Our work takes place in the heart of the community and works with people from many different backgrounds, ages and communities. The impact of Berakah’s work can be seen, heard and felt both individually and collectively. Our concerts give people and chance to reflect, re-charge their batteries and grow closer to each other which is why we often choose to perform in places of worship. We also work closely with other community groups and charities that share similar aims.
- At one concert taking place in a synagogue during Ramadan the rabbi opened his office so that Muslim women could do their evening prayers.
- The 2015 tour by The Berakah Players worked with local community organisations to organise the events. This gave the communities a reason to gather together and promote their own good works by sending as positive message out to the people in their local area. Our local partners included –
- Grassroots in Luton
- Brighton and Hove Inter Faith Contact Group
- Hamara in Leeds
- Open Minds Theatre Company in Rotherham
- The Oxford Foundation in Oxford
These are all established groups in their communities and working with Berakah Arts each organisation ensured that the concerts were well attended, well publicised and reached into the heart of their local community.
- Our concert in Leeds was a commemoration ceremony for the 7/7/ bombings – two of the bombers came from that area. It was an opportunity for the community to get some closure and to reconcile. The concert was preceded by a message of support from Hilary Benn, MP.
- In line with The Arts Council of England’s advice Berakah Arts is committed to developing audiences and reaching new people. Our 2015 concert in Rotherham included many visibly Muslim women in the audience and also a group of young Muslim people who had never been to a live concert event before.
- In 2016 our Sing For Peace Choir sang at the 4th birthday anniversary celebration of The Inclusive Mosque Initiative, a female led mosque where women lead prayers, diversity in all its facets is welcome and a more liberal perspective on religion is practised.
INCREASE THE PEACE (YOUTH BAND PROJECT)
In it’s short life (it was establsihed in a permanent home at St.Mary’s Acton, West London November 2016) our youth band has played at The Faiths In Tune Festival at The British Museum, The Ealing Jazz Festival and many local events. We will be developing more outreach with Increase The Peace in the coming months.
It features young people from a variety of faith backgrounds and varying levels of observance all working together to spread a message of Hope and Unity.
- “Fun in many ways and a positive atmosphere” – Maria, band member
- “Being part of the Berakah Youth Ensemble has been a positive and friendly experience. Our weekly rehearsals are well structured, held in a safe environment and most importantly, enjoyable.” – Katreena, band member
- “It’s a privilege to be a part of a group promoting peace and equality in the world of today which can be harsh and unjust.” – Keren, band member
- “I found it to be a good experience and really pushed me out of my comfort zone” – Amber, band member
- “St Mary’s has been delighted to be involved in the birthing of the Increase the Peace band and to see the vision become a reality. We are committed both to the development of young people and to encouraging The Arts, so supporting this project by providing a venue and offering our partnership ticked all the right boxes. The band has played at an event for us and we are delighted that it is getting an increasing number of invitations.” Nick Jones, Rector at St. Mary’s, Acton
- “It was a pleasure to have Berakah come to perform at the youth centre. This was a new experience for the young people, who usually do not have access to live music, and they really enjoyed it. It was great to see such a diverse group of people, both young and old, come together through music, and I am sure that the experience will go on to inspire some of the young people here to get more involved in live music, either performing or going to gigs. It was a really good night and the feedback we have had from the young people has been very positive. I hope it is something we can do again some time. Thanks” – Colin Brent, Senior Youth Worker – Acton
SING FOR PEACE CHOIR
Our choir will be in it’s third year at Richmond Adult Community College and is another element of our outreach. Members of the choir regularly perform both at end of twerms concerts at RACC and at community events. Since August 2016 they have been perfoming every months at a dinner held in Richmond for people who suffer from Alzheiimer’s Disease and their carers. This kind of outreach is why music is so powerful.
- ‘Improved my singing. I am not sleeping well and it helps my sleep i.e. well being”- Lushani
- “Very uplifting. An opportunity to make new friends.” – Shira
- ‘Excellent!” – Bhupinder
- “An uplifting experience with a diverse group of people, connecting and overcoming barriers.” – Halima
- “I’ve been singing with the Sing For Peace Choir, based at RACC since it started in late 2015. It’s run by Berakah Arts, a music charity that brings together people of different faiths and cultures so as to spread understanding, positivity and unity.
- The Sing For Peace Choir aims to perform regularly at various events in the community, such as the local Alzheimer’s Society Supper Club. We have also performed concerts for organisations such as the World Congress of Faiths and the Inclusive Mosque Initiative.
I look forward to going out to choir practice every week, as I know I will enjoy myself. We also share food at the end of each session! I’ve met some wonderful people in the choir and I feel privileged to call them all my friends. The Sing For Peace Choir has made me feel that life is for living. I am just one voice but together we can use the gift of music to make a difference in other people’s lives and to stand up for all that’s good in humanity.”– Ann
- “My experience of being part of the ensemble has been fantastic. I’ve been playing the the youth band since it started. It’s been great to be part of a group promoting peace. Everyone’s really positive and I’ve made some good friends along the way. “ – Emma
If you’d like to be part of our choir or you’re between 16 -25 and would like to join our youth band drop us a line here.