Showcase Smoothie is led by BrightSparks Arts in partnership with Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust and WORD! and further partnered by a range of arts, health and educationally based projects and organisations. First conceived of in 2008 to build on the Department of Health’s ‘Delivering Race Equality’ (DRE) action plan, Showcase Smoothie particularly invites black men, as this group is statistically more likely to experience inequalities within the mental health system. The intention of the project is to recognise and address mental health inequalities; foster cross-cultural cohesion and understanding; nurture artistic ability; support creative and personal development and challenge the stigma and misunderstanding that can sometimes surround mental health issues.
Participating artists attend a weekly programme of creative workshops, divided over two project sides, Showcase and Smoothie - both open to adult men and women.