This project granted (£10,000) by Henry Smith Charity to help educate asylum seekers about British values and culture by looking at the most expressive aspect and medium of our society which is art.
Asylum seekers and refugees will come together with local people in an art environment. Locals will talk about life in Leicester and asylum seekers will gain an understanding of local culture and traditions, local people will gain an understanding of the asylum process and the difficulties they go through putting their life in danger and adapting to a new life in a new country with different cultures and traditions. Through producing works of art we will explore the reasons why asylum seekers and refugees flee from their countries and undertake dangerous journeys and talk about the issues they face.
The project will consist of a programme of 10 free art workshops that will each comprise 5 weekly sessions of 3 hours duration plus an education trip to renowned museums and art galleries i.e. National Gallery, Tate Britain, British museum.
This will help to further integrate asylum seekers/refugees, break down barriers and create confidence in building social relationships. The visits to museums and art galleries to see British art and learn about its context and use will help them explore, find out and understand more about British culture from past to present and they will discover England through well know British artists. These trips will leave permanent wonderful memories and they will share their experiences with their friends and families what they discovered when they come to live in the UK.
The project will run over a 12 month period and end with an art exhibition to display the artwork they have created to the public. Entitled "British Art Discovery" - all participants art works will be displayed for two weeks.
We expect this project to have a positive impact on peoples mental health where they can bring their experiences to the host community attending the classes and also help break down social barriers and prejudice, helping them to feel valued and supported through a cultural social exchange of shared interest and passion in art.