By Colleen Molloy, National Development Officer, City Of Sanctuary
City of Sanctuary UK is a network contributing to building the movement for welcome for people seeking sanctuary in the UK. We promote understanding, recognition and celebration of the ways in which people seeking sanctuary enrich society and seek positive change. Our goal is to create a network of places that are proud to offer safety to people seeking sanctuary and local communities which are inclusive and welcoming.
The arts play a vital role in creating a culture of welcome, challenging the status quo and shaping the kind of society we hope to live in.
City of Sanctuary UK is pleased to announce the recent publication of the Sanctuary in Arts resource pack which was developed in collaboration with Counterpoints Arts. The resource pack aims to support arts organisations (from community arts organisations through to national theatres and everything in-between) to meaningfully engage with refugees and raise audience awareness.
Launched to coincide with Platforma 5, the biennial festival taking place this month in Kent, the resource pack is rich with inspirational case studies from the arts sector providing examples of embedding diversity and inclusion into their work. It includes community arts practice developing welcome in museums, small theatre companies and large theatres and is based on the developing experience within the City of Sanctuary network through the provision of Arts of Sanctuary Awards.
Sanctuary Awards recognise and celebrate the welcoming and inclusive practice in any mainstream organisation which follows the Learn, Embed and Share framework within their own context. Learn refers to a whole organisational approach to learning about what it means to be seeking sanctuary and listening to the voices of people seeking sanctuary. Embed refers to taking this learning into account in the development of policies, procedures and everyday practice to ensure that people seeking sanctuary and other migrants are welcome and included within the organisation. Share refers to the process of publicly celebrating these achievements and encouraging other similar organisations to become more welcoming. These processes provide a valuable framework for any organisation wishing to improve their inclusive practice and can underpin the welcoming and engagement of all communities. City of Sanctuary hopes to engage arts organisations to join the movement for welcoming refugees and celebrate their contribution to our society by sharing great practice through the Arts Resource pack and our website.
The resource pack can be downloaded for free from this link. We welcome feedback to inform a 2nd edition and we welcome your case studies of good practice to share on our website. We recognise the powerful potential for arts to effect positive social change and this is reflected in the resource pack.
For further information please contact Colleen@cityofsanctuary.org and visit our website.