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MU Celebrates Refugee Week 2023

Use your power to support musicians seeking sanctuary this Refugee Week with our list of helpful resources.

Published: 19 June 2023 | 10:00 AM Updated: 19 June 2023 | 2:42 PM
Performer Susanne Xin in front of an audience, next to a microphone and table.
Susanne Xin at Artists Scratch Showcase at Refugee Week 2022. Image credit: © Counterpoints Arts.

Refugee Week is the UK’s largest festival celebrating the contributions, creativity and resilience of refugees. In celebration of this year’s event, the MU has put together a list of resources and information for those wishing to support refugees and help them build music careers in the UK.

We’re here to provide support and guidance to all musicians who need us

On 1 June 2023, the MU launched a brand new Refugee Musicians Membership. The scheme, administered in partnership with Counterpoints Arts, gives refugee musicians access to one year of free MU membership and full access to the MU’s advice and services.

Speaking of the launch, MU General Secretary Naomi Pohl said: “The UK’s musical landscape is richer because of wide-ranging musical influences from across the world, and we’re here to provide support and guidance to all musicians who need us”.

@wearethemu Do you know a refugee musician who wants to build their music career in the UK? Musicians seeking sanctuary can now join the Musicians’ Union for one year for free! The new scheme gives full access to the union’s contract advice, legal advice and insurance cover relating to music work. It’s a new partnership with #CounterpointsArts - and just one example of how trade union members can use their power this #RefugeeWeek. 👉 #WithRefugees #MusiciansUnion #MusicIndustry #TradeUnion #WeAreTheMU ♬ original sound - WeAreTheMU

A richer musical landscape: how you can support refugees and asylum seekers in the UK

The MU now also has a dedicated page for musicians who would like to do more to support those seeking sanctuary in their community.

The page features organisations you may wish to signpost others to, as well as resources and information where you can learn about the specific challenges facing refugees and asylum seekers.

We have listed resources for communities across the devolved nations and are continuously adding to this.

Simple Acts: use your power

Counterpoints Arts - who the MU has partnered with to administer the Union’s Refugee Membership Scheme - produces and coordinates Refugee Week UK.

Using the arts, culture and education, Refugee Week aims to create spaces where the contributions of refugees are celebrated, people from different communities enjoy positive encounters and refugee experiences are shared and understood in new ways.

You can also get involved by using Refugee Week’s 10 Simple Acts. Simple Acts are everyday actions we can all do to stand with refugees and make new connections in our communities. Here are 10 simple actions you may want to take, with further ideas, suggestions and recommendations:

  1. Watch a film
  2. Read a book
  3. Listen and share
  4. Send a message
  5. Share a dish
  6. Have a chat
  7. Use your platform
  8. Walk together
  9. Grow your compassion
  10. Join the movement

Find out more about how to get involved with advice from Refugee Week, including resources for children and young people, social media assets and how to hold an event to celebrate and raise awareness.

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