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The Hearth Centre is a centre for Health, Education and the Humanities with Art at the Heart. Hearth uses the arts to animate key issues in mental health, social care and the humanities, and promote well being - which we do through theatre productions and literary events and courses.

Hearth receives Arts Council England emergency funds for Coronavirus project

The Hearth Centre is very pleased to announce that we have received emergency funds for a 6 month project called "Tales of Lockdown".

The phrase “unprecedented” has been used for the Coronavirus epidemic we are currently living through- but for many people, our present situation rings bells with very similar situations they have previously been through.

This project aims to gather stories about living in times of national emergency. We are collating anecdotes of past and present, when people’s personal freedoms were suddenly restricted. Examples of these situations could be wars, the AIDS crisis, or fleeing to another country as a refugee. You are free to write in any short literary art form, including memoir, fiction, poetry or drama on any subject triggered by our title.

If you would like to contribute your story to this project, click on this link for details on how to get in touch. 


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Tales of Lockdown

The Hearth Centre is very pleased to announce that we have received emergency funds for a 6 month project called Tales of Lockdown. The phrase “unprecedented” has been used for the Coronavirus epidemic we are currently living through- but for many people, our present situation rings bells with very similar situations they have previously been through. This project aims to gather stories about living in times of national emergency. We are collating anecdotes...

Hearth Centre Publications 2020

Have a look at some of Polly Wright, Artistic Director of the Hearth Centre 2020 publications on our publications page: These includeThe Palgrave Handbook of the History of Women on the Stage (Polly wrote a chapter on the early years of Women and Theatre)Sue Beavan. Nurse, Partner, Dog lover. A monologue about NHS - (which you can hear Polly reciting here)Collaboration for Impact: Co-creating a Workforce Development Toolkit Using an Arts-based Approach...

Sue Beavan. Nurse, Partner, Dog lover. A monologue about the NHS

Sue Beavan. Nurse, Partner, Dog lover. A monologue about the NHSPolly’s monologue was originally written for Women and Theatre’s 2014  piece - For the Past 30 years, which was a play written on the theme of women and work for solo voices. Polly’s monologue, about a  senior nurse, who has gone through many phases of NHS re-structuring and still isn’t ready for retirement at 64, has now been included  in...

Writers’ Reading group lives….Virtually!

We are glad to announce that our writers’ reading group is going on in a virtual form! We continue to share literary role models in order to learn and improve our craft of writing, but now we’re meeting through Zoom every other Wednesday. This term’s books have included Albert Camus’ The Plague and Anne Frank’s diary- and we are learning from them to write our own observations of lockdown, past...

Hearth receives Arts Council England emergency funds for Coronavirus project

The Arts Council England has awarded the Hearth Centre an award of Emergency funds to support the continuation of the organisation and to develop a six month project called Hidden Histories:  Living in Times of National Emergency. For this Creative Writing project we’re looking for stories about Lockdown and Covid 19, but also stories of similar crises in the past, such as in wars and other epidemics. Please contact us...

Podcast And Publication Launch – 7th March 2020

This year Women & Theatre mark International Women's Day with a special event featuring performances and discussions, exploring a range of issues about women and work; drawing on the experiences of young women, retired women, and those who have seen massive changes in their sectors over the last 35 years. One of Hearth Director Polly Wright's monologues is being used in the podcast section For more information click here

Rhapsodies in Blues: The Influence of Music on Black Women’s Writing

Saturday 7 March 2020 Join playwright Polly Wright and creative Adaya Henry for the day in a specially devised writing workshop that celebrates the musicality of Black women’s writing. The day will weave readings from Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou and Bernadine Evaristo with music, an inspirational visit to The Influence Project exhibition followed by a creative writing afternoon workshop. Click here for more information

Man Booker Discussion – MAC Birmingham 17th May 2018

Join the Writers Reading group @HearthCentre to discuss the book they are shadowing for the Man Booker Prize 2018 #MBI2018 - Vernon Subutex 1 at the Hexagon '@mac_birmingham on May 17 at 7.00 pm. Translator @Terribleman and writer @DespentesActu -all 5 stars so far! Read the Guardian article here