In partnership with CityCo, and ahead of the 2018
Manchester Histories Festival which takes place across venues in
Manchester city centre from 7-11 June, we bring together a panel of
experts to discuss the significant dates in history and the radical events and
conversations that have shaped Manchester into the city we know today.
We’ll look at how the city and its venues are marking the dates in history
that have major anniversaries in 2018/19. How is the city commemorating
100 years of suffrage in 2018, the WW1 centenary 2018 and 200 years
since Peterloo in 2019, to name but a few.
Karen Shannon, Chief Executive, Manchester
Karen is responsible for the creative direction,
strategic planning, programming, marketing and
funding of Manchester Histories and Manchester
Histories Festival. Karen believes that exploring
histories and heritage is a great way of engaging
with people and communities. A way to spark
imaginations, learn new things, and to create
work that has impact and meaning on the here
and now, and the future.
Katy Ashton, Director, People's History
As Director, Katy leads on strategic direction for
the museum, building relationships with partners
and funders and representing the museum
externally in the media and at events. She feels
very lucky to work with a great team, in a
fantastic building and with an amazing collection
of political and campaigning material which
demonstrates the importance of ‘ideas worth
fighting for’. She has worked in the museum
sector for over 15 years with roles in national,
local authority and independent museums. Prior
to joining the PHM in 2010, her work was
focused on learning, social justice and
citizenship within museums and led the
National Centre for Citizenship and the Law
(NCCL) in Nottingham.
Elaine De Fries, Director of Operations, The
Elaine De Fries is the Pankhurst Trusts,
(Incorporating Manchester Women’s Aid,)
Director of Operations with over 30 years’
experience of designing and coordinating projects in the voluntary and
community sector. She has worked on creative
projects developing voice and agency with women from BAME communities and
Victims of Domestic Abuse. She is a strong
believer in the importance of narrative in
community development and activism.
She is leading this year’s campaign to promote
the importance of the historic Pankhurst centre
in Manchester in this centenary year 2018 and
keep alive the voices of the Suffragettes.
Shirley May, Director, Young Identity
Director of the Young Identity writing collective,
which primarily works with 13- 25 year olds.
Shirley has worked for 19 years to promote a
culture around performance poetry, to make it
"cool" and happening by mentoring and
supporting new writers in schools and
community groups. A long-standing member of
the Speakeasy Collective in Manchester and a
stalwart of the spoken word scene in
Manchester and the UK, she co-managed the
collective for five years.
The event will be chaired by
Esme Ward, Director, Manchester
Esme is Director of Manchester Museum, the
first woman to hold the role in the Museum’s 125
year history. Previously Esme was Head of
Learning & Engagement at Manchester Museum
and The Whitworth and her career has been
driven by a social purpose and longstanding
commitment to make museums even more
inclusive and relevant to a wider audience.
These range from babies to people living with
dementia. She joined the Whitworth as its
Education Officer in 1998 before becoming
Head of Learning & Engagement across the
Whitworth and Manchester Museum in 2010. In
recent years she also worked alongside Maria
Balshaw to transform the Whitworth and help it
win Art Fund Museum of the Year in 2015.
6:00pm - Registration and refreshments
6:45pm - Introduction and welcome from Chair: Esme Ward
7:00pm - Panel discussion
7:45pm - Q&A
8:00pm - Event close
Please RSVP here by Friday 11 May to reserve your place.
When registering for more than one place please remember to enter each
guest with a unique email address. Thank you.
For enquiries please email Janine Holt at CityCo on email@example.com