Five years of engagement, participation and talent development

HOME puts on an amazing array of work, but we also work with an incredible number of people via engagement, participation and talent development. Here our Head of Engagement, Marisa Draper, shares some of her highlights from the last five years:

Since opening in spring 2015, our engagement, participation and talent development projects and events have attracted 179,000 attendances. This vast array of programmes included everything from talks, tours and Q&As to workshops, long-term projects and partnerships. We worked with a large variety of partners from housing associations, charities and voluntary sector organisations to creative organisations and more.

My personal highlights include:

– Seeing one of our long-term participants, Dominic Bennett win Young Creative of the Year at the Manchester Culture Awards 2018. Dom is involved in many different projects across the city and his achievements with HOME alone have included involvement in the Project X collective, for which he devised Weasel Nation, a video game that invited people to battle evil weasels to stop them destroying art at HOME. He also came up with the concept for HOME and Venture Arts’ successful Accessible Music Productions programme for young adults with disabilities and additional needs to enjoy making music and performing it at a regular live public event. In 2020, Dom exhibited his Weasel Army at HOME as part of the Manchester Open exhibition.

– Witnessing our BFI Film Academy alumni going on to exciting opportunities off-the-back of our programme – including Maria Moss who went on to work on Solo: A Star Wars Story, Pokemon, Wonder Woman and The Witches.

– Celebrating our region’s inspirational young poets and spoken word artists through our relationship with HOME Resident Artists, Young Identity and as part of the BBC Words First event that was hosted at HOME in 2019.

– Starting up our young theatre company, CYA@HOME in partnership with Community Arts North West and seeing the fruits of this project develop through work including A Generation Rising.

– Developing our Home Inspires programme to connect HOME with groups, charities and voluntary organisations across Greater Manchester, ensuring that as many people as possible have the opportunity to take part in and experience HOME as audiences and as artists.

– Welcoming our region’s inspiring teachers and talented pupils to HOME as part of projects including National Theatre Connections and Barbican Box.

– Working with artist Lane Paul Stewart for Manchester’s Pride Parade 2019 when we marched with our giant astronaut puppet, Buzz. Our parade entry ‘to equality and beyond’ recognised 50 years since the moon landings and 50 years since the Stonewall riots which remind us how far we have since come in terms of LGBTQ+ rights and how far we have yet to go.

– Having the pleasure of working with an amazing team of staff, artists, participants and partner organisations! You’re all brilliant!