ROOTS – Refugee and Asylum Seeker Advisory Groups

Journeys Festival International understands the importance of evaluation – learning and developing the festival from the input of our audiences, partners and participants. In 2016 the festival underwent a huge development from a one city event to three cities (Leicester, Manchester and Portsmouth). The festivals produced some phenomenal events that positively celebrated the artistic talents of refugees and shared refugee experiences to a wider audience.

As part of the 2017 festivals Journeys Festival International has developed the ROOTS Advisory Group in each city. Each group comprises of 6-12 individuals from the local refugee and asylum seeker community who have an interest in arts, culture and creativity. The groups will meet every 6 weeks to discuss certain aspects of the festival such as:

  • Accessibility: Looking at the festival communications to overcome language barriers

  • Programming: Discussing music, arts and relevant cultural projects that they would like to see at the festival

  • Advocacy: Becoming representatives of the festival within their community groups to help promote the festival to marginalised groups

The Leicester group is now established in partnership with the British Red Cross and City of Sanctuary. So far, Leicester ROOTS group has contributed to the redesign of the Journeys Festival International website to make it more accessible and clear for those that know English as an additional language.

Later this month, the Manchester and Portsmouth ROOTS groups will meet for the first time. We very much look forward to building strong relationships with the groups in each city and involve their feedback as part of the festival moving forwards.




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