raise money for good causes and entertain people during the lockdowns of 2020. United We Stream produced 308 hours of live content for 48 shows that amassed more than 20 million views, raised £583,000 for local good causes, cultural organisations and charities, and provided both a platform and creative outlet for 400+ artists and cultural organisations. 


Julie McCarthy (Strategic Lead for Creative Health, Greater Manchester Combined Authority) 

Julie McCarthy is Strategic Lead for Creative Health at Greater Manchester Integrated Care leading on GM’s Creative Health Strategy and ambition to become the world’s first Creative Health City Region with culture and creativity embedded across health and social care. 

Julie was formally manager of Great Place GM, a programme to evidence the contribution of culture to the delivery of local government priorities. Before this, she developed the UK's only dedicated arts and mental health venue for young people; The Horsfall at 42nd Street. 

In 2022 Julie was voted one of the 50 most influential neurodivergent women in the UK. 

Ed Watts (Head of Civic Engagement and Education, The Whitworth, Manchester University) 

Ed Watts is currently Interim Deputy Director and Head of Civic Engagement and Education at the Whitworth. An experienced, respected and internationally recognised arts leader dedicated to innovation, inclusion and ensuring museums and galleries operate effectively and equitably for all local communities they were founded to serve. Ed leads the gallery’s award-winning Civic Engagement and Education team, delivering against the Whitworth’s mission to work with communities to use art for positive social change, and actively address what matters most in people’s lives. 

Julian Guerriero (Senior Policy, Strategy & Commissioning Manager, Public Health, Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council) 

Julian has worked within Criminal Justice, Substance Treatment and Recovery fields for the last 30 years. Initially from 1993 as a Probation Officer with Greater Manchester Probation Service and then becoming the Manager of Oldham’s Drug Intervention Programme (DIP) 2006. 

In 2008 he became the Criminal Justice Lead for Oldham’s Drug and Alcohol Action Team (DAAT) and oversaw the delivery of criminal justice drug treatment and recovery pathways on behalf of the Local Authority. 

Since 2011 he has worked at Oldham Council in Community Safety Services as the Complex Dependency and Reducing Reoffending Coordinator and more recently in Public Health as a Senior Policy, Strategy & Commissioning Manager. 

He is a passionate advocate of having effective person-centred treatment and recovery options for all residents while, encouraging the involvement of lived experience and coproduction in treatment and recovery. 

Duncan Craig OBE (CEO, We Are Survivors) 

Duncan spent the first 10 years of his working life in the theatre, arts and entertainment. Beginning at Granada Studios Tour, to the Palace Theatre and Opera House, then People’s History Museum to travelling across the UK as Director of PR and Marketing touring the UK with some of the best shows to come out of the West End and Broadway. 

In 2005, Duncan began his training to become a qualified counsellor and decided to have a complete career change after volunteering in a busy City Centre needle exchange. He spent the next few years working within a voluntary sector drug service both in harm reduction and treatment services, specialising in working with male and female sex workers, people affected by HIV and Hepatitis C, and in sexual health. 

Harold Offeh (Artist) 

Harold Offeh is an artist working in a range of media including performance, video, photography, learning and social arts practice. Offeh is interested in the space created by the inhabiting or embodying of histories. He employs humour to confront the viewer with historical narratives and contemporary culture. He has exhibited widely in the UK and internationally including Tate Britain and Tate Modern, South London Gallery, Turf Projects, London, Kettle's Yard, Cambridge, Wysing Art Centre, Studio Museum Harlem, New York, MAC VAL, France, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Denmark and Art Tower Mito,  

Jez Dolan (Artist) 

Jez Dolan is an artist living and working in Manchester (UK). His practice underlines the intersections between queerness, sexuality, identity and memory. He works across multiple platforms including drawing, performance, printmaking and most recently painting. 

Jez’s work is held in several public and private collections internationally including: the British Museum, Bury Art Museum, the (UK) Government Art Collection, the Leslie Lohman Museum NYC, the Schwules* Museum Berlin, the Walker Art Gallery Liverpool and others. 

Jez is also artistic director of Initiative Arts, a Manchester-based company presenting work across the visual and performing arts made by artists who identify as queer.  

With soundbite performances by:  

Sue Devaney  

Sue Devaney has worked extensively in theatre and television since she was 14. She trained at Oldham Theatre Workshop in the eighties “It was like Fame the musical but set in Oldham!”    

Her tv work includes Casualty, Shameless, Dinnerladies and for those who are old enough to remember, she played Rita in Jonny Briggs. She is currently playing Debbie Webster in Coronation Street.  

She is proud to be a patron of East Lancashire Recovery Centre.  She runs workshops for people wanting to explore their creative natures through poetry, music, dance, drama, art and monologues.  

She is also a patron of Vibe in Rochdale, an alcohol-free music and events venue for young people and members of the community. She supports homeless organisations and helps at recovery centres for alcohol and substance abuse.   


Quieting is a multi-instrumentalist, music producer, visual artist and DJ whose work explores, time, reflection, aging and embodiment through conceptualising the making of sound and deep listening as somatic practices. Working with found sound, oral history recordings, electronic music production techniques, traditional instruments and improvised vocalisations she weaves experimental electronic and dance floor orientated sounds.  Her fascination with movement and texture has led her to explore randomly generated sequencers and more recently to investigate methodologies to convert numerical data into musical notation, live coding and the study of electronics.