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Voicebox – adding students voice to collections

Voicebox is a collaborative project initiated by Manchester Museum and Whitworth Art Gallery to work with partner schools and the Centre for Creative Writing at the University of Manchester.  The project was funded by the Martin Harris Centre at the University to celebrate 10 years since the opening of the Centre and its unique role in providing access to the community.

Students of all ages, from Year 7 to Year 12 have worked with creative practitioners and writers, as well as museum and gallery staff to use collections as stimulus for developing creative writing and language skills.

Please follow the link below to see the short film of students reading their responses to archaeological objects and tactile textile resources.


Most recently Voicebox has worked with a group of Year 12 students from Manchester Academy, using contemporary textile resources, tactile and tactile too, and the exhibitions at the Gallery of Costume, to further develop language and communication skills.  Working with facilitator Lisa Robinson, students enjoyed playfully interacting with the exhibits, selecting a favourite outfit, including a hat, dress, handbag and shoes resulting in lots of conversation.

Last week, the students used contemporary textiles to develop a word bank of specialist vocabulary, placing relevant words next to the textiles that they described.  The students really enjoyed looking at the work of Karen Casper, Elizabeth Couzins-Scott and Michael Brennand-Wood.

Voicebox MA Session 2 words

Voicebox MA Session 2 words close-up

Voicebox MA Session 2 words KC

The next session will take place at Manchester Museum on a trail to find out more about cotton, silk and wool.  Should be good.


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