I am very fortunate to work as artistic director for Celebrating Sanctuary, Birmingham programming and running regular events throughout the year. Unfortunately our funding application for 2013 was turned down but we still managed to put on an excellent mini festival this year. The link below is to a video taken by local film maker Frank Black who happened upon our event and started filming.
Celebrating Sanctuary Birmingham is a registered charity, which works through the arts to raise awareness of the contributions that refugees make to the UK, and in particular to the city of Birmingham.
Our events celebrate the tradition of offering sanctuary in the UK to those fleeing persecution, and we support refugee artists to further their careers and reach new audiences.
Celebrating Sanctuary Birmingham brings together communities in Birmingham to:
- affirm the message that sanctuary is a human right;
- provide an opportunity for refugees and asylum seekers living in the West Midlands area to affirm and share their cultural identities through the arts;
- facilitate positive encounters between the public and refugees and to challenge some of the common misconceptions about refugees; and
- provide a framework within which local groups, schools and other organisations can organise activities aimed at improving public awareness about refugees and asylum issues.
Each year in June we run the Celebrating Sanctuary Festival, a world music festival that focuses on the music of refugee producing countries and the work of refugee musicians. Throughout the year we provide music events, schools workshops and other activities.