From a Poetry Health Service to daring dance: HOME announces new commissioning partners and innovative content for its Homemakers project.
Manchester’s much-loved arts and culture hub HOME has been bringing a range of cultural experiences into people’s homes during the Covid-19 pandemic… as its Homemakers project involves a range of artists creating new content, online! Now the project has expanded nationwide, with a range of new commissioning partners for the project that include Greater Manchester’s own Z-arts and Oldham Coliseum Theatre. The venues are all currently temporarily closed… but through Homemakers, they highlight that creativity doesn’t stop!
This exciting expansion of the project means all-the-more opportunity for audiences to enjoy cutting-edge creative content, without leaving the house! The announcement follows on from news of the first commissions just last week. HOME-commissioned online pieces from Bryony Kimmings, Plaster Cast Theatre, Ad Infinitum and Chris Thorpe & Yusra Warsama. These works went live on 1 May, already attracting plenty of attention, a range of positive reviews and highlighting the truly innovative nature of the Homemakers project.
Viewers can access and purchase their experiences online via the HOME website, and there is plenty to come, with commissioning partners and artists across the country sure to deliver a variety of exciting and entertaining, weird and wonderful, content!
The announced partners and artists involved include:
Oldham Coliseum Theatre – Hafsah Aneela Bashir
Z-Arts and STUN – Chad Taylor
ARC Stockton – Vici Wreford-Sinnott
Cambridge Junction – Zoe Svendsen and Hannah Jane Walker
Candoco Dance Company – Jo Bannon
Chinese Arts Now – Naomi Sumner Chan
Fermynwoods Contemporary Art – Anna Brownsted
Lime Pictures – Seiriol Davies and Matthew Blake
Music Theatre Wales and London Sinfonietta – Elayce Ismail and Alex Ho
Haunt Manchester, are often on the lookout for inventive and alternative creativity in Greater Manchester, and the ideas brought forward by the new Homemakers partners in the region certainly show that. For example, Oldham Coliseum’s Theatre Associate Artist Hafsah Aneela Bashir will be getting involved, introducing the intriguing Poetry Health Service (PHS) as a tool for healing. Inspired by her love for poetry and using her own as well as poems gifted to her, the project will involve her sharing ‘poetry panaceas’ by the people for the people… underlining the importance of creativity to our wellbeing. Fancy a try? The PHS will be available both as a dedicated phone line and online; the concept growing from Hafsah’s daily Insta Live readings that she has been delivering at 2.30pm every day since the start of the lockdown.
According to Manchester-based Hafsah, who as well as a poet is also a playwright, performer and founder and co-director of Outside the Frame Arts, a key champion of creative voices beyond the mainstream:
“I’m so excited to receive a Homemakers commission – one that will draw on my lockdown connections made with strangers on Instagram Live through our simple love for poetry. This is the beautiful birth of the Poetry Health Service.”
Oldham Coliseum Artistic Director Chris Lawson added:
"We’re delighted to be working in association with our Greater Manchester neighbours HOME. We feel the PHS project, led by Hafsah, is a vital and necessary artistic service that we are proud to support.”
Hafsah’s involvement also underlines the engaging and thought-provoking work Oldham Coliseum Theatre is known for; itself also functioning as a cultural and educational charity, working with over 150,000 people per year. With a rich history spanning back to 1885, The Coliseum has cemented itself as a much-loved hub of creativity and community, and hence the commissioning partnership with HOME’s Homemakers –taking content online during these times - is an exciting prospect.
Another Greater Manchester partner is Z-arts, the arts and theatre venue in Hulme that is also a charity and known for its forward-thinking family-friendly content as well as STUN studio; a small theatre space within run by Sustained Theatre Up North. Local artist Chad Taylor will be getting involved in Homemakers for Z-arts, presenting a vibrant new dance piece, using digital content to explore exciting possibilities within the form. Synchronised movement, social media, seeing how interaction develops… it is set to be interesting.
According to Chad:
"I'm really pleased to be able to create something during the lockdown period that opens up dance as an art form to so many people, and am really excited to be creating something new that creates a conversation between dance and social media through this commission from Z-arts and STUN as part of Homemakers. I can't wait to share what I create!"
Zoe Pickering, Head of Programming and Big Imaginations Manager at Z-arts also reflected:
"Z-arts are delighted to partner with HOME to be able to commission the amazing new piece Lost Online with local dancer, artist and choreographer, Chad Taylor. We've wanted to work with Chad for a long time, and we're thrilled that we've been able to support him to create an innovative new piece of work that works to merge social media and dance."
For more information and to stay updated on Homemakers commissions as they become available to experience, visit the HOME website.
And did you know that HOME will be turning FIVE soon? May 21 2020 marks five years since HOME first opened its doors to the public – and you can share your memories online here. They will publish their favourites as part of the celebrations!