My first involvement with CAN was when I was a member of Afrocats as a dancer, when I was 15 or 16, back in 2005 and 2006. We performed at CAN’s Exodus Festival, alongside lots of other refugee community groups. Afrocats created and performed in Where Is Home? in partnership with CAN, directed by CAN’s then Creative Director, Cilla Baynes. Where Is Home? was performed at the greenroom and it was a huge success.
CAN helped me to develop as an artist. I discovered how art can be used to highlight socio-political issues. Its projects really gave me first-hand experiences of working with refugees and new migrants to this country. I feel strongly about the hostility and racism they face, and I’ve included their stories in some of my work since.
Now I work mainly in theatre, music, spoken word, and as a Producer. I’ve toured my work nationally; I’ve supported the Mercury Prize nominated spoken word artist and poet Kae Tempest, collaborated with theatre companies including Eclipse; and been part of the British Council’s platform at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. You can find more about me at keishathompson.com
CAN does a great job of bringing local and migrant communities together. It showcases and commissions high-quality art that serves various communities – CAN contributes to social cohesion. Anyone who connects with CAN develops skills and has experiences that will help within and beyond the arts sector.
I love what CAN has done for me.