Kate has a great gift for engaging people who feel disaffected or self-conscious in the creative process. She connects with them, listens without judgement and skilfully gives them the space, structure and confidence to express themselves in new ways – all buoyed along by her infectious humour and energy”. Imogen Blood – Chair of Trustees, the Men’s Room.
The Men’s Room is an arts and social care agency that works with young men affected by one or more of the following issues: sex work, homelessness, the criminal justice system. The organisation aims to treat participants as creative individuals as well as offering packages of social care support.
I was involved in setting up the project in 2004 and when I left in 2013 to take up a place on the MA in Performance and Visual Practices at Brighton University, I was the Chief Executive, having previously been in the role of Artistic Director. The Men’s Room became a charity in 2009 and now has a staff team of five and a developing volunteers programme.
In both my roles I developed a range of both arts and social care partnership which gave the young men creative and support opportunities. In 2012-13, the young men collaborated with a playwright and devised their own piece which was performed at The Royal Exchange . They also collaborated with drama students at Manchester University as part of a multi-arts project about Survival which involved a performance and the launch of a book featuring their photography, writing and art work.