At the Booth Centre we recognise the importance of offering engaging, fun and meaningful activities for people to help them learn new skills, build their confidence, and make new friends as a crucial way to break the cycle of homelessness. A recent evaluation by a leading arts and mental health charity found that people engaging with the arts reported a 71% decrease in feelings of anxiety and a 73% fall in depression; 76% of participants said their well-being increased and 69% felt more socially included. These findings can be confirmed by spending time with our artists who take such pride in what they create and look forward to the opportunity to achieve.
Our arts programme offers regular, free workshops in areas such as painting, singing, music, drama, creative writing and sewing. We work in partnership with local and national specialists to offer people good quality, fun and challenging workshops and we’d like to introduce you to these amazing partners.
The Edge Theatre and Arts Centre
The Edge is an award winning theatre for participation with a focus on supporting vulnerable individuals to get involved in high-quality theatre and arts to transform lives. In collaboration with the fantastic team at The Edge, we work together to offer weekly drama and music workshops at the Booth Centre, culminating in two public productions each year. The shows produced create opportunities for the wider public, friends and family to see participants achieve, develop and use their skills and talents. The next production will be in the summer, it’s very early days in rehearsals but we have heard it will be based on the Peterloo Massacre!
Stitched Up is a fantastic local organisation encouraging individuality, pride and sustainability through fashion and style. Their mission is delivered through weekly sewing workshops in the Booth Centre that enable people to repair and upcycle garments as well as get involved in impressive exhibition projects. Our sewing and art groups will be working alongside Bryony from Stitched Up for a Peterloo Massacre inspired project funded by the Postcode Community Trust. The project will showcase what participants love about our great city, and things that mean the most to them in their lives. More details on this project will be announced very soon!
For those who have braved our annual Manchester Sleepout or attended our Christmas Carol Service you will be familiar with our next longstanding partner organisation, Streetwise Opera. Streetwise Opera is a performing arts charity for people who are or have been homeless. The Booth Centre is a key delivery partner of Streetwise' creative programme here in Manchester, offering weekly creative workshops at the Centre for anyone to get involved in. Through working in a safe and supportive group and participating in opera, an art form that many perceive as elitist, people's beliefs about their capabilities are fundamentally challenged and changed. The group are currently rehearsing for a performance, as part of Opera Hour at the Royal Northern College of Music, on Tuesday 26th March, find out more and register for tickets here.
arthur+martha is an experimental arts organisation helping people find their creative voice, build confidence, self esteem and self worth, through art and writing. We have collaborated with arthur+martha over a number of years, producing numerous public exhibitions. Past projects include The Homeless Library, Sing Me To Sleep, Armour and Moving Panorama. Last week, at the Booth Centre we launched the first workshop of a new two year project together called A Book of Ours - people experiencing homelessness will work to create a medieval-style illuminated manuscript about their lives. We can't wait to get started!