With One Voice project

Posted on: 17 April 2015

Written by: Vicky Ream

Cardboard Citizens is taking part in a project to bring arts and homeless projects from Brazil and UK together leading up to Rio 2016.  The With One Voice project involves working with Streetwise Opera and other arts and homelessness organisations, including Café Art, Choir With No Name, Crisis Skylight and Open Cinema along with Brazilian homeless organisations as part of a cultural exchange.

The next stage of the project involves a visit to Manchester and London by Brazilian artists, policy makers, representatives of NGOs and leaders of the Movement of Homeless People at the end of April. The aims of the project are to help build capacity arts and homelessness in Brazil, to help initiatives in Brazil and the wider international arts and homelessness community be better networked and to enable knowledge exchange between initiatives in Brazil and Great Britain. 

A group of around 14 Brazilian artists, policy makers, representatives of NGOs and leaders of the Movement of Homeless People will travel to Manchester and London to understand the reality of homelessness in the UK and to spend time with some of the leading arts and homelessness projects in the UK. The group will visit the Booth Centre in Manchester to see the fantastic daily programmes of activity at the centre and to meet policy makers from Manchester City Council and other projects at an arts and homeless seminar on 20th April. In London, the delegation will spend time with us in our rehearsal space at the end of our Forum Theatre Training week with members. The group will also visit Café Art, Choir With No Name, Crisis Skylight and Open Cinema as well as homeless centres and projects. 

The Greater London Authority will host an event at London’s Living Room, City Hall on 22nd April with presentations from the Deputy Mayor of Rio, Adilson Pires and the Deputy Mayor of Housing, London, Richard Blakeway. There will also be discussions and provocations about the impact of arts and homelessness plus performances and presentations of creative projects.

History of the project

‘With One Voice’ was originally an event curated by Streetwise Opera at the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad at the Royal Opera House – it celebrated the artistic achievements of around 300 performers who had experienced homelessness and over 30 organisations who work in the arts and homelessness arena. Following the event, Streetwise Opera was asked by British Council Brazil and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation UK to research the feasibility and need for an arts and homelessness project in Rio, the next Olympics host city. During 2013-14, Paul Heritage (People’s Palace Projects) and Matt Peacock (Streetwise Opera) met with a range of representatives from Brazilian arts organisations, municipal agencies, NGOs, universities and individuals with experience of homelessness to compile a report which explored the ways in which the UK and Brazil could exchange ideas and build capacity and proposed a programme of activities in 2015 and 2016.

Further exchanges leading up to Rio 2016 are planned depending on the outcome of funding. With One Voice Brazil 2014-16 is produced by Streetwise Opera in partnership with People’s Palace Projects and is supported by Arts Council England, British Council Brazil, and the Calouste Gulbenkian UK Foundation. It is part of British Council Transform 2012-2016, an arts and creativity programme to develop the cultural dialogue between the UK and Brazil.

With thanks to

Arts Council England Lottery funded