| The idea of Creative Rusholme was born at the appreciative inquiry Imagine Rusholme! event in 2012, at which a group of interested and stakeholders in the neighbourhood imagined a better Rusholme. Later that year funding from Manchester City Council’s You Decide Fund resulted in the employment of a creative consultant, Alia Ullah, to undertake a Feasibility Study.
The study, published in May 2013, brought together a range of organisations, residents, and creative people to share their ideas for developing the potential of Rusholme:
Vision: To raise the cultural profile of Rusholme, connecting
creative industries, businesses and communities
Development of the initiative since then
The Feasibility study recommended collaborations between community organisations, cultural anchor organisations, residents and creatives. Since then the path has not been entirely smooth, but many positive actions have resulted. These include:
a) Stories of a Manchester Street, commenced in 2013 and completed with the publication of a book for schools in 2017 and a History Press book, launched at The Whitworth in May 2019. Postcards were also produced to raise money for local activities in 2015
b) Treasures of Rusholme Calendar 2017
c) Andrew Allen guitar concert in Holy Innocents Church, Fallowfield, 2017
d) Feasibility study for In the Footsteps of Lincoln in Platt Fields Park, presented to the Director of The Whitworth in 2016
e) Photographic exhibition featuring local residents in changing cubicles beside the Gala Pool at Victoria Baths, September 2017
Unfortunately, The Whitworth were unable to establish the hoped for presence in the Curry Mile whilst the Gallery was closed for refurbishment for several years and also rejected a request to sell postcards and the calendar.
In 2018, representatives from Creative Rusholme met with other creatives from the Rusholme, and Moss Side to dialogue with the newly arrived Director of The Whitworth, Alistair Hudson.
One result was a bid for the national Creating Civic Change Fund. Working with local councillors Jill Lovecy and Sameem Ali, Creative Rusholme brought together a group with representation from Moss Side, Longsight and Rusholme to apply for an arts based regeneration project, including Creative Hands Foundation and Global Arts Manchester. Only five funding projects were available throughout England, so it was not a total surprise not to get the Award.
In 2019, it is hoped that the consultation on the future of Platt Hall will build on and expand the success of Creative Rusholme.