Z-arts Diary week 9/10

I did many different things these days including making digital screens for all of the future productions. Here are a few of the digital screens I made, there were 10 but these are a few of my favourites due to liking the colours I chose on these the most….

Slide8 Slide3 Slide1Slide7

I also worked on and adding links to the on-line brochure via Issu.

In the afternoon of the second day I got an opportunity to watch a presentation from a group that have been using one of Z-arts creative spaces to rehearse. I was really surprised at the quality of this performance so I needed to mention it! When I was told it was a group who had formed their own ‘Original Youth Musical’ ; I really did not expect it to be up to much.

However I was very surprised as I loved the small snippets of the show which I got to view. I was really happy to see the understanding of different artists from the young people, and how they demonstrated how they related to the different people they sung about. I especially loved the tribute to Oscar Wilde as I love his plays and visited his grave in Paris, I feel the song really explained his situation well to those who did not know that the playwright was jailed for homosexuality. Other songs I was treated to featured other artists such as Van Gough one of my favourite painters, another troubled soul. I really feel the young people made these figures relevant to their own stories ie- LGBT/Self Harm

The premise of the show is that a group of teens want to save a building which they use to do their theatre workshop so another song talked about architecture and how architects saw buildings as their art rather than brick and mortar. The songs were catchy and had a nice range, some of the melodies had a slight Stephen Soundheim-esque ring to them in my opinion. All the young people were very talented and you could tell they had been working really hard. If you would like to find out more about this project then here is a link to the blog for the musical- https://youcantdothatblog.wordpress.com/

That’s all for today as I feel I have been boring with listing some of the tasks I have done which have not been very interesting on here!, I have started keeping a personal record of all the jobs I have done for reference when giving feedback and I am keeping these posts to the slightly more interesting things.

See you soon, India

Z-arts diary week 8

For week 8 I managed to get tons done including uploading photos to various sites and social media pages, setting up a spreadsheet recording PR activity since February, and composing social media posts and web copies. The new Z-arts website with ‘Ticketsolve’ is going live on Monday which is exciting as all the new listings, photos and copies I have done over the past few weeks will be live then too. Another thing I was glad to see is that the Visit Manchester page is now up to date as per my email request!

Two of the events I wrote Social posts about today were ‘HOME Hulme vs Brooklyn’ and ‘Hot Mikado’. Home was a project that Z-arts ran in collaboration with Rush- an organisation based in NYC, young people made videos and artwork about what ‘Home’ meant to them, I enjoyed watching them on Youtube before sharing them on our Facebook and twitter pages. It was interesting to compare and contrast peoples ideas and thoughts around the topic. Young people used a mixture of approaches and I had the privileged of viewing the self portraits they made in their mini exhibition.

Hot Mikado was an show put on by Manchester Musical Youth- It has received rave reviews so far which is brilliant! Both of these projects show how talented our Mancunian young people are. I was horrified to read a newspaper article the other day which suggested that the arts should be scrapped from the curriculum to make more time for ‘key subjects’ and that even the humanities took up too much time better spent on Maths, Science and Languages- who does the author think they are suggesting art and literature worthless! I will repeat once again that creative skills are invaluable! And what employer would want to employ someone barely literate! Without expressing themselves through art many young people wouldn’t reach their full potential.

Hot MIkado-193

I have also got some good news from Zoe regarding my Arts Award, I can go and see a performance of Romeo and Juliet for my Arts review which will really help with my chosen focus on Shakespeare for my Arts Challenge. I can barely wait!

Z-arts Diary- Week 7

Things were back to normal this week and I was in on a Friday again. The email provider for Z-arts staff had changed so I had to change my account over to the new provider before getting started on the days work I prefer Gmail to Microsoft Office Outlook so this was a bit of a ‘faf’

First of all I emailed the Visit Manchester website- their listing for Z-arts was completely outdated! so a new version was really required.

After I finished this task I received a phone call from the MEN newspaper, I discussed the various packages they offer for media and press advertising with advertising contact- Jonathan. These included bundles of ads in Local free papers, the MEN and the Metro – obviously the various prices depended on the size of the papers audiences.

As well as new emails, Z-arts has a new provider for its box office so I had lots of Autumn listings to upload to the ‘Ticket Source’ website, being sure to enable ticket booking and add images and details to each one.

I got the chance to talk to Zoe and Paul today, Paul runs the ZYP Young Performers group at the centre and will also be running the Bright Stars group for younger children in September. As part of my Silver Arts award I am going to be planning and facilitating a workshop for the ZYP group. I am hoping to be running a workshop exploring monologues and characterisation and I have booked a meeting to discuss this with Paul as obviously he knows his group best with regards to capabilities and what they will enjoy. I am really excited for this! I have led drama groups before and really enjoyed it!

Now I had the prices from The MEN/Metro I could compile all of the different advertising options for the Z-arts Christmas show onto a big spreadsheet to make the information more organised. I hate working with spreadsheets (unless I am making my own itinerary or Christmas list and can break all the rules!) but I have to agree that they can be a useful tool.

Thanks for reading and see you soon!



Z- arts Diary- Week 6

On a Thursday not a Friday for a change, I started bright and early by adding some survey results to online tool ‘Fluid Surveys’, The website keeps track of all the feedback from the performances. I was adding the information from the forms filled out by audience members who went to see ‘Monkey’ at Z-arts. Feedback was generally really positive with the worst comment being ‘Slightly longer than expected’ which I expect was due to daddy getting bored or a child getting tired so not a big issue. The positive comments were outstanding, from ‘A very welcoming venue with helpful staff’ to ‘ I liked the puppets’. One thing that was interesting was that the most common way of finding out about the performance was Facebook. It shows how big a part Social Media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook play in Advertising these days. When my mother worked in Advertising this was of course not the case! We are truly immersed in the digital age!

Next were some Netmums listings for the summer events, and Social Media posts for ‘Before I fall’. Before I fall is a piece of theatre challenging stereotypes which surround issues such as mental health. It sounds so very deep, innovative and insightful. It will be performed this weekend (10th and 11th) so by the time this is published, some reviews should be up! It is part of the fourth Greater Manchester Fringe Festival and there will be lots more going on until the end of the month. So many festivals are taking place across Manchester at the moment so be sure to get involved in someway or another. Manchester International Festival, Greater Manchester Fringe Festival and Manchester Shakespeare company – Manchester Festival of Arts are all happening now or coming up soon. And with the opening of ‘Home’  the new arts venue and Manchester Jazz Festival in August, there truly is something for everyone.

I panicked at the mention of Christmas when I read my next task! For the winter show Z-arts will be having a performance of ‘The Snow Queen’. For a big performance you need to prep far in advance so I was to research advertising costs and ideas for this- contacting big names such as Big Issue, Metro and MEN and also smaller local papers, websites and platforms.

Overall a productive week in the hot sweaty weather- I had to go straight to a Lamda examination class on the other side of Bury till late evening so was absolutely knackered by the end of the day!

Thanks for reading

Z-arts Diary week 5

On my fifth week at Z-arts it was time to have another catch up with Zoe with regards to my Arts Award so we ran over the plans I had drawn up for this. I am focusing unit 1 on Shakespeare. I did not choose to study one of Shakespeare’s works for  my IGCSE play, choosing An Inspector Calls instead, so although my knowledge of The Bard is quite good, I have been wanting to do some more in depth study on some Shakespeare plays for a while. For my ‘Arts Challenge’ I am going to study and perform a Shakespearean monologue and for my arts review I shall watch a Shakespeare play! I am really excited to discover more about he who is arguably the most iconic playwright of all time!

We checked our timetables next. Initially my 12 week placement at Z-arts would be every Friday finishing on the 12th of August however due to Laura (who I am assistant to!) having holidays booked off, I will finish on the 31st of July with my placement continuing into September with me being in work on the 11th and the 12th of September- I thought I would include this here so you don’t wonder what happened to the diaries come August!

My first actual task as Creative Marketing and Design Assistant for week 5 was at 11.30 am when I was given the task to design a web page for Roald Dahl Day, I bulked out the Copy a little, added photos and dates then changed formatting to something compatible with the Z-arts website. Unfortunately this can’t go live yet due to the website being updated however I advise anyone with children to come along for the activities on Roald Dahls Birthday! So note down the 13th of September, its all going to be free and there will be arts and crafts, as well as readings from revolting rhymes. I had trouble on whether to add any Roald Dahl quotes to the web-page as there were so many to choose from, I ended up including one of my favorite BFG quotes!

Next I had to upload some info onto the Family Arts website and then email all the listing details of summer activities happening at Z-arts; Creative Picnics, Art Explorers and Roald Dahl Week etc, to Claire for her to put on the Moss Side summer newsletter.

After updating Facebook with some more info on ‘Hulme is Where the Art is’, and some other HIWTAI related tasks, I had some online listings to upload. When I had finished the online listings and had my lunch it was time to check the Manchester City Council web listings before learning something new.

The thing I had never done before was Postcode analysis and unfortunately it was an extremely boring task and time consuming for someone with dyscalculia but at least I know what it means now. Basically its seeing where your audience are travelling from- essential for marketing and advertising purposes of course. I had to look at all the postcodes from bookings from shows and see which postcodes we had the highest number of families from. It would have been easier but the spreadsheet supplied wasn’t in logical order ie- all M20’s together; it wasn’t even in alphabetical order. By 4.30 my eyes were hurting from scrolling up and down, aha!

For more information on Hulme is Where the Art is then here is the link- activities include a party at the lovely Hulme Community Garden Centre and much more. https://www.facebook.com/HulmeIsWhereTheArtIs

Thanks for reading once again!

Z-arts diary- Week 4

On my 4th day at Z-arts I did a variety of things. My morning was spent collaborating with a high school student who was spending her Work Experience at Z-arts, we were working on the Autumn Brochure for Z-arts. I could use the Summer brochure for inspiration and to learn the basic set-up that Z-arts follow when making brochures however there were a few problems with this- we had much less listings to put in the Summer Brochure, this along with the fact staff felt the brochure could have looked slightly better meant a slight change in format was required.

I was given 9 family entertainment event listings and their copies and image files to work with however only 2 pages to fit all the essential information from these events onto. Whereas in the old brochure only 2 listings featured on each page.

Next I uploaded some event listings and made copies for Film Club Screening Fantastic Mr Fox and Roald Dahl Day! As you can see there are lots of Roald Dahl events- there is also a Roald Dahl summer school and a screening of James and the Giant Peach! All this is to celebrate Roald Dahl Day which is the 13th of September (as this is the month he was born)

This is the copy I wrote for Roald Dahl Day-

‘September is Roald Dahl’s birth month and this year Z-arts will be celebrating Roald Dahl Day in a gloriumptious style! After a week of Roald Dahl themed activities for kids in August- it’s time for the whole family to celebrate together with fun filled day.

Come along for some splendiferous activities including games, arts and crafts and readings! you can even dress as your favourite characters- such as Charlie and Matilda as we,share poems from Revolting Rhymes and Dirty Beasts and make characters from your favourite stories.We guarantee you will have a swishwiffingly scrumdiddlyumptious time! With an array of exciting things to do enter the mysterious and wacky world of Roald Dahl!’

As you can see I made sure to include some of that crazy language! I love Roald Dahl books as they always remind me of my childhood! They lend themselves excellently to the arts – the books make brilliant films, animations, puppetry and plays and the poems and verses can be used to music as well as spoken word. My favourite Roald Dahl book has to be Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the Great Glass Elevator- with my favourite film adaptation being the 1971 ‘Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory’ starring Gene Wilder. Despite being a HUGE Johnny Depp fan I really despise the 2005 version!

During week 4 I also had a brief meeting with Zoe to discuss my Arts Award, I will blog about my progress in with this separately.

After Lunch I had to send a few emails to various contacts such as Manchester Musical Youth and filling in a spread sheet for a brochure of all the summer activities (July 22nd – Aug 31st) Then it was time to put up more of those photo permission sheets – This time for the performance of Monkey, I placed them in the Lobby where guests to the performance would notice them!

Thanks for reading!


Z-arts Diary week 3

In the morning I had some Event Listings to put up on the Z-arts website, the website is powered by WordPress just like my blog!. Lots of exciting things were coming up at Z-arts and I uploaded many, including Refugee Lifelines, Paint Pots for Tots and ‘Show us your Manc’ film making workshops.


Office dog!

Next I made a phone call to a company ‘OH Digital’ who supply Z-arts with one of their services, it was regarding an issue with the website and I think it has now been resolved. When that was done I got to create an E-Flyer for ‘Monkey’ (A show at Z-arts tomorrow) I had to photograph the physical leaflet then use Microsoft Powerpoint and Paint to edit it before uploading it to Isuu.com to change to format and share with ease.


Tasty lunch- veggie pasta and bute island medium melty

Everyone was very busy at Z-arts due to the Big Wild Rumpus event the next day- this event was to celebrate the anniversary of the book- ‘Where the Wild Things Are’. It was meant to be at Hulme Park but the dodgy weather report meant a relocation to the gallery. My next job related to the event- creating Twitter and Facebook updates for ‘Live tweeting and Facebook-ing’ during the event the next day. I created and scheduled the posts before emailing them over to Laura to post the next day- of course the FB posts are much easier to create- no pesky word limit!



After lunch and 2 meetings (Holly from Curious minds and Zoe regarding my arts award) I put up some posters. These were to make people aware of the photography taking place the next day- obviously this is important as some people won’t want to give permission for their photos to be used in media advertising or press releases. Before going home needed to upload some more event listings on Netmums and Mumsnet then It was time to go! It was a busy day and I was glad to get home after horrendous bus traffic in the humid heat!

Week 4 coming soon!- Thanks for reading!

What I did 5/6/15… Z-arts Diary

Today I started the morning by creating a new banner to publicize the feedback survey currently on the Z-arts website, customer feedback is vital for everything so I knew this was important. The banner is now up on the website and by giving feedback, customers have the chance to win tickets to one of the performances at Z-arts.

Talking of performances, today I got the chance to view a unique piece of children’s theatre which was being performed in the theatre. All of the nursery school aged children viewing the performance sat still, entranced and barely made a sound (apart from laughter) throughout the performance. ‘Casa’ was not puppetry or animation, instead it was a piece of interpretative theatre designed for young minds and unlike anything I have seen before. Only 2 actors were featured with little speech involved but they still managed to hold the attention of a young audience and portray a simple story- a cute tale of friendship.

At the end of this performance the young children were invited up into the stage space to play with water and bubbles with the two actors, I feel this audience interaction will have been really exciting for the toddlers after all that sitting still, To find out more about ‘Casa’ then follow this link – http://www.testoniragazzi.it/produz.php?iddoc=1733

After watching the performance I settled down to add listings for all of the regular Z-arts activities to the Manchester City Council website. Most of these will be free or free to Bright Sparks members. After this I did the same with the upcoming shows, putting the event listings on Netmums and Mumsnet. After lunch I did the same on Skiddle and updated the website with the details for an event called ‘Harmonise’ before doing some work on Z-arts ‘Mix it up Families’ activities; it is an art club for adults and children to do crafts together- a great way to bond in a relaxing environment.

For a bit of a break from the computer screen, it was suggested I went to do some photography of the current changing exhibit- Syria: Reaching Out to Children and Parents of War, the exhibit was really interesting and insightful. It featured drawings that children in the middle of the conflict had drawn showing innocent children’s perspectives and how they differ, it was quite emotional to look at some of the pictures. You can read more about the exhibition here- http://www.z-arts.org/events/syria-reaching-out-to-children-and-parents-of-war/  The exhibition also had a film being shown, delicious Syrian food such as flat-breads, nuts and Baklava and children’s activities.

To end my days work I updated Facebook with some colorful photos taken at the Giving Tree event, where children of supporters of the center had added their hand-prints to the wall. This was my favorite of the pictures, and probably the most colorful! (I also love the little girls cat ear headband! very cute!)

Thanks for reading!

My new job!

For the next 12 weeks I have been presented with an amazing opportunity to work alongside a team of professionals as a Marketing and Design assistant. I am really looking forward to working with Z-arts Manchester.

If you are not familiar with the organisation here is their own explanation of what they are all about:

‘Z-arts was formed in 2000 as a ‘creative space for young people’ with a priority on providing participatory activity.

Creative learning is still at the core of everything we do, both inside and outside the building. We work with schools and communities all over Greater Manchester, spanning the whole curriculum. We strive to be forward thinking in all our projects, making them as relevant, accessible, educational and of course, fun as everyone who takes part in them deserves.’

Being home educated and someone who has always thought that is important for children to have enrichment with regards to theatre and art I am a supporter of the great work this company do. I feel creativity is under- valued by schools and by society so places like the Z-arts centre located in Hulme, Manchester are vital in the development of new artists every where. Otherwise talent could go without being nourished and children could not have opportunities to get involved in extra curricular activities involving the arts and therefore miss out on personal development and enjoyment which it could have brought them.

When I first joined drama classes at Carol Godby’s Theatre workshop, a local drama school, there were skills I lacked and I was much more shy, personally, my own arts journey has influenced my personality, ambitions and confidence a great deal and helped me grow as a person. Other people may turn to poetry, music or painting, these skills are absolutely invaluable and must not be taken for granted. Academic skills are extremely important but that does not mean creativity and a passion for the arts should go un-noticed.

I am planning to document some of the things I get up to at Z-arts, here on my blog. The job description included helping to analyse, improve and manage social media pages, updating web content, working with the media to secure coverage of events, assisting with print production and distribution for advertising and researching and co-coordinating local events. So if all goes to plan, then there will be many interesting things for you to hear about. I can’t wait to get stuck in! so keep an eye out if you would like an insight into what I have been getting up to.

If you are interested in finding out more about Z-arts or seeing ‘Whats on’ then here is the link- http://www.z-arts.org/

Thanks for reading