Musicultural Conversations


Fun and interactive English, music and drama sessions for refugees, asylum seekers and migrant communities.


  Upcoming events

About us


In February and March 2020 we ran our first Musicultural Conversations sessions, at The Holbeck in Leeds. We had a vibrant group of participants and volunteers, representing sixteen different countries and a multitude of languages.

The sessions brought participants together to experience the shared joy of drama and music-making while harnessing their power to introduce, explore and practice conversational English in a fun and engaging way. Each session focused on a different theme and culminated in an original song written specifically for the theme and purpose. The sessions and songs also involved participants in the creative process by incorporating their voices, ideas and experiences.

Sadly we had to postpone the final sessions due to the COVID-19 crisis, but thanks to support from our funders we have been able to temporarily move the project online. We strongly believe in the capacity of music, drama and creative self-expression to uplift, nurture and empower, particularly during a time of increased uncertainty, challenge, isolation and powerlessness, when opportunities to connect and create with others have become even more valuable.

We ran our first ever online session as part of the Refugee Week celebrations in w/c 15 June and will be running four further online sessions in July.

Our aims


Music

Using music and interactive activities

Language

Practising conversational English

Social

Bringing people together

Fun

Creating a fun and relaxed atmosphere

Meet the team

(click on the photo for bio)


Photo of Sarah Stead
Sarah Stead is an experienced choir leader, musician and drama teacher, with proven skills in providing interactive and engaging sessions using rhythm, melody and vocal capacity. Recent examples of Sarah's work include her roles as 'The Local Vocals' community choir leader for Moortown West Residents' Association, ‘Wired’ project tutor for Yorkshire Sound Women Network (engaging young women in the exploration of music technology) and Music Director for the Armley People’s Theatre's 2019 production of 'An Armley Christmas Carol'. The objective within this work is to build a sense of identity and belonging through engaging with community arts.
Photo of Nicky Bray
Nicky Bray is a musician and singer-songwriter who organises free music events and fundraisers which aim to encourage confidence, creativity, participation and collaboration, and to bring people together to enjoy and create music in a welcoming and inclusive environment. She is a sessional worker for Leeds Music Trust's 'Bringing It All Back Home' project which uses music to improve the wellbeing of vulnerable adults, has acted as a mentor on songwriting residentials, and has delivered interactive music sessions in schools. As lead volunteer for the Committee for Foreign Language Assistants in Yorkshire, she also runs a programme of social and academic support for non-native speakers of English who are spending a year in Yorkshire working in local schools.

Photos


Photo of group taking part in musicultural conversations event

Photo of group taking part in musicultural conversations event
Photo of whiteboard from musicultural conversations event

Events

We will be running four online events in July. Please email leedsmusicultural@gmail.com to sign up for any (or all) of them. We will then email you with instructions for joining via Zoom.

Fri 3 July

12:30-13:15

Online event (on Zoom)

Email for details

Fri 10 July

12:30-13:15

Online event (on Zoom)

Email for details

Fri 17 July

12:30-13:15

Online event (on Zoom)

Email for details

Fri 24 July

12:30-13:15

Online event (on Zoom)

Email for details

These events are for refugees, asylum seekers and migrant communities, and are supported with funding from Leeds Inspired, part of Leeds City Council.

Partners and funders


We are very grateful for the support of our partners, Leeds Church Institute, and to Leeds City Council for funding our in-person sessions (via Language Hub funding) and the online sessions we delivered in response to the COVID-19 crisis (via a Leeds Inspired Small Grant). We would also like to thank Open Source Arts for contributing to the cost of equipment to facilitate our online sessions, Slung Low for kindly accommodating our sessions at The Holbeck, and LASSN for all their support, guidance and encouragement.

Contact us


If you need to get in touch, send us an email and we will get back to you as soon as possible!