Activities for Children and Young People in Trafford

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Arts and Culture

Recent Arts and Culture activities at Bluesci Wellbeing Centres

Bluesci partner with a range of funders and agencies including Art Council England, FurtureEverything, The Lowry Centre, Seed Studios CIO and Trafford Council. For further information contact Bluesci Arts and Culture Manager Andrew Hodson. email: 

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In 2017 Bluesci celebrated 10 Years of delivering Arts and Culture. This was a year long programme of creative workshops, activity and artistic commissions, celebrating the theme of journeys.

Over 600  workshops were held  in the use of Adobe Photoshop, Ableton PUSH, theatre, craft, web design, music, dance and movement, photography, creative gardening, T-shirt design, felting and painting, working with over 250 people a month.

One outstanding project was run by Seed Studios. Called The Becoming Project, engaging over 30 people with music workshops which culminated in a performance by the Vonnegut Collective at Manchester’s Central Library. Seed Studios in addition supported 40 people to perform at the Lowry Theatre in Salford in a show called Stretch Your Days Like This.  The artistic program has included monthly concerts at the Broomwood and Old Trafford Wellbeing Centres.

Other smaller projects included: 

  • Theatre of the Senses, a Trafford wide theatre group, produce and perform a play set on a space ship, exploring mental health stigma  
  • Inspire Publications, based in Old Trafford, launched a cartoon book challenging stigma around Alzheimer’s Disease, events in took placepartnership with Trafford libraries.

In 2016 responsibility for the running of Coppice Library in Sale was passed to Bluesci and a number of Arts and culture community activities took place there. These included supporting a computer gaming club for well-being called Level Up and Scilight Arts running a year long craft and well-being project, working with local people to make a book about hints and tips to maintain your own well-being based on their own experience.

Arts and Minds, an Old Trafford based community arts group, curated an exhibition of paintings on the theme of Old Trafford.  The exhibition was held at the Old Trafford Wellbeing Centre and at the Waterside Arts Centre in Sale.   It was also exhibited at the NHS Clinical Commissioning Group’s headquarters.

In Old Trafford, Seymour Poets, a community poetry group run by local Writer and artist Jackie Hagan, produced a number of books celebrating poetry by local poets from the BME backgrounds. Jackie Hagan individually was commissioned as writer in residence in 2016 working with Trafford groups and individuals. On the 16th and 17th of February 2017, her residency came to an end, with performances at the Waterside Arts Centre of a play she had written while on this residency called “Jumble Soul”.

The audience included the general public, invited commissioners and Unlimited. Hagan won a commission of £38,000 from Unlimited to develop Jumble Soul into a national touring show. Hagan’s work will be premiered at the Contact Theatre, Manchester on the 27th and 28th of October 2017 before going on a tour including the South Bank Centre, London.

During her residence, Hagan’s artistic development has gone from strength to strength. Winning the Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowship, represented the UK at the FLUPP Literary Festival international poetry slam in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil and another of her plays Cosmic Scallies has been commissioned by the Graeae Theatre, London and the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester.

Artist Andrew Hodson’s artistic residency developed the Corridor project in partnership with FutureEverything. It gave Hodson space away from his day job as arts manager to develop his own artistic practice and workshop techniques. It also helped Seed Studios who produced the work, develop their project management skills. Hodson worked with 60 individuals to produce a found sound soundscape of Manchester, running workshops in Bluesci centres as well as Manchester’s Central Library, where he was based for the three days of the festival FutureEverything16. The project was broadcast online.

Artist Sophie Mahon digital artist in residence at the Broomwood Centre ran workshops using the latest creative software and equipment, provided by Bluesci as part of the Digipods facility. Mahon also worked at Bluesci’s other centres in Trafford, running creative workshops for young people, creating new work and developing her own artistic practice.

In August 2016, Una Baines began her arts residency. Throughout October and November, Una and the team worked closely with Gorse Hill Studios and local people who use this centre to develop the work. Menarche was premiered on the 17th and 18th of November 2016 the performance featured African drummers, live video, traditional Thai Chi and African dance in addition to live music and drama. Menarche was Baines’ first experience of theatre work and the first time she had integrated dance and action into her music. 

The final artists’ residence funded by ACE was a joint commission by Jez Kerr and Nicki Dupuy. Kerr and Dupuy ran workshops at Bluesci, working with over sixteen musicians. Both Kerr and Dupuy decided the work needed a video projection element and so the decision was taken to commission video artist Tommy Scribbles. The finished work, Fluid was a unique audio visual experience, performed at the Lowry Theatre to a sell-out audience on the 16th July 2017.

The performance of Fluid brought the year of events to a close. Bluesci delivered a project which went beyond its expectations. It was  wonderful to see all the community engaged activity whilst also developing more artistically challenging work. Bluesci have grown the artistic landscape and are committed to the model of building social, cultural and artistic capital, believing it to be a unique approach to engaging with communities.  Particular pride is taken in having supported former volunteer Jackie Hagan to become a full-time, award winning poet and playwright, supported Seed Studios to become a registered charity in its own right and supported community groups such as Theatre of the Senses to develop.