Streetwise Opera, the UK charity that uses music to inspire and empower people recovering from homelessness, is seeking a Trustee and a new Chair of Trustees for its board.
The charity grew over the last 20 years, inspired by an MP’s comment that the homeless were, ‘people you stepped over when leaving the opera.’ The result was a remarkable production of The Little Prince at the Royal Opera House which attracted such acclaim that a charitable trust was created to expand upon the concept.
Since 2018, Streetwise Opera has developed into an award-winning and cherished part of the music community. In addition to operating a renowned opera company, the organisation runs programmes of singing and creative workshops in homeless centres and arts venues in five regions of England.
As its website states, ‘We place equal emphasis on artistic excellence and social impact. Through taking part in our work, our performers improve their wellbeing and build their social networks, and we have a robust evaluation system that helps us demonstrate the difference we make.’
Even this year, the charity has been active helping their members use music to overcome the stresses of lockdown running online workshops on Zoom. Streetwise Opera performers also worked remotely with The Brodsky Quartet, Roderick Williams, Christopher Glynn and Genesis Sixteen on parts of Schubert’s Winterreise song cycle.
The Chair of Trustees will be someone with the experience in business, fundraising, government, media and/or charities in the social impact sector. She or he will be expected to manage and enhance the annual £650,000-£850,000 budget and the charity’s role as an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation. The Chair will help to reshape the charity’s operations as digital projects complement the usual face-to-face workshops and will support the implementation of the new four-year strategic plan, ‘Creating Together – 2021-25’.
The new Trustee will be expected to bring knowledge and experience to support governance and oversight of the charity’s work. Streetwise Opera is particularly hoping to find someone with creative experience within an arts organisation.