Wednesday, 3 August 2016

A busy few weeks - and an Award!

It's been a busy period for the Apna team. While we wait to see if our application to the Arts Council is successful, and will allow us to return to running a full-time programme, we've been involved elsewhere. Apna activities are continuing, but Arry has been running workshop sessions at the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester, part of their aim to bring more visitors from the South Asian communities (Rusholme is on their doorstep). 

We also organised a special Eid celebration at Haslingden Market. The sun shone (mostly), and the market looked great, draped in colourful banners and with plenty of even more colourful stalls. Horse + Bamboo provided a yurt and puppetry - plus special theatre-for-ones, where a single performer creates a puppet performance for just one member of audience at a time. Over 500 people visited...

But the biggest event of all was a day spent at the Living Islam Festival at Lincoln Racetrack. This was a fantastic family event, with a bazaar, a fun-fair, a four day programme of speakers and seminars, an art gallery and a food fair. On the final day the Islamic Society of Britain held their Celebrating Excellence Awards, and Arry had been nominated for her work at the Apna. In the event she won the award! (Pictured above).

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Eid Family Fun

During the Ramadan period we've been busy planning a special Eid Family Fun Day, which will be held at Haslingden Market this Sunday - 10th July between 12 and 4pm.

There's going to be something for everyone - entertainment and craft workshops from Horse + Bamboo and the Apna team; stalls with traditional clothing and other items on sale; henna and calligraphy stalls and, of course, food for sale.

We've teamed up with HAPPI, who are supporting us - there's still space if you would like to take part with a stall. Contact HAPPI through their Facebook page. 

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Up and running....

It feels as Apna 2016 is up and running at last!

This past week we've hung an entirely new exhibition of real exciting work by Raanaz Shahid, plus we've had the artist Rahima Begum visit again from London and help with our workshop groups. As a bonus, today we had a visit from a group of staff from Manchester Museums who came to see one of our workshops in action, and of course the new exhibition!

The link with Manchester Museums, which includes the Whitworth Art Gallery and Manchester Museum, is very exciting and we're exploring ways of having regular and mutual visits - with our ladies' groups visiting the museum, and curators from the museum bringing some of their collection to the Apna! 

The exhibition of work by Raanaz Shahid at the Apna will be showing for two months, and will be open to the public on Fridays (10.30 - 2.00) and Saturdays (10.00 - 3.00). Raanaz was recognised at the 2016 British Muslim Awards, where she won the Arts & Culture Awareness Award.

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

New developments at the Apna!

The Apna is preparing for a new programme of workshops and classes. Arry Nessa is also busy making contact with artists from a South Asian background in order to arrange a series of new and exciting exhibitions and events. 

We're also extending our network of contacts - the Umma Channel are looking at tying in with our activities; we're meeting Mobeen from the Muslim Museum Initiative to discuss sharing ideas; and Shamshad Khan who led many of the activities for the Different Moons project, is now running creative sessions at the Aawaz Centre in Hyndburn, partly inspired by the example of the Apna!

Saturday, 19 March 2016

We're open!

The Apna has reopened after being closed since November last year. Over the winter we've had heating installed, along with toilet facilities and the addition of a kitchenette/storeroom. There's now a back door entrance to a small sheltered garden yard which, in good weather, we can use to sit outside. 

This week we've had several meetings and sessions, including Maryam Golubeva's paper-cut workshop and, today, Shamshad Khan leading readings from the new book of poems created by local South Asian writers. 

Come along and join us at the new Apna. Open every week, Wednesday until Saturday, from 10.30 am until 2.30pm (Saturdays 4pm). Look out too for special events and sessions outside of these hours. 

Monday, 7 March 2016

Welcome to the Apna Blog

Welcome to our blog for THE APNA. We first opened the building in August 2015 and it was such an immediate success that since we closed in November we've been working to improve our facilities. We're opening after the Winter break next weekend and you'll find that the new Apna has improved heating, toilet facilities, a kitchenette and more storage room. 

We've also started this blog, so you can keep in touch with what the Apna is offering - exhibitions, workshops, meetings and drop-in sessions. Bookmark this page and keep in touch with the exciting new developments.