Home: Arts and Homelessness Festival

Coventry’s First Arts and Homelessness Festival
8 - 16 October 2021

Arts and creativity can shine in the darkest of times - it can bring people together and offer them a chance to express themselves with amazing results.

Join us for a week-long celebration of arts and homelessness projects in Coventry made by people who are, or have been, homeless. The Festival will take place across Coventry to coincide with World Homeless Day (10 October 2021).

Events will include:

  • Send a Smile postcard exhibition by Hayley Harmen and Beth Fiducia-Brookes in partnership with Underground Lights, Crisis, the Belgrade Theatre and Arts and Homelessness International
  • Assisted Self Portraits in partnership with photographer Antony Luvera
  • The Ruff Tuff Cream Puff Estate Agency with Cardboard Citizens and Underground Lights at The Belgrade Theatre
  • Visual Art Exhibition
  • Open Mic featuring music, poetry, spoken word
  • The St Basils Sleepout at Coventry Cathedral
  • Talks, debates and discussions with an International Exchange in Partnership with Arts and Homelessness International

    With more to be confirmed in the run up. A full programme including locations, dates and times will follow.

    The festival is a platform for the brilliant work of Coventry’s homelessness and creative communities. Co-produced by our Arts and Homelessness Steering Committee, led by people who are of have been homeless.

    If you’d like to be part of the festival or to find out more or attend our Arts and Homelessness Forum, please contact [email protected]

More Information

Send a Smile Postcard

This is an international postcard project started during the pandemic. Developed by Underground Lights with support from Coventry UK City of Culture 2021, Arts and Homelessness International, The Belgrade Theatre and Crisis.

When we smile, it makes us feel good, as well as the people around us. There are many things that make us smile.

Beginning here in Coventry, the project has traveled to homeless communities in the USA, Brazil, South Africa, India, Japan, and Australia.

Underground Lights have explored the various ways life can make people smile, capturing their feedback on postcards.

The location for Send a Smile exhibition as part of Home will be announced soon, where you will be able to see and hear the stories behind the postcards.


Anthony Luvera - Assisted Self-Portraits

The festival will also include new work created by the socially engaged artist Anthony Luvera made in collaboration with people experiencing homelessness in Coventry, culminating in an outdoor public exhibition. Through regular meetings and workshops throughout 2021, Luvera is working with participants to facilitate the development of their photography skills and to create a new series of Assisted Self-Portraits. This commission extends the artist's ongoing work made with people experiencing homelessness in towns and cities across the United Kingdom over the past twenty years.    

Documentation of the making of Assisted Self-Portrait of Ben Evans from Assembly by Anthony Luvera, 2014.

Documentation of the making of Assisted Self-Portrait of Ben Evans from Assembly by Anthony Luvera, 2014.

St Basil's Sleep-Out

St Basil’s ‘Sleep Out’ will take place in Coventry Cathedral Ruins running overnight on 9 October, finishing on World Homelessness Day. 

Several local charities will be taking part and the sponsorship money raised will go toward preventing homelessness in Coventry. Featuring free Indian vegan food, live entertainment from Musicians Against Homelessness, and a creative cardboard competition. 

Images behind the artwork

The visual identity created for HOME has been comprised of submissions from people connected to the themes presented in the festival. Their submissions reflect these themes as well as considerations about Coventry as home and the notion of home.

The group wanted to challenge perceptions of homelessness, and focus on ‘what’s strong, not wrong’.

With thanks to the steering group committee members Shukry, Matt, Susan, Hayley, Bengy, Brendan, Jacqui, Nadine, Dasi & Ben.