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North East England’s First Art Gallery of Sanctuary

Introducing the North East England’s first ever Gallery of Sanctuary: The BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art.
We all have a part to play in building a more welcoming, inclusive and compassionate society. BALTIC are
going above and beyond – their work breaks down barriers and brings communities together. We are over
the moon that this phenomenal gallery has joined the City of Sanctuary network. This is a movement of
welcome: thousands of ordinary people, standing in solidarity with people seeking sanctuary.

Since 2019, BALTIC has programmed an ongoing series of activities, event and initiatives under the
banner Neighbourly, that have focused on building relationships with refugees and people seeking asylum
in Gateshead and across the North East of England. This activity includes SkillsMatch Volunteering Programme, in partnership with the West End Refugee Service, ESOL Language Cafés and the after-school art club International Art Club.

Informed by a regular meeting Working Group, comprised of people with lived experience of forced
displacement, and with generous guidance from a network of refugee support organisations in Gateshead
and Newcastle, Neighbourly considers how BALTIC can be a ‘good neighbour’ and support people who
have been forced to leave their homes to feel happy, settled and at home in the North East.

In achieving its sanctuary award, BALTIC was praised for its organisation-wide and long-term approach, making the sanctuary work span multiple years and one that involves staff from all parts of the organisation.