Posted: Friday, 23rd September 2011
STAFF and students from across the University are helping the Zion Arts Centre in Hulme to celebrate its’ 100 year anniversary.
Terry Wyke of the Department of History and Sharon Forrest, a final year student, have spent the past year inviting local people to share their stories and memories to build up a picture of daily life at the Zion through the decades.
Their considerable public engagement work has been curated into an exhibition and book that brings the last century to life. The exhibition features photographs, newspapers and original documents gathered over months of meeting with Hulme people.
"It became obvious in listening to those who knew the Zion as children in the 1930s and 40s that this was one of the social hubs of the community. It became even more important in the 1960s when it escaped the bulldozers to become a symbol of a community that residents believed was worth keeping.” says Terry.
“It's physical survival is remarkable and its current incarnation as an arts centre for the young is a use that would the have the blessing of those churchgoers who opened the building on Stretford Road almost a hundred years ago."
The accompanying book Zion 100, written by Terry and Sharron, features a foreword by Manchester City Council Leader Sir Richard Leese who draws particular attention to the positive partnerships that Manchester Metropolitan is forming within the local community ahead of our move to the Birley Fields community campus in 2014.
Liz O'Neill, the Zion Arts Centre Chief Executive said, "Partnering with MMU over the past year has been really exciting. The knowledge, expertise and passion of the staff and students has really helped with our centenary project.
“Although we have worked with staff from right across the University, a special mention must go to Terry and Sharon, who have acted as our “historians in residence”. The Zion Arts Centre looks forward to continuing to work with Manchester Metropolitan in the future."
Zion 100 the exhibition opens with a special launch party on Saturday, 24 September from 6pm until 8pm (all MMU staff and students welcome) and then runs on weekdays from 4pm until 9pm and 9am until 4pm on Saturday's until Friday the 21st October.
Other staff involved with the Zion 100 include Jane McFadyen and Jenny Walker (Art and Design), Steve Millington (Science and Engineering), Marion Hewitt (Northwest Film Archive), Anna Evans, Natalie Procter and Gareth Hollyman (Marketing and Communications) Sam Gray (RES). Funding for the exhibition was provided by the IDEA group in the Faculty of Humanities, Law and Social Science.