Stanley Grove Primary Academy were announced winners of the ‘Promotion of Equality & Social Justice Award’ at the Manchester Culture Awards 2023 which recognise those who help to make Manchester a vibrant, culturally rich city.
A multistage project, ‘Happy, Safe and Free’ involved over 10,000 young people creating paper artwork to express the meaning of the words to them. The artworks were then shredded to symbolise loss. Refugees also made paper boats that sailed on a shredded paper ‘sea’. Finally, the shredded artworks were turned into papier mâché bowls that were hand painted by refugees. The bowls were later exhibited before being sold.
‘Happy, Safe and Free’ was a ‘Building the Bridge’ and ‘Drawing Us Together’ project funded by Stanley Grove and MADE. MADE is a collaboration between culture and education organisations from across Manchester, including art galleries, museums, theatres, schools, colleges and many more. They run participation projects and create learning resources to join the dots between education and culture.
Mrs Footman, Principal, said: “We are so thrilled with this award. I am so proud to have our incredible work recognised at this competitive, citywide ceremony. As we come to the end of an era for this project, I would like to offer special thanks and congratulations to the creative team: Emma M, Judy, Keith and Emma S. Thanks to all those who have volunteered over the years, without whom this project would not have been possible!”
On the night, the team were also delighted to see former pupil, novelist and activist Qaisra Shahraz MBE, who won the Manchester People’s Culture Award!