Creative Diversity : Greater Manchester (CD:GM) was a franchise programme organised by the North West Arts Board (NWAB) and the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA). The grants were awarded to projects which would improve the visibility of work by culturally diverse artists and developing audiences. The scheme also provide support for individuals career development and administration and management support for organisations. After the closure of the NWAB, the management of the projects on the scheme was transferred to Arts Council, England.
The Chinese Arts Centre secured CD:GM funding in 2002 to help develop the arts infrastructure and skills within the Chinese community in Manchester and north west England. The three year project had three main strands:
- The Centre would provide practical support for artists by providing a free space to develop their work; making administrative resources available such as computers and desk space; and offering career development support.
- The Centre would provide one to one advice and training for artists relating to their career and artistic development.
- The Centre would also offer support to other Greater Manchester arts organisations to get training and advice on working with artists of Chinese heritage.
The programme was active from April 2003-2006. As well as artist surgeries and training activities, the scheme also supported the Centre's Whisper residency programme and the First Step exhibitions.
In 2005, the Centre secured funding from Esmee Fairbairn Foundation to start a national version of the CD:GM project, the Professional Artist Development scheme (PAD) which was in place from 2005-2008.