Earlier this spring Connecting Threads were invited to deliver a day of workshops and presentations for MMU Manchester School of Art undergraduates interested in developing careers within community arts. We spoke about the different projects we have been involved with both individually and collaboratively since graduating from MSA's Embroidery degree in 2008. Our aim was to give an honest and realistic account of both the challenges and rewards of working within the arts and wellbeing sector in the current economic climate and some of the routes that are possible to take following graduation. The students were all engaged in their own work placements in community settings and it was interesting to hear about their different projects.
Part of the session involved working on the Connecting Threads embroidered Manchester landscape from last year's exhibition. This proved to be an effective icebreaker as the participants got to know each other as they chatted, adding their marks and embroidery to the piece. The piece will get another outing as part of the Didsbury Arts Festival on Saturday 22nd June, between 1.30 - 4.30pm. Join us at Emmanuel Church in Didsbury to add your own doodles and stitches.
After a busy 9 months working on our various projects, Connecting Threads are currently regrouping to develop our second project together and secure funding. We are meeting with some fantastic organisations who provide support to homeless and vulnerably housed people in the North West. We used the MMU day as an opportunity to test out some of our workshop ideas including the possibility of creating a 'matchbox city', the results were lovely and spurred us on to get that funding bid in. Keep watching this space for updates on our next project!