Migration Matters Festival

MIGRATION MATTERS FESTIVAL is the largest Refugee Week Festival in the UK. It is pay what you feel theatre and arts festival that celebrates the positive impact migration & refugees have had on Sheffield & the UK.

Since 2015, the festival has reached over 42050 audience members, this includes over 3100 from migrant communities, over 1200 refugees & sanctuary seekers as well as 1350 first time theatregoers. We have held over 250 events and supported hundreds of artists, community groups and organisations.

We raise awareness of the circumstances of migration, which is why we partner and split the festival proceeds with charities and organisations who support and champion the rights of the displaced, vulnerable & destitute refugees and asylum seekers

We break down the barriers between migrant communities in the city and the wider British public, to enable more community cohesion built on the values of companionship, solidarity and mutual empowerment.

We provide an opportunity for the public to experience a quality arts programme for free. This will mean that people who are financially vulnerable are not excluded from enjoying the festival.

We provide a platform and empower people whose voices have been ignored, unheard and undermined. We are inviting the people of Sheffield – those who were born here, have travelled here and who have sought sanctuary here – to tell their story.

Our work with children and young people

Migration Matters Festival is dedicated to improving and expanding on its offer to children, adolescents and young adults.

We have exponentially grown the amount of activity leading up to the festival over the years in a bid to involve more young voices and provide meaningful engagement surrounding the issues of migration, asylum and displacement.

This includes participatory workshops within the community, working with a whole host of partners, targeting youth charities, schools and arts initiatives. Most notably we have worked with Ignite Imaginations to deliver informative interactive sessions in areas like Darnall and Parson Cross. We have hosted and commissioned several immersive adventures with Paperfinch Theatre and Tales from the Playground involving young people in Upperthorpe and delivering exciting, transformative projects which have a lasting impact and bring communities together. We have partnered with Chol Theatre who have worked with young adults from Sheffield College as well as Maya Productions, an organisation dedicated to improving access to the arts for young people from Black, Asian and ethnically diverse backgrounds.

We are currently working with a consortium of partners like Learn Sheffield, City of Sanctuary Sheffield, Cohesion Sheffield and Mama Africa among other potential new partners to expand the offer to Sheffield based schools and young people and to offer performance/exhibition platforms for young people exploring theirs and their family's heritage. We have begun gathering interest from a number of Sheffield schools across Key Stages 1-4.

Our hope is to continue to accrue partners across the year to set up and deliver meaningful and vibrant projects that lead to our annual showcase in June during Refugee Week.