Tickets: From free
Various locations
Until Sat 16 Oct 2021

HOME: Arts & Homelessness Festival

Fri 8 Oct 2021 to Sat 16 Oct 2021
Various locations
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From free

Coventry’s First Arts and Homelessness Festival

Arts and creativity can shine in the darkest of times. It can bring people together and provides opportunity for expression when other parts of life are challenging.

Join us for a week-long celebration of arts and homelessness projects in Coventry, created and co-produced by people who have current or previous lived experience of homelessness. The festival takes place at venues across the city centre between Friday 8 - Saturday 16 October, coinciding with World Homelessness Day on Sunday 10 October 2021.

Events will include:

A full programme including locations, dates and times is listed below.

The festival provides a platform for the brilliant work of Coventry’s homeless citizens and creative communities. Co-produced by our Arts & Homelessness Steering Committee, and working alongside the wider forum of organisations, the project aims to nurture and develop skills and provide a legacy of experience to continue this creative work beyond the life of City of Culture.

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].



HOME - Arts & Homelessness Festival: Coventry Sleepout

You and your friends are invited to 'sleep out to help out' for one night amid the ruins of Coventry Cathedral to coincide with World Homelessness Day. You will be helping to raise funds for the charities tackling homelessness, while gaining a direct insight into the issues that people face when sleeping out.

HOME - Arts & Homelessness Festival: The 2nd International Arts & Homelessness Summit

As part of the Home Festival of arts and homelessness in Coventry City of Culture, Arts & Homelessness International (AHI) and a co-produced steering group from Coventry will host the second ever International Arts and Homelessness Summit. 

Join us at the Methodist City Hall where delegates from across the UK and the online global community will gather to share practice, ideas and policy about arts and homelessness.

HOME - Arts & Homelessness Festival: The Ruff Tuff Cream Puff Estate Agency

Everyone needs a home – but sometimes you have to bend the rules to get one. In a time of explosive creativity and ferocious independence, a group of dreamers operate the world’s first estate agency for squatters. A heart-warming new musical about building a community, DIY bands and making change happen, featuring a chorus of Coventry citizens who have experienced homelessness. 

HOME - Arts & Homelessness Festival: ‘ART is where the HOME is’ Creative Hub

Drop into the HOME Festival Creative Hub to participate in a range of creative activities whilst chatting to some of the people involved in developing the HOME festival. Hear their stories whilst printing t-shirts, making bracelets, learning the guitar, pebble painting of playing a game of giant homeless monopoly.

Developed from inspiration sessions with the homeless community across the city, these informal sessions give us all space to create something new and make new connections. Saturday 16th October will focus on activities for children so bring the whole family to create and celebrate with us.

HOME - Arts & Homelessness Festival: Send A Smile postcard exhibition

‘When we smile, it makes us feel good, as well as the people around us. There are many things that make us smile.’ Beginning in Coventry during the pandemic, the Send a Smile postcard project has travelled to homeless communities in the USE, Brazil, South Africa, India, Japan and Australia.

Developed by Underground Lights with support from Coventry UK City of Culture 2021, Arts and Homelessness International, The Belgrade Theatre and Crisis, this international project was designed by Hayley Harman and Beth Fuducia-Brookes as a way to engage creatively with people experiencing deep isolation in hostels during lockdown.

HOME - Arts & Homelessness Festival: Homeless Monopoly

Created in collaboration with the Coventry Cyrenians, Homeless Monopoly is a giant interactive game featuring lived experience of homeless and ex-homeless people in the Coventry area. Playing the game will open your eyes to the many routes into homelessness, the issues faced by those who find themselves in this position and some of the support available in the city.

HOME - Arts & Homelessness Festival: Agency by Anthony Luvera

Agency is a new body of work by the socially engaged artist Anthony Luvera. Created in collaboration with people who have experienced homelessness in Coventry, this commission for Coventry UK City of Culture extends the artist's ongoing work made with people experiencing homelessness in towns and cities across the United Kingdom over the past twenty years. Throughout 2021, Luvera invited participants to use disposable cameras to document their experiences and places in the city that are significant to them. Participants were also invited to use digital medium format camera equipment in order to work on the production of a self-portrait for the artist’s ongoing series Assisted Self-Portraits. The final images will be exhibited along Warwick Row throughout the duration of HOME festival and featured in a community newspaper distributed freely across the city.

Home Grown Film Night

Home to Grow film night will be showcasing short films based on existing community garden projects coordinated by Grand Union in Birmingham and by the Foleshill Community Centre in Coventry.

Both projects aim at providing new spaces of possibilities for people that have experienced exclusion, homelessness, or financial hardship and who are usually excluded from or do not have access to those spaces. The films will show that community gardening can be a radical act allowing communities involved to gain access to fresh and healthy food, make their city more beautiful, protect their environment, improve their mental and physical wellbeing.

Home Variety Showcase & Open Mic

Join us to celebrate the talent within Coventry’s community in an evening of music and performance, created by people who have lived experience of homelessness. The night gives participants the opportunity to perform in one of Coventry’s most well-known performance venues - formerly the Locarno Club and Tiffany’s, but now home to Coventry Central Library. From the 1960’s through to the 1980’s, the venue hosted acts such as Chuck Berry, Led Zeppelin, The Who, The Clash, Blondie and many more. So, whether you want to take part or just soak up the acts on offer, this event will be a lively celebration of the city’s performers.



Find out more about the people, organisations and history that has built up to this festival with our blogs.

Nadine Holdsworth, Professor of Theatre and Performance, University of Warwick shares her thoughts ahead of the festival: NADINE'S BLOG

Arts and Homelessness International created a blog last year on Wolrd Homelessness Day, working with Coventry City of Culture Trust: WORLD HOMELESSNESS DAY BLOG

Hayley, member of the HOME festival steering committee introduces some exciting events of the festival: 


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.


Homelessness is not what it seems

It's a point in life, not in your dreams

Maybe because you've lost your home

Or bereavement where you’re left alone

Maybe because of abuse or terror

Whatever the cause, we need to stop this together


There are places to go who do what they can

But there's more needed to help these men and women

There are even children who have to live this way

It may help if these people had their say


Whether it's for better accommodation or homes

It helps them to know they're not alone

Let’s all get together and have a word

To help these people around the world


I've been there myself so I know it's not nice

People see you, give looks which turn you to ice

We must do all we can to make people halt

And not think it's all their own fault


Homelessness is not a myth

It goes on today within our midst

Maybe caused by no fault of their own

Nobody wants to be without a home


Some don't need mixed accommodation

They may have come from an abusive relationship

All they want is to be safe and secure

Maybe the system could do a lot more


Maybe they've lost someone through death

Which may affect their mental health

They may need help to make a fresh start

To try get over their broken heart


The stigma being without a home to live in

Is not always caused by any addiction

It's called life sent to help us survive

And make us stronger for the rest of our life


Susan Sadler

We're here to open abilities 

And make you smile and feel

Like you're learning without learning 

To extend your inner wheel 


Adding spokes of creativity 

That open up your mind 

To the imagination we sometimes lose

We hope we help you find


So join this artistic cacophony 

To paint, to dance, to act 

Regain that imagination 

And enjoy new skills you lacked 


Steve H

Map and directions for Various locations