Belgrade wins Theatre of Sanctuary award
Coventry's Belgrade Theatre has become one of the first theatres in the UK to be awarded Theatre of Sanctuary status.
The award recognises the theatre's efforts to raise awareness of what it means to be a person seeking sanctuary, and its work to include sanctuary seekers and refugees in its activities.
The award was presented during an event to mark Universal Children's Day on November 21. The event featured a Belgrade showcase of music, art and live performances by Syrian refugees in collaboration with the Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre, and in partnership with The Children's Society and Positive Youth Foundation.
Earlier this year, during Refugee Week 2017, the theatre held a panel discussion on what it means to be a place of sanctuary for refugees and asylum seekers, and hosted a free exhibition of community artwork based on the themes of home, belonging and identity.
In partnership with the CRMC, the Belgrade is also now co-designing a short pilot programme of four workshops for newly-arrived women, using drama to build confidence and language skills.
The Belgrade's Associate Director, Justine Themen, said: "The Belgrade prides itself on welcoming and building strong relationships with the diverse communities of the city, whether as audiences, participants or artists.
"While continuing to build those relationships, we want to open our doors to newly-arriving communities to share their stories and build understanding. A theatre is a space for dialogue within the city, and celebrating both our differences and our shared humanity."
Pictured is the Belgrade’s former general manager Claire Simpson (right) receiving the award.