In April 2014, the Royal Exchange Theatre and the Booth Centre delivered Backstage? Me?, a one day event looking at homelessness and theatre.
The event was delivered as part of the Theatre’s three year Community Leader Programme with the Booth Centre, and offered an opportunity for debate, discussion and intelligence sharing with other homeless charities, arts organisations, practitioners and social change professionals.
Backstage? Me? explored the rich variety of conversations, progressions and reflections taking place with people living in poverty. Led by homeless participants – and the practitioners and organisations that work with them – the day was made up of a mixture of practical workshops, group discussions, performances and short presentations. It offered a chance to listen, watch, debate and take part – a behind the scenes look at this area of arts practice.
The day included contributions from Streetwise Opera, Collective Encounters (Liverpool), Cardboard Citizens, The Performance Ensemble (Alan Lyddiard), Hidden Voices project (Wigan), Digital Sparks: Community Arts North West (CAN) and Petrus (Rochdale), The Dukes Theatre (Lancaster) and Lancaster and District Homeless Action Service and Tony Lloyd (Police and Crime Commissioner for Greater Manchester). Also at the event Homeless Link – a national charity supporting people and organisations working directly with homeless people in England – published a paper recommending continued investment in arts projects for homeless people. The Get Creative: Art For All publication calls for organisations to embrace the arts and creative projects, thinking innovatively about ways to inspire change for those who have experienced homelessness.
Find out more about the partners who presented work as part of the Backstage? Me? national event in our Partner Case Studies.
“Today was amazing, very informative and eye opening. Interactive and engaging. Great mix of attendees. Handled sensitively.”
“One of the best training events I have attended in terms of framework, content and organisation.”
“Really good, very inspiring and gave me a greater understanding of the importance and the successes of engaging disadvantaged adults in the creative arts. It was also great to meet delegates and learn about the work of organisations all over the country.”
“Attending the event has definitely boosted my confidence in going out to promote what I do. It has also boosted my confidence in becoming more pro-active in applying for funding to deliver projects.”
Backstage? Me? delegates
Twitter Storify from the Backstage? Me? event
Transcript of speeches
Homeless Link's Get Creative: Art For All publication
Backstage? Me? event schedule
Further Arts and Homlessness Resources
A compilation of Visual Minutes from the Backstage? Me? event