Annual Review 2020/21: Looking back at an extraordinary year

HOME Annual Review 2020/21

It’s a cliché to say this has been an unprecedented year – but it’s also true. At the end of 2019/20, HOME was enjoying its most successful year ever. We had nearly 900,000 visits, around 7,000 events taking place and over 20,000 people engaged from our communities.

On 17 March 2020, when we closed our doors ahead of the first national lockdown, that all came to a sudden halt. It was the biggest shock we’ve experienced, and I don’t think anyone would have blamed us for hunkering down for the duration. But that’s not the approach we took.

Instead, we doubled down on our commitment to artists, to audiences, to freelancers and to the cultural ecology of our wonderful city of Manchester. We continued to commission new work, we switched events from live to livestream, took our engagement programme online and we reached out to our partners to see what we could do together to support those who needed us. We changed our commissioning processes to make sure we took into account the time and effort freelancers put into pitching to us, and with the help of everyone who donated to our Response Fund and the Empty Seats campaign we managed to keep investing in programming and artists.

We also took time to reflect on the diversity within our organisation, inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement. We had a lot of important and challenging conversations internally, and committed to being antiracist and pro-equality through the way we work and the work we make and present.

We even managed to have some amazing moments in the building for the few weeks we were open. It was amazing to experience the ambitious, exciting live programming, and the number of sold out screenings and performances showed just how much people wanted to get back and experience culture in person.

This annual review, which you can read by clicking on the image below, contains just some of the highlights of a very unusual year – there’s so much to be proud of that it was impossible to fit it all in. I’d like to say thankyou to every colleague, artist, contractor, audience member, supporter and friend who has made it possible. We couldn’t have done it without you.

Dave Moutrey
Director and CEO