Call-out to people who are or have been homeless in Greater Manchester to create a public Mural

With One Voice is organizing the first ever Summit and Festival of arts and homelessness which will take place in Manchester in Nov 2018. One of the centre-pieces of the Festival will be a public mural co-created with people who are or have been homeless from around Greater Manchester. We will work with around 30 homeless and formerly homeless people and we are making a call-out to individuals and homeless agencies to come forward to help create this important piece of art.

The mural will be coordinated by New York artist/activist Joel Bergner who specializes in co-created art to address critical issues related to armed conflict, trauma and social marginalization around the globe. He has worked with street children, in refugee camps and conflict zones. This is a collaborative painting project, which emphasizes each person having their voice woven into the content of the mural. The mural will give a voice to people who are or have been homeless, shining a light on their talents and skills and creating positive public awareness about homelessness.


The mural will be created between 26 Sept – 1 October 2018


TBC – we are looking for a wall in Greater Manchester and negotiating permissions so that the mural will stay in situ for as long as possible.

The Process

30 artists with experience of homelessness from Greater Manchester will be invited to take part in the project.

  • Sept 26th – Joel will facilitate a brainstorming session in which all participant artists share ideas about what they would like to include in their mural.
  • Sept 27th to Oct 1st – 15 of the artists will paint in the morning (10am-1pm tbc); all 30 artists meet for lunch and the second 15 artists paint in the afternoon (2-5pm tbc)
  • Oct 4th or 5th – the mural is unveiled to the public in a celebration where all artists can invite guests

Legacy is key to this project and there will be a menu of opportunities for the artists involved after the project.

Finding artists to take part

We are calling out to anyone in Greater Manchester who is interested in taking part and is or has been homelessness. Details of the application/selection process are below:

  • No artistic experience is needed
  • All participant artists must 18 or over
  • All participant artists must commit to being available on the dates 26 Sept – 1 Oct. 26 Sept will be a full day of workshops (10am to 5pm tbc); from 27 Sept – 1 Oct artists will be need to commit 3 hours per day in either the morning or afternoon
  • Lunch, refreshments, art materials and travel expenses will be provided to all artists free of charge
  • With One Voice will provide a support worker for the duration of the project
  • Artists can put themselves forward or be nominated by a homeless or other agency. There is a maximum of 2 places per organisation
  • If we receive more than 30 expressions of interest, the WOV Steering Group will make a selection of artists – the WOV Steering Group is an independent group of people from the homeless, arts and business community including those with lived experience
  • We will make a selection of artists based on the most inclusive and widest spread of participant artists possible including geographically around GM, the situation of the participants (including those sleeping rough, living in temporary accommodation, squats, vehicles etc)
  • We will endeavor to involve unsuccessful applicants in other artistic projects during the Summit & Festival

Get involved!

  • If you're interested in taking part, please email saying why you’d like to be involved
  • For organisations putting people forward, you can either give names of the nominated participant artists or just number of places you would like and confirm names later (maximum 2 places per organization)
  • The deadline for applications is Monday 6th August 2018. We will get back to all successful and unsuccessful applicants by 10th August.

Do you have a wall?!

We are still looking for a wall for the mural – if you have access to a wall we could use, please let us know. The wall should be no more than 15 feet high and should be at least 30 feet long (up to 100 feet).

The mural project is managed by With One Voice, the Manchester Summit & Festival Steering Group, in partnership with the Manchester Homelessness Partnership. The Young Guns leadership programme of Laing O’Rourke will lead the project management.

For more information contact