Young People

two people taking part in a workshop 

Our projects with young people give them the opportunity to be a designer, artist or curator and to showcase their work, ideas and opinions in the gallery

Through working with practising professional artists, designers and curators, we hope to inspire young people to consider a career in the creative industries, encourage them to develop art, design and critical thinking skills, help build their confidence, promote a sense of achievement and enhance their enjoyment of art.

"This project is providing so much for the young people, I can see them coming on leaps and bounds. They are enjoying it so much. One young person who usually doesn’t get up until 3pm, was the first one up and ready at 10am to join the project because the other kids had come home raving about it so much. And that is despite the fact that he has a lot of issues going on in his life – yesterday he was told that he is going to be taken in to care, which usually makes kids get even more disengaged, but he wanted to come to the project."
Action for Children project worker

If you belong to a community group in Manchester and you’d like to find out more about community projects at Manchester Art Gallery, contact Ruth Edson or Helena Lee on:

Tel: 0161 235 8877
Email:
h.lee1@manchester.gov.uk 
            r.edson@manchester.gov.uk

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Example projects

Jennifer's Story

2011

Jennifer's story

 Jennifer's story

This eight week project worked with young mums in Ardwick. It involved six women from Marillac House, a supported housing programme. The women worked with a drama specialist and a photographer, using artworks from the gallery’s collection to explore their lives, aspirations and hopes for the future.

Manchester Art Gallery worked in partnership with M13, a community based youth project that work closely with Marillac House. This project was part of Manchester City Council’s Cultural Strategy programme aiming to embed cultural activity in the Ardwick area of Manchester.

"I’ve found it interesting, found something in me, I never thought I had." Participant

Project partners: M13 youth project, Cultural Strategy MCC.

Funding: Cultural Strategy MCC, Renaissance North West

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Beautiful day

2008

Beautiful Day Skirts

Kai, Juan, Mei and Qing are four young Chinese women who have recently arrived in Manchester. They worked with artist Nina Chua to make these wearable garments using simple shapes and a muted colour palette of blue, grey, black and white. This was inspired by clothes from Manchester City Galleries’ costume collection.

The participants had little or no previous experience in garment design and construction. They learned techniques from pattern cutting to appliqué to create garments that reflect their individual personalities and styles.

This project was run in partnership by Manchester City Galleries and Manchester City Council’s Children and Families Refugee and Asylum Seeker Service (CAFRASS).

CAFRASS provides support to children in Manchester who are seeking asylum.

Project partners: CAFRASS

Funding: Neighbourhood Renewal Fund

Image © Manchester City Galleries

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The Changes

2008

Young refugees tell their stories through photographic artworks

Young refugees photographic artwork

"Manchester’s not “home” yet. I don’t know – it might be, one day."
Young refugees worked with contemporary photographic artist Vik and used the work of Gwon Osang for inspiration, to create their own photographic artworks. Those involved learnt about photographic techniques and explored ideas about body language, facial expression and gesture. They took to the streets of Manchester with cameras; photographing people and places. They investigated the differences between their home countries and Manchester, the city that has become their new home.  The results of this project were exhibited at the gallery from 20 June to 21 September 2008.

We are a group of young students, and we are also refugees.
We disappeared from our own lands, and reappeared in Manchester.
The journey in between was a secret.

Our artwork is about life.
It’s about difference: different people, different cultures,
different gestures, the journey to England and to Manchester.
It’s about the weather and the difference
between the weather here and the weather at home.
It’s about places, landscapes, houses
“I don’t like the houses here, always just the same house”.
And it’s about home.

We wanted to show the differences between here
and the places we come from – religion, people and language.
We were interested to do this because people don’t know.
It’s interesting to be an artist – yes, we do feel like artists now!
We were inspired by Gwon Osang’s work.
It made us think about gestures and who we are,
And we found out that photos don’t have to be flat!

Artworks were created by Dadine, Daniel, Diane, Elias, Filomon, Ibrahim and Natsinet.

Project partners: CAFRASS (Children and Families Refugee and Asylum Seeker Service) Community Arts North West.

Funding:  Working Neighbourhood Fund, CAFRASS, Community Arts North West.

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Welcome to Manchester

2007

Young unaccompanied asylum seekers create a DVD to help other asylum seekers settle into Manchester

Welcome to Manchester is a short film made by young asylum seekers working with artists Debbie Steer and Jonathon Addy. It is intended to support other newly arrived asylum seekers  coming into contact with Manchester City Council’s Children’s Services for the first time.

Using the Alien Nation exhibition as a starting point, Welcome to Manchester was made by nine young people from five different countries. Most of them arrived in the UK within the last six months, leaving their home countries due to political unrest, violent events and traumatic experiences. Throughout the making of the film, the young people not only discovered Manchester as a city, but also explored their own abilities and skills. Some have since chosen to explore media as a future career.

"Our film is going to help other young people who are coming into the country to know what they are going to be facing. It’s good they should know the kind of care and the kind of life they will live in Manchester". 

Valerie – Welcome to Manchester participant

Project partners: CAFRASS: Manchester City Council, Community Engagement Network : Manchester City Council,  Community Arts North West.

Funding: Neighbourhood Renewal Fund, Co-operative Insurance Society, CAFRASS: Manchester City Council, Community Engagement Network : Manchester City Council,  Community Arts North West.

Image © Marepe

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Inspired by Kylie

2007

Young people took inspiration from Kylie-The exhibition during summer 2007 to create music, fashion and costumes.

Members of Wai Yin recording their songYoung people took inspiration from Kylie-The exhibition during summer 2007 to create music, fashion and costumes.

Wai Yin youth group worked with two artists to create and perform their own song (in Mandarin and English) and developed a dance to a Kylie track. Both were performed at a special event in the gallery in July 2007.

Lesbian and Gay Youth Manchester used Kylie–The exhibition as a starting point for creating costumes for their Pride float.

Young women from the M13 Youth Project worked with Textile artist Anna Creighton to design and make a series of fabulous textile garments. The garments were displayed at Summer Nights 2008.

Project partners: Wai Yin Chinese Women's Society, M13, LGYM

Funding: Neighbourhood Renewal fund

Image © J.Addy

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Image&Identity: Remembering Slavery

2007

Injustice by young people from Tameside & Trafford with Colette Gilmartin & Tony Curry, 2007

Manchester Art Gallery has worked with two groups of young carers from NCH the children’s charity, one group from Trafford, the other from Tameside. These young people visited the gallery and explored issues of injustice and freedom, inspired by discussions with an historian about the transatlantic slave trade. They then worked with poet Tony Curry to express their thoughts on slavery and with textiles artist Colette Gilmartin, they made beautiful, individual letters and turned their poem into a visual statement.

The result is a colourful textile banner that went on display in the Manchester Gallery.

Throughout the workshops the young people involved recorded their work in a sketchbook; this helped them to reflect on issues raised in discussions and to make links between historical facts and their own lives and feelings today.

One of the sketchbook activities asked the young people to design a badge of freedom, depicting what freedom means to them. Some of those badges are now on display in the Gallery of Craft and Design, as part of an intervention that invites other gallery visitors to design their own medal of freedom.

Project partners: V&A Museum, Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery; The Royal Pavilion, Libraries & Museums, Brighton & Hove; Manchester City Galleries; Tyne & Wear Museums and Sheffield Galleries & Museums Trust, NCH – the children’s charity

Funding: DCMS, DCF

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Art Treasures Community Programme

2007

People from Collyhurst and Harpurhey, Rusholme and Wythenshawe create artwork inspired by the Art Treasures exhibition and the history of their local area

Paper theatre created by Birch Community Centre

Inspired by the content of the Art Treasures exhibition, nine groups of local people from Wythenshawe, Rusholme, Harpurhey and Collyhurst developed their own artwork celebrating their individual and community heritage over the past 150 years.

The fruits of this programme were exhibited in four unique exhibitions between October 07 and April 08.

Project partners: NCH Foundations, Churnet Street Sheltered Housing, The Addy Young People's Centre, Family Action Benchill, Tree of Life, Crescent Community High School for Girls, Birch Community Centre, Wythenshawe Forum, North City Library, Platt Fields Lakeside Centre.

Funding: Heritage Lottery Fund, Neighbourhood Renewal Fund.

Image © Manchester City Galleries

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Rusholme Project

2006

Celebrating vibrant Rusholme

Poster design by pupils at Crescent Community High School

The Rusholme Project celebrated Rusholme as a vibrant multi-cultural neighbourhood that attracts people from a wide variety of cultures, religions and communities.

Local British Asian artists worked with pupils from three schools in Rusholme; Crescent Community High School for Girls, St Edwards Primary and Claremont Primary Schools.  Each school produced a poster based on the patterns and symbols, fashion and food of Rusholme.  The poster was displayed in cafes, shops and parks throughout Manchester.

This project is part of a wider international collaboration between SHISHA, Manchester Art Gallery and Manchester Metropolitan University.

Image: Poster design created by pupils at Crescent Community High School together with artists Daksha Patel and Zarah Hussain.

Project partners: SHISHA

Funding: Neighbourhood Renewal fund, Co-operative Insurance Society, Manchester City Council Cultural Strategy

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Beyond the Page

2006

Muslim girls and women go beyond the page

Pupil from Crescent High School creating a handmade book

Pupils from the Crescent Community High School, an Islamic girls school, have worked with their mothers and teachers to create a series of handmade books to be displayed alongside the Beyond the Page exhibition.

Through calligraphy and printmaking sessions, the group have explored Islamic heritage by sharing their own experiences and knowledge. The group also enjoyed the opportunity to discuss the artworks with some of the artists from the Beyond the Page exhibition.

Project partners: Crescent Community High School for Girls, The Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester

Funding: Arts Council England, Visiting Arts, Neighbourhood Renewal Fund, Co-operative Insurance Society

Image © Manchester City Galleries

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Jiggers & Diggers

2006

'Focus on Ancoats' Glass Display is given a new lease of life

Blue glass fish (detail) made by Molineaux Webb & Co, Ancoats, about 1885

Re-discover our collection of glass objects made in Ancoats through this new display exploring the Ancoats glass industry. 

Young people and families from Ancoats worked together with staff at Manchester Art Gallery to re-design the Focus on Ancoats display. The group visited a local glass artist's studio, went behind the scenes to explore the gallery glass collection, took part in an historical tour of Ancoats and a met an industrial archaeologist from a recent dig of the Percival Vickers glassworks.
 

Project partners: AMP Project, Ancoats Buildings Preservation Trust 

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Big Draw Jigsaws

2006

Family group enjoying the Big Jigsaw event

Young people and their families from the Addy Young People’s Centre and Family Action Benchill in Wythenshawe have been on a treasure hunt around Manchester Art Gallery to select a painting or object of their choice.

Following their visit, they worked with artist Amanda McCrann to create a larger than life jigsaw based on Inhale by Michael Craig-Martin and a snuff box displayed in the Gallery of Craft and Design.

The jigsaws were pieced together in front of the original artwork at the Manchester Art Gallery Big Draw event in October. The jigsaws are to be displayed in Wythenshawe Forum in Autumn 2006.

Project partners: Wythenshawe Regeneration Team, The Addy Young People's Centre, Family Action Benchill

Funding: Neighbourhood Renewal Fund

Image © Manchester City Galleries

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Image and Identity

2004-2009

A national project involving museums and galleries working with schools, Looked After Children and Action for Children (formerly NCH) the children's charity.

Image & Identity textile postcard by young people at Broome House

Young people from Action for Children (formerly NCH) projects and Units for Looked After Children worked with artists to develop skills, knowledge and awareness of themselves and others through the theme of Image & Identity. The project worked to develop the confidence of staff in NCH and Social Services projects by acknowledging the value of using museums with young people.

Throughout 2007 and 2008, Image & Identity marked the 200th anniversary of the Abolition of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Act. At Manchester Art Gallery young people used collections to explore this theme and created their own textile and poetry based artworks.  

Injustice

Young carers from Tameside and Trafford created Injustice a textile poem on the theme of Remembering Slavery.

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Hears Our Voices

Young people from Broome House worked with poet Tony Curry and sound artist Antony Hall to create an Hears Our Voices.

Project partners: V&A Museum, Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery; The Royal Pavilion, Libraries & Museums, Brighton & Hove; Manchester City Galleries; Tyne & Wear Museums and Sheffield Galleries & Museums Trust, NCH – the children’s charity

Funding: DCMS

Image © Harriet Clarke 

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Reading Voyager

2005

Play with games and our puppet theatre on the Reading Voyager Library inspired by paintings and objects at Manchester Art Gallery.

Children from Ewing School with their puppets

Inspired by paintings and objects on display at gallery, children from two primary schools in Manchester have created an interactive game and a puppet theatre to be used on the Reading Voyager Mobile Library. The resources create opportunities for other children across the city to develop literacy skills and discover more about what’s inside Manchester Art Gallery.

Children from Webster Primary School created ‘Chariots of Doom’, a board game based on Alexander von Wagner’s The Chariot Race. Children work their way around the game by answering questions, creating stories, drawing pictures and much more.

The puppet theatre was created by children from Ewing Primary School. Children and library staff play with a range of backdrops, puppets and props to tell imaginative stories.

The Reading Voyager is a mobile library just for children. The library visits a variety of groups including schools, traveller sites, Looked after Children units and a hospice.

Project partners: Children's Mobile Library Service, Ewing School, Webster Primary School.

Funding: Neighbourhood Renewal Fund

Image © Manchester City Galleries

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Linking the Threads

2003

Exploring identity through the history of the cotton industry in Manchester and beyond.

Coat made by young people from Longsight and artists Yasmin Yaqub and Jennifer Vickers, 2001

Manchester Gallery, Ground Floor

Young people from Longsight worked with textile artists Yasmin Yaqub and Jennifer Vickers, to explore issues of identity and history in the cotton industry and the links between Britain and the Indian sub-continent.

They created a coat printed with photographic images of the young people and their neighbourhood and embroidered with Indian decorative beads and sequins. It was on display in the Manchester Gallery between 2003 and 2009.

Funding: North West Arts Board, Manchester City Council's Arts & Regeneration Team

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Ancoats glass sculpture

2002

Exploring the past and present in the Ancoats district of Manchester.

Glass sculpture made by Bernadette Hughes and young people from Ancoats, 2002

Young people from Ancoats Youth Club worked with glass artist Bernadette Hughes looking at life today in Ancoats. The end product was a glass and concrete sculpture which contains individual objects made by the group. It can be seen in the glass display case in the Ancoats section within the Manchester Gallery.

Project partners: AMP Project

Funding: Arts Council England - North west

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