Taking Over Elizabeth Gaskell’s House

Sunday 22nd November was an exciting day in Elizabeth Gaskell’s House as a group of young women took over the House as volunteers and tour guides!

Members of the group had been working together following the success of their ‘Tales of Manchester Life’ performance at the House back in May. This time they learned about the roles of the people who work at the House and used their heritage knowledge and creative skills to devise some fun activities for visitors to take part in. They even got back into full Victorian costume and took members of the public on their own unique and interactive tour!

The young women did a fantastic job sharing their knowledge and enthusiasm, interacting with visitors and thinking on their feet. Elizabeth Gaskell’s House was abuzz with excitement and laughter all day and there was some lovely feedback from members of the public:

‘Ladies, I so enjoyed your enthusiasm – it really made my visit special and I came all the way from Canada!’

‘Thanks for a very interesting Sunday afternoon. Well done, your research and acting was very good. Hooray for all the girls!’

‘You made my day! Do more like this!’

This event was organised as part of National Takeover Day, specifically as part of Kids in Museums Takeover Day, and made possible by funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

We are incredibly proud of all the young women who took part and we’re looking forward to working with them and others on more exciting projects in the new year… watch this space!

Takeover Day Sunday 22nd November

Following the success of our performance, ‘Tales of Manchester Life’ at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House, we’ve been working on an exciting event for National Takeover Day specifically as part of Kids in Museums Takeover Day.

We’ve been working with the young women who were involved in our performance back in May, to devise and plan a creative takeover of Elizabeth Gaskell’s House in Manchester. The young women have been attending weekly sessions, finding out more about the house and the roles of volunteers. These sessions are working towards Sunday 22nd November, where the plan is for the group to takeover the house as young volunteers!

They won’t just be normal volunteers though… Using their heritage knowledge of the house and their creative skills, the group have devised their own creative activities for the general public to learn more about the house, both as audience members and by taking part in exciting activities. There will also be an opportunity to see footage from the performance project the group took part in earlier in the year.

We don’t want to give too much away so if you’re interested in finding out more please get in touch or just come along on the day. The House is open as normal with the group’s activities running 11:00am – 3:00pm, normal admission prices will apply and more information about this can be found on their website.

For a sneak preview of what the girls have been doing, here’s a little look at some of our sessions so far….

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One week to go!

Young women from our Tales of Manchester Life project are very excited about their upcoming performances, the first of which will be in just one week’s time! Here they are inviting you to come and watch.

Click here for more info on how to book tickets – it’s sure to be a fantastic performance!

Tales of Manchester Life – upcoming performances!

Just three weeks to go until our ‘Tales of Manchester Life’ performances by young women at the incredibly atmospheric and inspiring Elizabeth Gaskell’s House! We can’t wait to share what the groups have been creating and the good news is you have not one, not two, but THREE opportunities to join in the fun! Please call or email us for tickets (details on the flyer below) and be speedy as spaces are limited!
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Tales of Manchester Life Project Update

Our young women’s groups have been hard at work putting together what promises to be a lively and innovative performance at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House! Here are Tyra & Tamara talking about what they’ve been up to so far:

Heritage Project Trips and Visits

We spent a fantastic week during half term bringing together young women from Wythenshawe and Salford to explore local heritage sites in connection with Elizabeth Gaskell as part of our ‘Tales of Manchester Life’ project.

We began the week at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House, where the young women were able to explore the rooms and take part in creative activities inspired by what they found there.

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On Wednesday we travelled to Knutsford to see where Elizabeth Gaskell spent her childhood and the church in which she married. We enjoyed a walking tour courtesy of Knutsford Heritage Centre and we saw an exhibition at the Brook Street Chapel.

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Then, on Thursday we visited Quarry Bank Mill, where we found out what life was like for the young people who worked there during Victorian times through a tour of the Apprentice House. We were also shown some of the machinery they used and given the opportunity to explore an archive with particular reference to Elizabeth Gaskell’s connection with the mill (her uncle being the local doctor). Finally, we enjoyed a fantastic session on Victorian dress where the girls where able to try on some beautiful outfits!

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We came back to Elizabeth Gaskell’s House to round up the week and share what we had learned before looking ahead to ideas for our performance.

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We’re now looking forward to an exciting couple of months of creativity as we work with each group in weekly sessions to create this performance. The final piece will be performed at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House at the end of May and we know it’s going to be fantastic!

We’d like to thank all the staff at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House, Knutsford Heritage Centre, Brook Street Chapel and Quarry Bank Mill for such a fun-filled and inspiring kickstart to this project!

Creative Team Day at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House

We had a great day gearing up for ‘Tales of Manchester Life’, our young women’s creative heritage project, on Saturday. Our drama practitioners, writer and musician got together for a day of sharing ideas and inspiration at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House. A big thank you to the volunteers at the house for accommodating us. Here are some photos from the day…

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We’re now looking forward to kickstarting the project with young women from Wythenshawe and Salford on a series of trips and visits next week!

Musician and Workshop Leader Required

enJOY arts and Tandem Theatre are seeking an experienced Musician and Workshop Leader for ‘Tales of Manchester Life’ a creative heritage project for young women aged 14 to 21 that aims to explore the life, work and times of Elizabeth Gaskell through performance. The project will run from January – July 2015, including public performances at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House at the end of May. This project is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund Young Roots Programme and Arts Council England.

Please see the Musician and Workshop Leader Recruitment Information and Project Timeline Document, or email info@enjoy-arts.org.uk for details on how to apply.

The deadline for applications is 5pm on Thursday 4th December.

Interviews will take place in Manchester on Friday 12th December.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Funding Success for Young Women’s Creative Heritage Project

enJOY arts are delighted to announce that, in collaboration with our friends at Tandem Theatre, we have been awarded funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England for an exciting new young women’s project based in Greater Manchester!

‘Tales of Manchester Life’ will focus on the life and times of Elizabeth Gaskell, one of the Victorian Era’s most important women writers, and culminate in public performances at newly re-opened Elizabeth Gaskell’s House in Ardwick. The project is due to begin in early 2015 with the performances taking place at the end of May.

‘Tales of Manchester Life’ will enable young women from Wythenshawe and Salford to explore the cultural and social context of the period in which Gaskell wrote, focusing on women and their changing roles, through creative writing and performance. The young women will take their inspiration from visits to local heritage sites such as Elizabeth Gaskell’s House, Quarry Bank Mill and Knutsford Heritage Centre.

enJOY arts and Tandem Theatre are two female-led community arts organisations working primarily with young people in Greater Manchester and aiming to broaden their cultural horizons. Working with heritage experts and volunteers from Elizabeth Gaskell’s House, participants in this project will be able to find out more about Gaskell’s work, life and times, interpret this creatively in a way that feels relevant to them and share their heritage learning with other young people and the wider community.

Sara Hilton, Head of HLF North West, says: “It’s wonderful to see young Manchester women engaging with one of the city’s historic female figures, through the places and ideas associated with her. ‘Tales of Manchester Life’ is a great example of how exploring heritage can help us understand our identity and still inspire us today.”

We are thrilled to have received the support of both the Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England for this exciting project! We are confident that ‘Tales of Manchester Life’ will engage young women with both heritage and positive female roles models in a creative and inspiring way. This project has been made possible by an award of £31,100 from the Heritage Lottery Fund Young Roots Programme and £9,705 from Arts Council England.

Watch this space to see how the project develops and for updates on the final performances!HLF Logo

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International Women’s Day with LGBT Youth North West

We spent the day working with young women at LBGT Youth North West on Saturday 8th March, in celebration of International Women’s Day. This year’s theme was ‘Women as Peacemakers’ so we creatively explored messages and images of peace with the group. It was a lovely, peaceful day – check out some of the work they produced!

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IWD 2014 Artwork