CityCo and Piccadilly Partnership are working alongside Manchester Museums and Galleries, and Band on the Wall, to bring the We Face Forward closing party to Piccadilly Gardens.
The music and art event marks the end of the We Face Forward programme; a series of exhibitions, concerts and installations that have brought the city alive this summer as part of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad.
The celebration will take place on Saturday 15 September; 1pm-6pm and will feature an exciting fusion of West African music, art, craft and dance.
The main music stage will be hosted by DJ Mayeva and features special headline act Jali Nyonkoling Kuyateh. Born into a family of traditional oral historians or Griots in The Gambia, Jali Nyonkoling Kuyateh is the hereditary master of the African harp or Kora.
During the afternoon there will be a chance to try out African base drums at Djembe and Dun Dun workshops, and learn some new steps with a West African Dance workshop, with Sens Sagna. Activities for children and families will include singing, drumming and dancing.
This is the second initiative Piccadilly Partnership has brought to the gardens in association with Manchester Museum, following the Ice Bear Project.
Artist: Paul Robinson – Body Stamps
Inspired by environmental sustainability and the migration of cultural values, visitors will be using objects from the gardens to create textures for printing on drawings of feet and hands. These will then be hung around the gardens. This work links to the installation 'The World Falls Apart’ by Pascale Marthine Tayou, currently at Whitworth Art Gallery.
Artist: Harriet Hall – Flag Pinwheels
Inspired by 'Ensemble’ by Meschac Gaba (the We Face Forward flag), visitors will be encouraged to create their own swirl of flags to represent themselves; choosing places they’ve visited, places they’d like to go and flags that represents their own family history.
Artist: Luke Adamson – Sound Drawings
Inspired by 'Lagos Soundscapes’ by Emeka Ogboh, visitors will be encourage to visualise the sounds, sights and smells of their favourite place to produce charcoal and pastel drawings that will make a wallpaper scroll to be added to the We Face Forward website.
Dr Maria Balshaw, Director of Whitworth Art Gallery and Manchester City Galleries said: ”Manchester has been extremely proud to stage We Face Forward, a city wide celebration of West African art and music during a culture packed summer of 2012. This season staged for the Cultural Olympiad, has inspired people from the city and much further afield and it seems fitting that we mark its success by throwing one great big party.”
Alexandra King, Piccadilly Partnership Director at CityCo added: “It’s great to host the closing party for this amazing exhibition which has been so incredibly popular. It’s fantastic to bring this free event to Piccadilly Gardens so people can enjoy West African music and culture in the heart of Manchester city centre. This is the second time we’ve brought an arts project to this space, making it accessible to thousands of people, and we hope to do more collaborations with Manchester’s museums and galleries in the future.”