We Love MCR awarded a grant in October to Manchester Street Poem for their online creative workshops, giving an artistic platform to marginalised communities in Manchester.
Manchester Street Poem are a charity who see themselves as both an arts project and a community. They produce massive art installations that provide a platform for marginalised communities to tell their stories, having featured at the last two Manchester International Festivals! Their public artworks undoubtedly make the most noise, but their regular workshops that provide a safe space to connect and be creative are where the majority of their work lies. Their other primary aim is to provide exciting, self-affirming experiences to communities that aren’t well represented in the art world – participants see benefits to general wellbeing and many have moved on into work, education, secure housing and other improved situations thanks to MSP’s support.
They initially worked with homeless people in Manchester, but the more they engaged with the community the more they realised it was entwined with many other forms of marginalisation. They encountered individuals who were not necessarily homeless but isolated or socially excluded in other ways and wanted to be involved. Their group now reflects lived experience of homelessness, mental illness, alcohol/substance misuse, criminal justice system or any other issue resulting in marginalisation within society.
MSP came to us for a grant to run 12 weekly online creative workshops throughout December to March which will culminate in an exhibition at the beginning of April showcasing the work they produce. The workshops will consist of exercises around creative writing and artistic expression, boosting self-esteem and creating meaningful connections. During each session they’ll focus on a different topic and produce personal and inspirational quotes presented in an appealing format to be shared on social media, via photo editing, painting, drawing or film. They’re hoping that 20-30 individuals could benefit from these activities, with the participants benefitting from the relaxed nature of them as committing to structured activities can be difficult for people with experiences these have lived through.
We LOVE Manchester Street Poem, and the time and care they’re giving to lend visibility for Manchester’s marginalised communities! Find out more about them on their website mcrstreetpoem.com and about their work on their Twitter twitter.com/mcrstreetpoem, YouTube: youtube.com/channel/U and Instagram: instagram.com/mcrstreetpoem.