Walking the beat at Greater Manchester Police Museum

We had a fantastic afternoon at the Greater Manchester Police Museum yesterday, for the next phase of our Her Hidden Histories young women’s project. Young women from Cedar Mount Academy had great fun exploring the museum, quizzing the volunteers and learning to march in formation! The group are currently working towards a performance at the museum, inspired by true stories of the first women to work in policing. We’ll be bringing their ideas to life in creative sessions over the next few weeks and, if today’s visit is anything to go by, it’s sure to be a lot of fun! Check back soon for more details on the performance.

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In the Driving Seat – young women set to perform at Museum of Transport

Less than 3 weeks to go until our ‘In the Driving Seat’ performances by young women at the Museum of Transport! We can’t wait to share what the group has been creating and the good news is you have two opportunities to join in the fun! Please call or email us for FREE tickets (details on the flyer below) and be speedy as spaces are limited!

In the Driving Seat Flyer

In the Driving Seat Flyer Reverse

These performances are part of our ‘Her Hidden Histories’ project, working to creatively engage young women and other new audiences with small heritage venues across Manchester. More news soon on our next performance at the Greater Manchester Police Museum!

Strong Manchester Women!

The Herizons group excelled themselves in a rousing performance inspired by strong women from Manchester’s history at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House last night!

From Peterloo activist Mary Fildes, to modern day anti-racism campaigner Louise Da-Cocodia, they took their audience on a lively journey through time with sketches and songs.

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The group have been working on the performance in weekly sessions since the beginning of March and were delighted to be able to share the stories they’d uncovered to an enthusiastic audience:

‘Fabulous performance – entertaining and informative, well done… When’s the next one?!’

‘I hope you continue to inspire others and carry on being powerful!’

‘Loved it all – the final song was very uplifting, great!’

Herizons is a community performance group of local women who meet every week for music and drama workshops at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House. Some members of the group first came together to devise and perform ‘Gaskell: The Musical!’ – a sell out sensation at Manchester Histories Festival 2016 – and we are pleased to have welcomed new members along the way. The group were recently honoured to perform at Manchester City Council’s International Women’s Day Awards at the Town Hall. This term, the Herizons group has been funded by the One Manchester Community Fund and sessions are delivered by enJOY arts and Claire Mooney, in partnership with Elizabeth Gaskell’s House.

We’ll soon be able to share some exciting news about what Herizons’ next adventure will be – so watch this space!

 

Delving deeper into the Museum of Transport

We had another great day at the Museum of Transport yesterday, exploring the archives and uncovering some fascinating stories with our Wythenshawe group of young women. The group are working towards a performance at the museum as part of our Her Hidden Histories project and so we took this opportunity to dig a little deeper and start taking creative inspiration from the museum’s collection. We were joined on the visit by the wonderful Heather Roberts, our Archive Consultant on the project, who helped the young women get to grips with some great journals, records and photographs from a bygone age. The group particularly enjoyed rooting through all the ‘old stuff’ and clambering into the driving seats of various different vehicles! They’ve got loads more ideas for their upcoming performance now so we’ll be sharing more details of that very soon…

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Travelling back in time at the Museum of Transport

We had a great day at the Museum of Transport on Saturday as part of our Her Hidden Histories young women’s project. It was our Wythenshawe group’s first visit to the museum, where they will be creating a performance about women in the transport industry in June. The group loved dressing up, exploring the buses and rummaging around the old office rooms – getting a real insight into some stories of the past. They left buzzing with creative ideas which we’ll be working on in our sessions over the next few weeks, so watch this space!

Herizons open International Women’s Day at the Town Hall

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In celebration of International Women’s Day yesterday, our Herizons creative women’s group were delighted to open the event at Manchester Town Hall, singing the rousing Gaskell: The Musical! anthem, Let the Women Rise.

The event was hosted by Manchester City Council and featured a keynote speech from former international athlete Diane Modahl in addition to awards for significant achievements by women across the city. The whole Herizons team had a fantastic time celebrating the strong women of Manchester and beyond in such a prestigious venue and were particularly pleased that a number of people felt moved to sing along with us in the final chorus!

Thanks to funding from One Manchester Community Soup, the group have been meeting regularly since January to take part in music and drama workshops at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House. Many of the group were original cast members of Gaskell: The Musical!, though we’ve been pleased to welcome some new members along the way and hope to keep expanding the group going forward.

Herizons meet every Wednesday afternoon and are currently working towards a performance inspired by women from Manchester’s history, which we look forward to sharing in May – more details to follow soon!

Her Hidden Histories

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We’re delighted to announce our new young women’s project: Her Hidden Histories!

Over the next 2 years, we’ll be working with young women from Wythenshawe and Ardwick to uncover and celebrate stories of everyday Manchester women, creating 3 brand new site-specific performances at small heritage venues across the city.

In the first phase of the project, spring/summer 2017, we’ll be teaming up with the Museum of Transport Greater Manchester (Wythenshawe group) and the Greater Manchester Police Museum (Ardwick group), creating site-specific performances at both venues. Incorporating music, drama & dance, these performances will be inspired by hidden histories of women in the typically male-dominated industries of policing and transport in the early 20th Century. Each group will then work towards a Takeover Day at their venue in autumn 2017 where they will become creative tour guides, devising methods to engage other young people and the general public with each place, based on what inspires and excites them.

The second phase of the project in 2018 will bring the two groups together to create a larger scale performance at Victoria Baths. This will build upon elements of each previous piece and coincide with the centenary of the first women being granted the vote in summer 2018. Throughout the project, the young women will preside over the development of an interactive online resource in collaboration with Digital Women’s Archive North (DWAN) & MadLab. The project will conclude with the launch of the digital archive in December 2018.

We’re incredibly grateful to Heritage Lottery Fund, Arts Council England and The Granada Foundation for supporting this project – and we can’t wait to get started!