By Letitia Bouie and Katy Rubin
Letitia and Katy here, reporting from the plane trip home to NYC, from Montreal. We just wrapped up an exciting and exhausting week-long exchange of arts and homelessness practitioners from Canada, United States and the UK, organized by With One Voice. We are full of ideas, reflections and next-steps, and very grateful to the organizers, Matt and Ellie, for welcoming Theatre of the Oppressed NYC into this international network!
It started on an escalator 30 feet below ground at Cantagalo Metro station in Copacabana in Rio…A chat about a mutual deep love of Scotland; good friends, studying, living there, working there, choirs in homeless centres and by the time Matt Peacock (Director of With One Voice) and Shelly Coyne had emerged onto street level a seed had been sown and a question asked; could Scotland achieve the unthinkable and be the first country to have a fully integrated arts and homeless sector which is embedded in national government p
“We will be each other's refuge, we will be each other's home” is how the song “Home 3” goes. It was one of my favourites during the week I was lucky enough to spend in São Paulo when the Mouthful Quartet from the UK held a residency with the youth choir of the Guri Santa Marcelina project based in Brazil's largest city.
Help keep our With One Voice (Uma So Voz) choirs going in Rio - support their crowdfunding campaign!
“I feel accomplished, because when you live on the streets, you feel worthless, nobody pays attention to us. But then when we sing, people start talking to you: “oh, I saw you singing…” and I think my little star is shining. I feel like I’m recognised as an artist.” – Valeria, member of the choir
By With One Voice Director Matt Peacock
‘How does dancing make you feel?’ – I asked a man in a park in Toyko during a rehearsal by Sokerissa, a dance company that works with homeless people. He looked up at the sky and I thought he wasn’t going to be able to answer. Then he suddenly looked at me and said ‘when I dance I forget everything else’.
We’re delighted to announce Beth Knowles as the Chair of With One Voice.
After a degree in human geography, Beth worked for in international development for a variety of NGOs and trade unions including Oxfam, the British Red Cross and UNISON. She became Councillor for Manchester city centre in May 2014, focusing on issues surrounding homelessness, arts and culture, and improving public realm within the city.
Beth describes her involvement in With One Voice:
With One Voice Director Matt Peacock reports from the International Seminar on Music and Social Transformation in Colombia:
Delegates from around the world arrived in Bogotá on 3 October for the International Seminar on Music and Social Transformation – one of the biggest events of its kind in recent history, organised by the Batuta Foundation and British Council.
Breaking news! A With One Voice choir (based at the cathedral in Rio) performed at the start of the final day of the Olympic torch relay on Friday 5 August. We were delighted that 35 homeless performers sang as the torch started its journey through the city from the Christ the Redeemer statue on its way to the Maracana Stadium for the lighting of the caldron during the opening ceremony.
Watch a video of the performance on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/with1voice
Between 18 and 25 July, With One Voice – together with People’s Palace Projects and supported by Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation UK Branch, British Council and Macquarie Group Foundation – delivered almost 40 workshops, pop-up performances and training events in Rio as part of the 2016 Cultural Olympiad.