West Leeds creative hub welcomes asylum seekers and refugees

open source arts cafe

A creative hub off Kirkstall Road is opening up its doors to asylum seekers, refugees and their supporters.

Open Source Arts will host a party called Music Without Borders, a multi-cultural celebration featuring live music, an international YouTube disco, dancing, and food.

The event is being organised by attendees, with logistical support from Leeds Asylum Seekers’ Support Network (LASSN) and practical support from Open Source Arts, Red Ladder Theatre Company, RETAS Leeds and Leeds Refugee Forum.

This party is free, family friendly and will run on Friday, May 11, from 6pm-11pm. It will bring together asylum seekers, refugees, their friends and allies in order to celebrate the cultural contribution these groups have made to Leeds and the wider area.

The evening will be led by musicians from around the world, showcasing the music and dancing they know and love. Attendees are also invited to contribute songs to a YouTube Disco playlist, which will feature an eclectic mix of dance tracks from across the globe.

Jon Beech, Director of LASSN, said:

“Leeds has been a city of welcome and sanctuary for centuries.

“One of our key aims at LASSN is to help people from Leeds to find ways of welcoming and supporting people who are seeking asylum and refuge in our city. Teaching people English is one way of doing it, or helping people find a place to stay or to get a job. But so is being sociable: sharing your favourite tunes, and having a laugh.

“Leeds is known as a place for a decent night out on a Friday, and this is Leeds doing what Leeds does best.”

Phil Marken, Director of Open Source Arts, said:

“Inclusivity is at the core of everything we do here and working with local organisations which support vulnerable people and marginalised communities is an increasing priority.

Music Without Borders is a fantastic opportunity for us to come together to cultivate mutual understand and also mark the useful and enhancing input refugees and asylum seekers make to the wonderful city of Leeds. What better way to bring people together than by throwing a big party?”

Music Without Borders is part of Open Source Arts new season programme of activities and events. A full calendar of this programme can be found on the Open Source Arts website.


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