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OMF and the Cheetham Cultural Festival

Love One Another was the theme for this years Cheetham Cultural Festival, and there is an abundance of love in Cheetham Hill and Crumpsall. Programme Coordinator, Patrick Shepherd, writes about the wonderful time OMF had at the Cheetham Cultural Festival!

OMF ventured into a wonderful part of Manchester last month for the Cheetham Cultural Festival. The festival ran for 4 days from the 23rd - 26th September with activities from Arts and Crafts to Ukrainian dancing in venues across Cheetham Hill and Crumpsall.

Days 1 & 2

The Cheetham Cultural Festival takes place every year to celebrate the diverse communities in Cheetham Hill, so the festival takes place across many different places from the National Football Museum, the Jewish Museum, Khizra Mosque and Tesco!

Day 1 started with the opening ceremony at St Chad's RC Primary school featuring performances from local schools focussed on the central theme of the festival, Love One Another. The day also had events like a coffee morning at Abraham Moss Library and the Cheetham Hill and Crumpsall Heritage Society gave a session at the Jewish Museum.

The next day saw Arts and Crafts and a tour around the National Football Museum!

If you don't know Cheetham Hill area, Mary Burke has created an incredible work of art where she's painted the whole of the Cheetham Hill road on canvas! The picture below shows it on display at the fantastic venue in Cheetham Hill, The Yard! This was put on display at various points throughout the festival.

Welcome Centre Community Jam

OMF's first day of getting involved was at the Welcome Centre for the family day. We held a music jam with local musicians, playing traditional folk songs and a song by the Welcome Centre's very own Andy Steele called 'The Garden Song'. Andy wrote this song about the Welcome Centre Garden using words and descriptions by Welcome Centre visitors.

We also put out a selection of instruments for the children to have a go. There were guitars, violins, thumb pianos and even Ouds, courtesy of Kelly Burke. It was great to see the children (and adults) try to figure out how to make a sound and what the best way to play the instrument would be. There were, of course, some who already knew how to play certain instruments creating a fantastic symphony of different sounds.

We also had some delicious food made by the lovely folks at the Welcome Centre where there were all sorts of family activities going on throughout the day, including Chinese Caligraphy!

As the festivities were winding down, OMF Director, Jo led a singing workshop in the beautiful garden with some of the children and we had a really good time singing OMF classics like the Scooby Do song!

Closing Ceremony - Drum workshop

The next day, we were excited to be at the Ukrainian Centre in Cheetham for the closing ceremony! There were stalls out in the hall from Citizen's Advice, NHS, and The Royal Exchange, and the stage was constantly alive with a series of fantastic performances, with a Gatka performance and Ukrainian dancing!

Also appearing on the stage was the result of a wonderful drum workshop we put on, led by Laszlo from Percussion4U!

Thankfully, the workshop was filmed by the folks at Cheetham Festival so you can hear the lively Samba sounds!

We had a wonderful turnout from lots of Cheetham and Crumpsall families, and even the Reverend got involved on the Agogô!

We had a wonderful time at the Cheetham Cultural Festival and it was great to see creativity thriving so well in a beautiful, diverse community. Thanks to all the wonderful organisers and particularly Kelly Burke from our Migrant Voices project who was instrumental in making the music events happen and introducing us to all the wonderful Cheetham Festival folk!

We can't wait for next year's festival and make sure you keep an eye out for the Spring Fling!

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