Libraries of Sanctuary in 2021

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.

21 Aug 2023

CAN’s Exodus programme brings people together to celebrate this cultural richness and create a strong ethos of welcome in our region.

As part of this growing initiative, several libraries are now established as Libraries of Sanctuary. In 2021, we collaborated 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 to invite people from new, and host communities to their local library to see great art, make new connections, and enjoy creativity together. City of Sanctuary UK supports a network of over 100 towns, cities, and villages, sharing the vision that the UK will be a welcoming place of safety for all.

Credit Kooj Chuhan

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 drawn from this community of artists and library staff who co-designed a programme that supports the Sanctuary ethos.

In autumn 2021, there were 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