A year-long project charting the role this community arts centre has played in Hulme. At Dovetail we operate a learning culture and this project had a significant learning element which included a programme of mentoring and training.
Nureyev, Pavarotti and Damien Hirst…all at the Zion!
We have been delighted to work with Zion over the last year as it embarked on a month- by- month showcase celebrating 100 fruitful years at the heart of Hulme in south Manchester.
We have been doing what we do best – developing and promoting the work of this unique community arts centre. Our aim was to raise the profile of Zion by creating strong media links on their behalf and demonstrating the amazing things that can happen when good working partnerships are developed. We also wanted to ensure that our work was embedded within the organisation, which we did through a year long training and mentoring programme which we led with with key members of staff. This element is something we are keen to incorporate into projects whenever possible, and which works particualrly well over the long term.
Through a strong programme of activities and events we have been able to capitalise and built on Zion’s important community links and celebrate their many achievements over the decades. Events were delivered on a monthly basis, including a cinematic tour through the 1960s to the 1980s with a screening of Moving Memories and a slideshow of iconic images from the demolition and rebuilding of Hulme.
Zion also hosted Punx Picnic, where children and adults alike were able to take part in a fun exploration of the punk explosion of the 70s. Continuing the musical theme, the 1950s were not to be forgotten when Zion hosted a blues revival, recreating the Manchester blues clubs which have inspired a raft of musical genres ever since.
The year long programme came to a grand finale on Octoer 9th when the Zion staged an incredible immersive theatrical experience that took over the entire building. The performance, called Plesant Sunday Afternoon Society, was named after a group who met at the centre in 1911 when it first opened. The show marked mant of the Zion's historical highlights - including a recreation of the time when Rudolph Nureyev, the internationally acclaimed ballet dancer, rehearsed in the tudios in 1968.
Zion’s other historical highlights include a visit from opera singer Luciano Pavarotti, who prepared for a performance with the Halle Orchestra there. The Zion's remarkable history also includes an exhibition of artist Damien's Hirst's world famous pickled shark, and the building Zion was used in Warren Beatty's film 'Reds'.
The Zion 100 Exhibition, curated in partnership with the Manchester Metropolitan University, is testimony to Hulme’s colourful history and firmly lays the foundations for another century of achievement. Packed with memorabilia from the past 100 years, this was a wonderful trip down memory lane for young and old alike.