About the Summit & Festival 2018

Key facts

  • 250 delegates from 15 countries will gather for a 4-day Summit at The Whitworth on 15-18 November 2018
  • 50% of Summit delegates places will be given free to people that are or have been homeless
  • An estimated 20,000 members of the public will join for a week-long Festival around Greater Manchester from 12-18 November 2018

As cities around the world struggle to solve homelessness, delegates from 15 countries will come together in Manchester to explore and celebrate the role the arts can play in tackling homelessness.

Why arts and homelessness?

Homelessness is not just about housing, and people who are homeless can suffer from a multitude of challenges from practical ‘house-lessness’ to low well-being, social isolation and stigma. The arts are being used effectively around the world to reduce social isolation by building social networks and increasing both physical and mental health, improve public attitudes/promote understanding towards homeless people and enable homeless people to express themselves so their voice can be heard.

Why Manchester?

Greater Manchester has been chosen because of the exceptional arts/homelessness projects in the area, the way the region is integrating the arts into homelessness support and the way the cultural sector is stepping forward to pledge support people who are or have been homeless through the Manchester Homelessness Charter.

Key aims for the Summit & Festival

  • To raise awareness of how important the arts is in the support of homeless people
  • To demonstrate how the cultural sector is stepping up to support homeless people
  • To showcase existing arts and homelessness activity
  • To bring together the arts and homelessness sector to share practice and policy, strengthening existing projects and inspire new projects
  • To promote positive public perceptions of homelessness
  • To position Manchester as a city leading practice and policy innovations in arts and homelessness
  • To demonstrate how homeless and ex-homeless people have co-created the Summit & Festival
  • To create a strong legacy for arts and homelessness after the Summit & Festival

Key themes

The Summit & Festival will focus on Performance, Practice, Policy, People and Partnerships: showcasing performances, films and exhibitions by some of the best local, national and international groups; sharing practice and methodology and putting people who are or have been homeless at the centre of everything, from design to delivery including working in paid positions on the Summit & Festival. 


    Browse the Festival Programme and Summit Programme, buy Summit Tickets, or check out our FAQs and Travel Information.