Sugar and Spice illustration, diverse range of women standing on a map of Greater Manchester

Sugar and Spice 12: Standing Stronger Together

10-11th March 2018 @ LGBT Foundation, 5 Richmond Street Manchester (M1 3HF)

Sugar and Spice is Manchester’s annual festival for lesbian and bi women to celebrate International Women’s Day, and this year’s theme is ‘Standing Stronger Together’.

Sugar and Spice is for all women who identify as lesbian, bisexual or questioning, all or part of the time, including trans women, women of colour, older women, disabled/neurodivergent women, women of all faiths and backgrounds and non-binary/gender fluid people.

This FREE weekend event is back for the twelfth year with socialising, song-writing, discussions, dancing, crafts, photography, intersectional feminist histories, films and so much more! As always, there will be also be free food and holistic therapies for you to enjoy. Full Schedule Below


There are limited spaces available for this event so CLICK HERE TO BOOK YOURS NOW

To book on to workshops, please email or sign-up from 10:30am on the day.

To make the space great for everyone, there will be

>quiet rooms

>changing spaces

>free childcare

>BSL interpreting

>travel bursaries available.

To make use of the travel bursaries, childcare or BSL interpreting, please email

Sugar and Spice is made possible with support from the Big Lottery Fund and Manchester City Council’s International Women’s Day Grant.

Illustration of saturday's schedule

Details of the schedule

Doors Open: 10:30am

11-11:45am: Speed Mateing – like speed dating but for friendship (Workshop)

Do you want to have a chat and a laugh with other bi and lesbian women? Want a friendly, helping hand to do that? Like speed-dating but a thousand times less awkward. Shy, nervous, wonky, uncertain? You are incredibly welcome. This workshop is led by writer and spoken word artist, Geneviève L. Walsh

11-12:45am: Women Walking Manchester (Tour)

Experienced walking artist and founder of the Loiterers Resistance Movement, Morag, will be leading you on a tour: Women Walking Manchester, which takes inspiration from a diverse group of remarkable women with connections to the city and region. This walk takes an intersectional approach and resists the dominant Manchester narrative; instead will uncover hidden histories and power relations which have shaped our streets. Expect a guided walk that is equal measures performance, rant, tribute and tour.

Please be advised this walk contains explicit feminist geography, frank discussion of sex, disability, violence, abortion and swearing. The walk will take place on pavements in Manchester city centre and so participants are politely reminded to be mindful of their environment and take care, especially when crossing roads.

11-12:45 am: Writing Strong Women Characters (Workshop)

Suitable for writers at all levels, this workshop will focus on how to write strong women characters and will cover: poetry free writing exercise, reading and discussing extracts from plays with LGBT women characters, monologue/duologue challenge and Q&A with experienced and award-winning writer Charlotte from Commonword.

12-12:45pm: Craftivism & Chat (Workshop)

Take a break from the busy schedule, pick up some crafts and have a chat, all made possible by facilitator Josie. Josie will be doing craftivism called 'Leave your mark on Manchester' where you can create miniature instillations containing your message to the world and watch them pop up around the city. Collage, sculpture and craft for all abilities.

1-1:45pm: Being non-binary in a women’s space (Discussion)

Led by non-binary facilitators Rami, a poet and comics creator, and Jess, an artist and designer, we will discuss what it’s like to be a non-binary person in women-centred spaces, including asking if this non-binary people want to be included in women’s spaces and if so, how the experience can be improved.

1-2:45pm: LAUGH AT THE ABSURD with STORIES! (Workshop)

Queer stories need telling, and if you’re reading this you probably have a whole bunch of those. In this workshop, you will learn how to plot out and tell your story, how to stuff it full of jokes, twists, turns and shenanigans...and you will learn how to tell your story, to people (or just your cat, if people are too scary). This workshop is led by comedian and writer, Michelle O’Toole.

2-2:45pm: Trans Breakout Space

Chill out and join discussions with other trans* and non-binary people at Sugar and Spice. This space is inclusive of all trans*, non-binary, and non-cis people, regardless of gender assigned at birth, including those questioning their gender. Led by Mattie Artemis, non-binary and fluid facilitator from Connect, a relaxed and friendly social group for trans* people aged 18-35.

3-3:45pm: Clothes Repurposing (workshop)

Can’t afford to keep buying new clothes or just fancy making something you can’t get in the shops? Bring along some of your old clothes and learn how to jazz them up or turn them into something completely new with Carmen Crane, local creative who has an extensive background in art and textiles.

3-4:45pm: Song in Seconds (workshop)

Singer songwriter Claire Mooney will help you create a song from scratch. Building on ideas from the group and using percussion instruments provided, together you’ll develop a melody to help structure a completely original song. No musical experience necessary just an enthusiasm to work with others and share ideas!

4-4:45pm: Women of Colour Breakout Space

Led by Kirsty Devlin, the founder of Manchester’s first BME people in tech conference, this breakout space will be a safe and informal space for women of colour to come together.

Kirsty will be leading a discussion on the changing faces and narrative in black and ethnic minorities within the LGBTQ community, including asking how series like Orange is the New Black changed perceptions.

5-5:45pm: Film Viewing: The Watermelon Woman

Cited as the first film by and about a black lesbian, Cheryl Dunye’s landmark indie celebrates the twentieth anniversary of its release this year. Ahead of its time in both subject and style, The Watermelon Woman is both faux-documentary and true-life fiction, all drawn from Dunye’s personal experiences exploring both the history of black women in cinema and the always comic gay dating scene.

5-5:45pm: Praise be to Rap (workshop)

Why does faith and spirituality always have to be serious? Let the beat and rhythms unite us all through rap as LBQ woman of faith and spirituality. Don’t be shy! No matter if you’re whack or a rapping pro, come along and let’s all become one at Sugar and Spice. Led by Reema


7:30-10pm: Open Mic Night, Women on Top (Encore!)

Back by popular demand, our free cabaret and open mic night as part of Sugar & Spice festival. If you are looking for a night of spoken word, music, peformances, local talents, (and much more!) then join us as we showcase women's talent across Manchester.

To book an open mic slot please e-mail, spaces are limited so make sure you get in touch asap!

Travel bursaries and BSL interpreters available, please e-mail please email

Illustration of Sunday's timetable

Details of the schedule

Doors open 10:30am

11am-12:15pm: Facing Our Multiple Minority Identities (workshop)

Ruby-Ann of Mancnubian – a Manchester non-profit for women of colour - is an individual dedicated to making safer spaces for creative practice and mistake making! In this Collage workshop you will explore themes of living with multiple minority identities and creating a self-portrait that represents the multiplicious nature of your own identity. All materials provided but feel free to bring any magazines or other content you’d like to use.

11am-12:15pm: Self Defence (workshop)

Led by Agnes, who has a background in Aikido and self defence, this workshop is suitable for all levels. This self defence taster will focus on dealing with physical threats, with a mixture of short practical exercises (participation optional) and non-physical sections. In this workshop you will get a chance to dabble in some self defence tools, and leave hopefully feeling more informed and empowered to pursue it further if you wish!

12:30pm-1:45pm: Candid Photography (workshop)

Candid photos can be powerful, authentic and fun to take! Bring whatever camera you have available and learn more about how to take candid photos of others and capture the strength and courage of strong women and folk across the community with Jean, your facilitator.

12:30-1:45pm: Burlesque (workshop)

Burlesque with Cece Sinclair (recently voted as one of the top 20 burlesque performers in the UK)! This beginners workshop is a fun and relaxed way of learning the art of classic Burlesque, allowing you to feel comfortable and help build your confidence! Learn to strut your stuff, strike a pose and flirtatiously peel a glove, all whilst having some fun!

2-3:45pm: Overcoming Obstacles, Finding Resilience: Panel Discussion

To finish off our weekend of empowerment, confidence and community power, join our panel of inspirational, strong women as they discuss their own experiences of overcoming obstacles and finding resilience.

Stay tuned for details of our incredible line-up!


Drawing of what LGBT Foundation looks like from the outside

Getting here:

By car: Manchester's ring road connects Manchester to motorways north, south, east and west. For details about parking visit Visit Manchester's transport page.

By train: Arriving in to Manchester Piccadilly? It's a 5 minute walk to LGBT Foundation. Arriving in to Manchester Victoria? It's a 17 minute walk to LGBT Foundation.

By Megabus: Fares can be as cheap as £1 both to and from Manchester. If you're arriving in to Manchester Shudehill Interchange it's a 14 minute walk to LGBT Foundation.

Staying overnight in Manchester:

Hatters Hostel: Mixed dorm room start at £27 when staying over on the Saturday night.

Where to find us: 5 Richmond Street, Manchester, M1 3HF

Richmond Street is behind Canal Street, in Manchester's Gay Village.