What have the arts got to do with homelessness?

The International Arts and Homelessness Summit/Festival
12th – 18th November 2018

This is the first event of its kind bringing together arts projects, people and artists with personal insight into  homelessness, practitioners, policy-makers, organisations, charities and academics. Greater Manchester has been chosen because of the exceptional arts/homelessness projects in the region, the way arts is becoming integrated into policy, (including Manchester’s Homelessness Strategy) and the way the cultural sector is stepping forward to support homeless people. Arts and homelessness projects/events will be showcased in a Festival throughout Greater Manchester and from 15 to 18 November, during this time there will be a four-day International Summit at the Whitworth.

The Festival will showcase performances and exhibitions from some of the best local, national and international groups such as Tokyo’s Sokerissa Dance Company, Porto’s Som da Rua, Chicago’s Red Line Service and arts and homelessness groups from Greater Manchester. A public mural will be created by people from Manchester with a personal insight into homelessness, led by New York artist-activist Joel Bergner.

The Summit will share practice and methodology including Theatre of the Oppressed NYC’s Legislative Theatre model, the launch of an International Literature Review of Arts and Homelessness and a Review of Cultural Spaces’ Responses to Homelessness (how international galleries, museums, libraries and venues are working with homeless people)

The Summit will also be discussing arts & homelessness policy – from Manchester and Greater Manchester’s homelessness strategy, to Paris’ Pacte Parisien which sees cultural institutions twinned with homeless centres.

The Summit will be co-produced by people with personal insight into homelessness – from planning to delivery. There will be discussions on how to involve the voice of people more centrally in the sector, citing examples such as the Movimento Populacão da Rua in Brazil where people who are homeless have direct access to policy makers. Half the delegate places will be reserved for people who are, or have been homeless.

The Summit and Festival will build on the work of the Manchester Homelessness Partnership and the Manchester Homeless Charter in creating partnerships between cultural and homelessness organisations. A programme will be implemented inspired by the Pacte Parisien in Paris, which pairs up arts organisations, libraries, cultural spaces and museums with local organisations, charities and services. Throughout Greater Manchester, many organisations are already partnered but this will be expanded, creating a mechanism of how partnerships can work from collaborative projects, ticket schemes to artist in residencies.

This Summit & Festival is intended to inspire, encourage and provoke. There will be calls to action and time for connection and reflection, always with creativity and the voice of people with personal insight at the forefront. It will be attended by around 250 delegates from around the world including UK, Brazil, Colombia, USA, Canada, France, Portugal, Germany, Kenya, Sierra Leone, India, Japan and Australia.

For more information and to register your interest in attending please follow the link to The International Arts and Homelessness Summit & Festival