Newcastle City of Sanctuary represents the coming together of individuals, grass roots organisations, the voluntary and community sector, organisations and institutions to collectively welcome and support people seeking sanctuary in the city. This is illustrated by the direct actions of individual organisations and institutions such as schools working towards School of Sanctuary status, our universities applying to be Universities of Sanctuary, and a range of arts, cultural, libraries, sports and other organisations working to become recognised places of sanctuary.
One such organisation that we are so pleased to have in Newcastle is Curious Monkey Theatre Company of Sanctuary. Curious Monkey were initially awarded in 2019 following lots of thinking, learning and reflecting that went on within the team, and following a super successful application the panel unanimously agreed they were to be awarded. Since their award Curious Monkey have been involved in some brilliant bits of work both locally and nationally promoting the work around arts and sanctuary and supporting and inspiring others to get involved in the work. Some of the initiatives that they have put in place include marking Refugee Week each year in fun, creative and inclusive ways and making sure that people with lived experience of seeking sanctuary are involved in the development and delivery of their work through a diverse staff, volunteer and board made included people with lived experience.
They have a whole load on offer including their Arriving Group which supports people seeking sanctuary by providing regular creative workshops, food, and monthly theatre trips. They also managed to have the most terrible timing with ‘Here’, a production about finding sanctuary in the most unlikeliest of places, due to premier as lockdown came into force. Undeterred they continued on and moved activities temporarily online and out in communities via their Curious Caravan. ‘Here’ finally got the premier it deserved in 2022 and was well worth waiting for!
Curious Monkey were rewarded Theatre Company of Sanctuary at the beginning of May following another super successful application. This was celebrated with the Arriving Group at one of their fortnightly meet ups. It was a brilliant evening of fun and laughter filled celebration which included a pretty serious game of four square, a clown workshop and a delicious dinner shared by all on a large table, which as one of the group members said was just like ‘a dinner with family’.
If you are interested in finding out more about Curious Monkeys work, please contact:[email protected]
If you would like to find out more about Newcastle City of Sanctuary and/or the awards process, please contact:[email protected]