F31 2020: Creative Connections. Just as we are all finding our way in a new ‘normal’ and a very different global and local experience, this year’s festival is also adapting and guess what…we’re going online! Bringing the festival onto a digital platform this year and informing the development of the programme in the next few years we invite you to join us, contribute, be our audience, take part in activities/events and most importantly share creatively and enhance understanding around the refugee experience.

Artists announced for ‘Creative Connections’ Micro-Commissions!

Click here for more information about artists in residence this year.

Want to run your own activity, sharing or event responding to this year’s theme? Looking for inspiration? Check out our Toolkit for some ideas and resources suable for children, families and adults. Don’t forget to let us know what you are doing and we can include it in the festival programme! 🙂

In 2018 we reflected with you about the coming few years programming and we saw how important working together has been. In response and moving forward, for 2020 we are partnering with Culture Liverpool and Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse Theatres to coordinate the festival and work with wider partners across Merseyside.

We are inviting you, as Festival 31 artists, arts organisations and supporters to respond to the theme of ‘Creative Connections and an exploration of what ‘31’ can be, 31 days, 31 connections, 31 hours, 31 thoughts, 31 people, 31 countries, 31 smiles, 31 questions…Anything from a virtual meal, sharing recipes from where people of Liverpool’s refugee communities originate, to poetry and spoken word performances, dance, video, sound, comedy or music, through to artists wanting to collaborate with people from displaced and settled communities in the region to create something wonderful together.

Culture Liverpool is working closely with us to ensure that the festival and programming gets the widest audience possible. This means that all submissions for programme inclusion and the final festival timetable will be held on  Culture Liverpool’s F31 page.

You’ll see the page evolving as we grow closer to this year’s events calendar, you can submit activities you are running during F31 or want to showcase from over the past 12 months related to F31 focus here.

SOLA and Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse Theatres will also be sharing the festival programme, so keep a look out for social media posts and updates on this site!

(Above image: A bit of whiteboard zoom fun in the second partner’s meeting 20th May; more online creative inspiration for connecting!)

1st partner’s meeting 15th May; here’s a Zoom Whiteboard experiment and but of fun we had…it’s great to be creative and share together!







Here’s a look back at some previous events…

FESTIVAL31: 2018 final day seminar and film evening with 104 attendees;


Some photos from last year’s artists residencies…

2018 was a busy festival with activities, performances and artists work in development; The Maze of Displacement by Claire Weetman in collaboration with SOLA ARTS & Sophie Tickle, The Sharing Group exhibition, Moving Objects by Lin Holland & Jane Poulton, Our Voices/Our Stories film by Toxteth TV, Create – European Arts Therapies for refugees event, and many more…

We aren’t stopping there! We always aim to have all 31 days full with programming and activities. Including community arts actions, film showing and so much more.

Do you have an idea for an art action or activity? Let’s chat. Email Adele or Tony at; f31community@gmail.com

Thanks to Arts Council England and Opens Arms grants for making this year’s festival come alive!

A warm welcome to Tony who has joined the team as our first Intern, he brings a wealth of community arts development experience from El Salvador!

Having volunteered for the festival in 2017 we’re really pleased that Tony is now a member of staff. It’s all exciting here 🙂

See the snap shot video of 2017 programme here

FESTIVAL31 is a month-long, Liverpool-wide celebration of arts and culture from refugee communities, using creative and social activity to widen opportunities for discussion and understanding of the refugee experience.

We’ve had so much fun last year! Our exhibition at Tate Liverpool was really well received, loads of people joined us for two big F31 celebrations, and a whole host of other activity took place throughout the month. Local channel ‘Made in Liverpool’ met up with Creative Producer Karen Wynne & Volunteer Sean Robinson at Bold Street Coffee’s exhibition to find out more (see below)!

If you would like to get involved in next year’s festival contact us: f31community@gmail.com and we’ll get in touch! Most of our activity is delivered on a voluntary basis by our partners… we thank them all for their continued commitment to the success of the festival!

(Faris Khalifa & Dorcas Seb practising for their sound installation and performances - 2017)

FESTIVAL31 brings together refugees, wider communities, individuals, grassroots, small and large organisations for a 31 day experience across the whole city every year, starting on the same day as national Refugee Week celebrations… This year’s FESTIVAL31 worked with eight great local artists from refugee backgrounds and a fab team of volunteers and local organisations… Tony explains why he got involved with the festival:

Being part of Festival 31 as a volunteer, will allow me to meet and share different experiences with other people. To learn about other cultures is the best way to understand them. It is an opportunity to bring all refugee communities together through social activities.
It is a good chance to let people know about refugees experiences and the difficulties that they have faced duing the process of relocating” 

Thanks to our 2017 funders: Arts Council England / Celebrate Big Lottery Fund / Hemby Trust

Check out our 'Join Us' page if you've an idea or just want to get involved for 2018!

Music, exhibitions, campaigning, discussions, song, socials, art actions, workshops, food, education, awareness raising, poetry, stand up, drama, schools workshops, flashmobs, drumming, film screenings & more

We would also like to thank BBC Radio Merseyside’s Ngunan Adamu / the Upfront show team, and the Up for Arts Team for their support. You can hear some of our interviews below…

Artists Faris Khalifa and Dorcas Seb talk about their involvement with the festival… (2017)

Creative Producer Karen Wynne chats to Carl on Radio Merseyside’s ‘Upfront’ programme.

Ngunan Adamu interviews commissioned artist Reagan Tesfemariam and festival co-ordinator Karen Wynne for BBC Radio Merseyside’s Upfront show (2015).

BBC Radio Merseyside’s Up For Arts team interview festival co-ordinator Karen Wynne (2015).



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