Girl Gang Manchester is a force of nature. Their events are fun, collaborative and involve a shit-ton of glitter. From immersive screenings, creative club nights and speed mate-ing sessions, to exhibitions, workshops, zines and online campaigns, Girl Gang strive to bring people together to connect and skillshare.
Their work is so impressive it’s garnered attention from The BBC, Manchester Evening News, Manchester Confidential and The Tab. Plus they’ve been mentioned in two of the “Most Influential People in Manchester” lists in the past few months. They’ve got their shit going on. And here, Kirsty Morrissey and Megan Marie Griffith talk us through Girl Gang’s top five tips for working collaboratively. Grab your notepad, get your green tea ready and settle down for some top tips.
“At girl gang we believe everyone is an artist, that popular culture can be profound and that politics and feminism is for everybody” – Megan Marie Griffith
TIP 1: Know why you’re there/appreciate each other.
Make sure you know why you want to work together and that you really value the other person’s contribution. It’s a waste of everyone’s time collaborating just to have someone’s name on your project. Only collaborate if you actually want their input.
TIP 2: Establish clear roles and responsibilities
Establish clear roles so everyone knows what they’re responsible for. These don’t have to be the same on every project, but it’s good to divvy things up so you don’t waste time on duplication. It’s also really important that people genuinely want to do the task their assigned, or if they don’t they also recognise that other people are having to pick up something a bit boring too- sometimes that’s just the nature of the beast! If there’s a power dynamic (is someone funding it? Do they get sign off) make sure that is agreed beforehand.
TIP 3: Know when to adapt and when to stand your ground
Don’t be precious about your ideas, if you’re sharing you have to be willing to let the group adapt your idea and let is take a new path. Equally, if you’re not happy with the direction something’s headed in, it’s your responsibility to speak up. Open and honest communication is key!
TIP 4: Communication is key!
Keep regular comms and do them in a way that works for everyone. No point sending long emails if the other person is more of call person, or scheduling 1-hour meetings if someone is 2 hours away. Slack and Google Drive are life savers. Use tools that encourage collaboration and feedback.
TIP 5: Lay on a spread for your fellow collaborators
I don’t think we could do what we do if we weren’t mates. That’s not to say we were at the start, many of us started as strangers, but our approach has always been to invest in our friendship as much as our project which means we are all willing to work harder together for a shared goal and awesome hangs. Spend time getting to know each other and having a lovely time! Food and wine at meetings go a long way.
BONUS TIP: Don’t be afraid to think big.
Almost everything we’ve ever done we’ve wondered whether we can pull off. From 7 foot Eiffel towers to midnight flash mobs. Most things start with a crazy vision, but by sticking to our guns, we’ve pooled our resources, harnessed our creativity and made it happen!
Check out Girl Gang in action
Can I get involved in Girl Gang Manchester?
We are open to everyone and welcome pitches and guest event curators. So long as an event or project falls in line with our manifesto, we’re game to make it a reality and are always keen to support people to help bring their ideas to fruition. In 2018 we’re looking secure funding so we can carry out even more inspiring work.
Come to the next Girl Gang Manchester event!
Come and make new pals at Speed Mate-ing at Texture on December 13th, 7pm. Also keep your eyes peeled for a Speed Mate-ing event in Liverpool, which will be coming to you in 2018!
Follow Girl Gang Manchester
Twitter – @GirlGangMcr
Instagram – @GirlGangMcr