Libraries of Sanctuary.

Greater Manchester is a vibrant and international region, where generations of people from all over the world have settled. This makes our region one of the most culturally exciting places to live in the UK.

CAN’s Exodus programme brings people together to celebrate this cultural richness and create a strong ethos of welcome in our region.  In 2021, we’re collaborating with the Libraries of Greater Manchester, in particular, with Bolton, Manchester and Oldham library services, as part of the City of Sanctuary initiative to create Welcome Days and Artist Showcases that invite people from new, and host communities to their local library to see great art, make new connections, and enjoy creativity together.

Every week our team at CAN discovers amazing artists from across the globe who’ve made Manchester their home. For this project, we worked with a team of these artists and library staff to co-design a programme which supports the Sanctuary ethos.

In autumn 2021, there will be events in Oldham, Bolton, and Manchester libraries featuring artists and creative activities.

A must-see FREE live music event took place at Manchester Central Library on Saturday 17 July, with the critically acclaimed Persian maestro musician Seyed Ali Jaberi and the Hamdel Ensemble for an afternoon of beautiful Persian music inspired by Sufism and the mystic poet Rumi.

Credit CNG TV

Kooj Chuhan
Credit Kooj Chuhan


City of Sanctuary UK supports a network of over 100 towns, cities, and villages, holding the vision that the UK will be a welcoming place of safety for all.  As part of this growing initiative, several libraries are now established as Libraries of Sanctuary.

For more information about CAN’s Libraries of Sanctuary Welcome Days please contact Katherine Rogers, CAN’s Exodus Creative Producer at

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