In Bury, Tandem Theatre partnered with the Phoenix Youth and Community Centre in Prestwich managed by the Prestwich Methodist Youth Association.
The centre runs various activities for all ages and backgrounds, including a weekly youth group. The Game Changers programme fitted perfectly with this existing group especially as the participants were very passionate about human rights. As well as women’s rights the group were interested in rights for the LGBT+ community and those with disabilities. The project was able to harness the group’s enthusiasm and produce some really insightful campaigning materials.
“One young person who struggles from anxiety and change has been able to apply for a job and been successful.” Kerry Freeman, Phoenix Centre Youth Worker .
LEARNING FROM THE PAST
The group received guided tours at Archives + at Manchester Central Library where they handled the women’s suffrage collection, The People’s History Museum to see the wider context of women’s suffrage and Bury Art Museum to learn about the local historical context of their borough.
RECREATING THE PAST
In the arts and crafts workshops the group recreated suffragist materials such as a protest banner, rosettes, sashes, leaflets, booklets and badges. For more information on how suffragists used these materials click here.
Using Miss Openshaw’s Scrapbook as a stimulus, the group researched how the role that women played in World War I had contributed to some women getting the vote in 1918. They decorated a giant jigsaw piece in the shape of Bury with a picture of Hilda Openshaw emphasising the nurses who served in the First World War who often put themselves at risk to support the war effort.
For more information about the role that women played in WWI click here.
The group recreated the 1908 Manchester Women’s Suffrage Demonstration 1908 by marching down Lark Hill Place (a replica Victorian street at Salford Museum and Art Gallery) in costume wearing their sashes and displaying their banner.
For International Women’s Day the group displayed all their fantastic work at Bury Art Museum and their lead artist ran suffragist themed making activities throughout the day.
APPLYING THE PAST TO TODAY
The group then applied what they had learnt about the suffragist campaign methods and applied it to today. Focusing on current issues the group felt most impacted them; they developed their own campaign through taking part in a series of workshops such as debating, marketing, music, spoken word, corporate sponsorship and T-shirt printing.
For more information about these methods of campaigning click here.
These set of sessions also provided content for the groups to share at the recreation of the 1912 Women’s Suffrage Bazaar.
ASSOCIATE LEAD ARTIST - Caroline Coates
Caroline Coates is an artist who is inspired by working with people. She is an illustrator, community artist and craft tutor and specialises in getting people interested in art and to help them create their own. Working in Manchester and across the North West, Caroline’s illustrations mix the traditional and contemporary to tell a story.