1884, Ancoats. Thomas Horsfall opens The Ancoats Art Museum to improve the lives of the poor of Manchester.

2013, Ancoats. Young people’s mental health charity 42nd Street launches A Different Spirit, a programme of work exploring the role of creative engagement in positive mental health and wellbeing.

As a bridge across the 130 years between these events, in November, 2013 ten young people from Manchester travelled to Cumbria to make jam, create wallpaper, walk the fells and explore the philosophies of John Ruskin. Their three-day residential was created as the first step in an 18-month project to explore, celebrate and re-present the ideas and principles behind the Ancoats Art Museum.

homas Horsfall was committed to demonstrating that art and nature could improve the lives of ordinary people and in 1884, he opened the Ancoats Art Museum with rooms dedicated to painting, sculpture, architecture, and domestic arts.

The museum was an important early contribution to thinking around the role of culture in society and was among the first pieces of work that explicitly linked cultural activity to wellbeing.

From 2013 – 2015 42nd Street worked with young people, local communities, artists and the public to create a series of public events which bring Horsfall’s ideas into the 21stcentury.

A Different Spirit Evaluation.

Check out our three films created as part of the evaluation of A Different Spirit and check back for future opportunities with our Creative Programme in 2015 and beyond.