Lemn Sissay: More than a Face in the Crowd

Sissay joined by diverse influential decision-makers

Situated on Plymouth Grove, Chuck Gallery – Manchester’s contemporary African art gallery – recently honoured the work of the Youth Charter globally. It also honoured the appointment of poet Lemn Sissay to the position of vice president of the Youth Charter.

The Youth Charter and Chuck Gallery hosted an event which Sissay, also the Chancellor of the University of Manchester, attended. The  region’s most influential decision-makers from the worlds of commerce, education, culture and civic and community engagement converged at the event.  The purpose was to celebrate shared aims in giving young people a chance to be inspired by Sissay’s achievements.

The occasion marked the opening of The Lemn Sissay Room. It also gave a first glimpse of the Youth Charter’s Faces in The Crowd Exhibition. Thus, it highlighted both the local gallery and Youth Charter’s future projects.

Founder and Executive Chair of Youth Charter, Geoff Thompson welcomed young people from St Mary’s Primary School in Moss Side, and from Salford-based Hercules Productions and Greater Manchester’s Young Identity. The latter performed excerpts of Lemn Sissay’s poetry during the evening.

Faces in the Crowd

Faces in the Crowd Artwork Installation and Interactive Exhibition was commissioned and produced by the Youth Charter. It is an educational and cultural opportunity for Educational Institutions, Commercial and Community organisations and Cultural Venues’ visitor experience.

The exhibition celebrates with paintings, sculpture, video and photography of heroes that shaped the African Diaspora, the UK and society.

Lemn Sissay Room – The Gallery is split across 3 rooms each dedicated to a different well-known African Artist; El Anatsui, Ben Enwonwu and Kolade Oshinowo.

A fourth room dedicated to supporting the work both organisations are doing with Manchester and UK-based artists, and communities. This fourth room will be named after Lemn Sissay.

For decades, Lemn Sissay has continued to evolve not only as a poet but author, performer, director and broadcaster. At the young age of forty-nine, despite limited formal education Lemn Sissay holds the position of Chancellor at a Russell Group University, The University of Manchester.

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