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Afrocats x Whitworth shortlisted for a Spirit of Manchester award

We are delighted to have been nominated for a Spirit of Manchester award for our partnership work with our friends the Whitworth. Afrocats has been shortlisted for the Partnership and Collaboration category at the Spirit of Manchester Awards 2023 alongside two other organisations.

Afrocats x Whitworth launched in February 2022 to ensure that the gallery is a space of sanctuary for refugees and asylum seekers. Afrocats artists from diverse backgrounds ‘takeover’ the gallery with multicultural activities encouraging those seeking asylum and diverse young people to enter the gallery for the first time.

All activities are drop-in and entry is free, removing as many barriers as possible. Travel expenses and a drink and snack are covered for every Afrocats family. Afrocats volunteers from diverse backgrounds join forces with Whitworth volunteers providing opportunities to socialise and create new friendships outside of their own culture.

During each school holiday of 2022, 1674 families engaged in the activities, a record number of visitors since re-opening after the pandemic. 90% of families visiting had never visited the gallery before. The recent takeover saw 600 families participating over three days.

The partnership has led to a change in practice at the gallery by providing family information and activity signage in Urdu, Farsi and Persian. Afrocats artists have helped diversify the Whitworth artist practitioner team. And Afrocats delivered training to all staff so they have the knowledge, understanding and empathy needed to welcome those seeking asylum in the city.

The Spirit of Manchester Awards will take place on Thursday 5 October 2023 at King’s House Conference Centre. The winner of each award is voted for on the night in person by the audience and virtually by those watching via live stream. Make sure you tune in and vote for Afrocats!


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