What happened this year? Z-arts in 2018

2018 is over!

We’ve rescued scientists and fought off dinosaurs. We’ve climbed trees and created worlds out of chalk and circles and squares. There has been singing and dancing and building and tidying, we’ve travelled to space and to the garden centre, we have been the finders of lost things and the founders of new adventures.

It has been quite a year at Z-arts!


We started the year in a cloud of chalk with The Chit Chat Chalk Show before everything froze over with Snow Mouse and Where’s My Igloo Gone? before rounding off the Spring season with a musical flourish from Friends for All and Arun Ghosh’s Jazz Club.

Our summer season brought us dangerously close to some Aaaaaaaaaaaaagh Dinosaurs! and got us to zip up our spacesuits for One Small Step into space. We created some order and more than a little chaos with Tidy Up next, before the musical mayhem of Minifest took over the building and David Gibb sent us on our summer holidays whistling songs from Climb That Tree.

We escaped the back-to-school blues with the Marty the dog from Twinkle Twinkle, followed by A Square World challenging us to see the world in a different way. Adrift captivated us with beautiful storytelling about the resilience of childhood, Plink and Boo gave us a circus extravaganza in all the colours of the rainbow, and then we teamed up to take risks, break the rules, and push buttons in The Astonishing Vacuum Cleaner Adventure. And how could we forget Hamish, Andy and Andy in Black Beauty, our wonderful Christmas show that delighted over a thousand audience members!



Theatre’s not the only thing we were busy doing at Z this year. We painted, danced, performed and sang our way through five week-long holiday activities, twenty-eight fun days, and over a thousand Bright Sparks workshops!

The Big Draw, part of the Big Draw Festival 2018, saw children and their grown-ups letting loose and embracing creativity and discovery through art for a whole day – our Gallery workspace was covered in creations from all ages and it was a great success!

The Z-access Family Fun Days are something that we’re particularly proud of this year, our specially designed free fun days for families and friends with additional requirements and disabilities. The days included BSL interpretation, arts and crafts activities, dancing, drama, a sensory room, visual guides, and colourful mapping of the building – keep an eye out or more Z-access Fun Days in 2019!

Rush Hour Jam with award-winning jazz artist Arun Ghosh transformed Z-café through live music, providing the perfect antidote to the weather getting colder and the nights drawing in. Over a hundred people joined in with the house band on our Family Fridays to bring the week to a perfect close.

One of the biggest successes of this year must be The Ministry of Lost and Found, our day long takeover of Manchester Central Library where visitors old and new went on voyages of discovery. We filled the usually quiet spaces with hulahoopers and jugglers and hat wearers and music makers and treasure hunters and insect finders and hide and seekers, bringing the Ministry of Lost and Found to larger than life!


Everyone who works at Z-arts puts in a fantastic amount of work to provide high quality services to the communities we are part of, and it’s always brilliant when this work is recognised. So we were over the moon to be winners of two awards this year!

We were awarded Fundraising Team of the Year at the North West Charity Awards. One of the best things about Z-arts is that everyone gets involved in raising funds – we love it when a plan comes together!

We were also winners of the award for Inspiring Innovation at the Manchester Culture Awards for MY PLANET, a creative arts project aimed at increasing attainment and aspiration for primary aged children in Hulme and Moss Side.


We’ve had a fabulous year at Z-arts, and it wouldn’t have been nearly as fun without you. We can’t wait to sing, dance, perform and create through another year with everyone who comes to Z-arts and makes it what it is – a vibrant, caring, inspiring place for everyone to be whoever they want to be.


From everyone at Z.

Latest news