Creative Futures is a networking fair connecting the industry with homeless creatives

The free event, hosted by Accumulate, will consist of workshops in developing a portfolio, presenting and interviewing, and confidence-building.

10 January 2023

Over three days in January at D&AD offices in London, Creative Futures will run as a free three-day workshopping event for creatives affected by homelessness – the second time the event has gone ahead following a successful launch in June 2022. It is launched by Accumulate: The Art School for the Homeless, an organisation doing work to open access to a closed off industry, offering classes and more across fields like design and illustration. In 2020, the team behind Accumulate released a landmark graphic novel, the first made by homeless creatives.

The Creative Futures event will be broken down into different offerings by day. Day one and two will include workshops on confidence-building, networking and lessons in creating a portfolio and using social media to build a creative profile online. Industry reviewers will take part, offering advice and editing assistance to help develop portfolios. Day three will include speed networking between creative businesses and participants, with the whole event culminating in offers of tangible work experience – which Creatives Futures says is a vital part of the initiative. These include paid work placements, as well as short unpaid in-business workshops.

According to founder Marice Cumber, out of the opportunities offered in 2022’s Creative Futures event, “work placements were all paid at least minimum wage and these ranged from one week to one month and were offered by Design Bridge and Bulletproof. All workshops (usually half a day) had travel and food paid for.” Accumulate is currently looking for businesses and industry professionals to take part in the January edition, across as many fields as possible; design, fashion and advertising are just some of the disciplines that the charity is looking for contributors in.


Accumulate: The Art School for the Homeless: Creative Futures (Copyright © Accumulate, 2022)

Creative Futures was originally developed to break down the barriers that “exist between creative people with experience of homelessness and the creative industries who have opportunities available but don’t know how to reach this new source of talent,” Marice tells us. This also means that the event offers ample opportunities for businesses looking to recruit too.

A crucial part the concept’s effectiveness is the in-person set up of the event. “If you don't have the education, right support or contacts it’s a real challenge to know where to start to even look and research about entry level opportunities in the creative industries,” says Marice. “Couple that with potentially no relevant work experience, low self confidence and self belief and difficulties with filling out lengthy forms and the barriers get even higher for the type of people that Accumulate work with. The only way we were going to overturn this was to make Creative Futures about the person, their creativity and their talent and potential and not about their education, supporting statement or CV.”

You can read more about the work that Accumulate does in our interview with Marice from 2020. Creative Futures will run on 18, 23 and 25 January 2023 at D&AD offices in Shoreditch; more information is available at the Accumulate site.

GalleryAccumulate: The Art School for the Homeless: Creative Futures (Copyright © Accumulate, 2022)

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Accumulate: The Art School for the Homeless: Creative Futures (Copyright © Accumulate, 2022)

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Liz Gorny

Liz (she/they) joined It’s Nice That as news writer in December 2021. In January 2023, they became associate editor, predominantly working on partnership projects and contributing long-form pieces to It’s Nice That. Contact them about potential partnerships or story leads.

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