ABOUT LIVING WORDS
We believe that if a person is believed in, valued and given a non-judgmental space to express themselves, all of us benefit.
Living Words is an arts and literature organisation, created in 2007 by Susanna Howard. It started simply in a hospital ward at St Thomas’, London - Susanna following her nose, with the people she met who were patients there, to discover what this work would be. The intention of communicating in the moment using silence, sounds, the spoken and written word was clear. Since then we have conducted residencies in care and nursing homes, community settings, arts centres, day centres, libraries, theatres and hospitals. What emerged has been honed over the years into our Listen out Loud methodology, a person-centred approach and programme that we want to see taking place in the UK and beyond.
Inspired by this participatory pair work we create and co-create anthologies, performances, films, podcasts and events. By showcasing the creative connection between artist and participant, we change people’s perceptions of those living with a dementia. The audience sees people beyond their diagnosis or label. Living Words artists also have the chance to reflect on and create works from their experiences of working with the participants. Through training, artists are enabled to employ their creative skills in a practical way, as well as reflect on their distinct art form and practice. In 2019 we began working in the same way with other seldom heard and stigmatised people, and those within isolated communities. Check out our new LIVING WARRIOR project and films at https://www.livingwarriorsfilms.com/ or scroll down and click on the link further down this page. Thank you.
FIND OUT ABOUT OUR LATEST LIVING WARRIORS PROJECT AND WATCH THE FILMS, MADE FOR CINEMA BY CLICKING HERE.
OUR LIVING WARRIOR FILMS ARE ALSO BEING FEATURED ON BBC IDEAS AND ACROSS THE BBC FOR WORLD SUICIDE PREVENTION DAY 2020.
THIS PROJECT IS PROUD TO BE COMMISSIONED BY AND PART OF KENT AND MEDWAY STP SUICIDE PREVENTION TRANSFORMATION PARTNERSHIP.
FACTS & FIGURES
Places our work has appeared, includes:
BBC Radio Kent
Folkestone Living Advent Calendar
Folkestone Fringe events
KCC, County Hall Maidstone
Normal? Festival of the Brain
BBC Radio 3
Central School of Speech and Drama
Central St. Martins
Free Word Centre
Gallery @OXO South Bank
Middlesex University - Improbable’s 'Global Improvisation Initiative'
National Youth Choirs of Great Britain
Queen Elizabeth Hall (South Bank Centre)
Royal Academy of Music
Royal Society of Public Health conference
Stratford Literary Festival
UK Dementia Congress
Westminster Council House
British Council, Taiwan
National Theatre of Taiwan (NTCH)
AIN at Alan Alda’s Centre for Communicating Science, New York
Our partners and funders have included:
Alzheimer's Society Ashford, Creative Folkestone, Folkestone Fringe, Folkestone Libraries, Folkestone Town Council, Folkestone & Hythe District Council, Hythe Dementia Awareness Forum, Kent County Council, Kent Community Foundation, KMPT NHS, Medway Council, Martello Fund, Profound Sound Festival, Walker Construction
Arts Council, Arts 4 Dementia, Created Out of Mind - UCL Dementia Research Centre/Wellcome, Danuta Lipinska, English PEN, FHCLCT, Mandy Barnet Associates, Resonate Arts, The Sick of The Fringe (now Something To Aim For), Wellcome, Westminster Memory Service
British Council, East Side Institute, New York
365+ Living Words Books
People who work one-to-one with one of our Living Words writers will co-create and receive a copy of their own Living Words book. Staff and family also receive a copy, and we are able to share the book with family and friends, as a pdf. Plus we have so far published 2 anthologies - 'The Things Between Us', and 'Living Warriors'.
34+ Productions, Films, Podcasts...
Helping our participants’ words reach a wider audience, we take their words and place them centre stage in our productions in theatre, performance, film, radio, installation and through our upcoming podcast venture. Check out our most recent set of films - Living Warriors.
250+ Live Events
Co-creating ‘Normal? Festival of the Brain’, we’re proud to work alongside Creative Folkestone and Folkestone Fringe to bring this festival to Kent. Watch this space for more info about the new 2020/21 programme.
In 2018 we formed a partnership with East Kent arts organisations Ideas Test, Folkestone Fringe, Future Foundry and Moving Memory. Their work is also focussed on social impact and so, led by Mandy Barnet Associates, we explored the best way for us all to evaluate our own work, in a way that also speaks to commissioners. Initially funded by KCC, this work became Culture Cubed evaluation guidelines. We look forward to sharing this way of working with organisations across the UK. #IsYourCultureCubed?