Home Theatre Welcomes Sanctuary Seekers
I’ve spent the last three Tuesdays hanging out at Home Mcr – an arts centre on Manchester’s Tony Wilson Place. There are worst places to be on a Tuesday afternoon admittedly. “Arts Centre” doesn’t really do it justice – it has 5 cinemas, a theatre, cafes, bars, rehearsal spaces and art exhibitions. In 2015 it moved from the Cornerhouse on Oxford Road but the new premises are impressive. As you walk in by the main entrance you’d be forgiven for thinking you were in an exclusive hotel or high end restaurant. But HOME does not want to appear elitist or exclusive. It’s open to everyone. And this is why they work with around 50 charities and organisations to invite people through their doors who wouldn’t otherwise get the chance to visit.
One of those organisations is Manchester City of Sanctuary, so for three Tuesdays we have invited our sanctuary seekers to come to HOME for the launch of This is Human – a programme of events and art installations produced by 11 of Manchesters’ newest emerging creatives. A few of them did guided tours around the centre so our sanctuary seekers got to hear about the project from the artists themselves.
We had a great turnout each week, and the same people came back again and again. The children especially really enjoyed it, and I do hope that those families who came to the sessions feel they can go back any time: HOME’s doors are always open. Personally I found the people I met – artists and sanctuary seekers alike – inspiring and energising. I got the chance to meet and chat with some lovely people from all over the world, the place was abundant with youth, energy and smiles.
I hope that in some small way these sessions have made a difference to the people who came. Meeting those people, seeing their strength, resilience and determination to live normally, has certainly made a difference to me.
-Anna Riggs, volunteer