LGBTQ+ Positive Voices Exhibition – Submissions Open

Today I’m launching the call for submissions to an online exhibition that will be a celebration of LGBTQ+ people’s positive experiences, lives and perspectives.

Contributors aged 18 and over are welcome to submit visual or audio art and creative works to the LGBTQ+ Positive Voices exhibition. Contributions from amateur, hobby, DIY artists, crafters and creatives, those who do not consider themselves to be artists or creatives, and those who have never submitted to an exhibition before are especially welcome.

It’s partly inspired by my experience of visiting LGBTQ+ exhibitions, and engaging with collection items and art works that helped me gain a better understanding of myself by seeing others like me represented in them. At the same time, some of the personal stories shared alongside exhibition items made me feel as if I had a positive future as a trans/gender non-conforming bisexual person. I want this exhibition to be a space that will allow other people to share and experience creative works that are a positive reflection of being an LGBTQ+ person.

The call for submissions will remain open until 31st May 2021, with the online exhibition opening mid-June 2021. For more information and to contribute visit: http://ashgreen.uk/lgbtq-exhibition/

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LGBTQ+ Positive Voices – An Exhibition

Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

I’m currently organising an online exhibition as a follow up to the Create Place programme. The intention is to use the space to share creative positive stories and experiences of LGBTQ+ people.

The idea was sparked by the reassuring narratives I encountered when I attended exhibitions such as the Museum of Transology and Transworkers Photographic Exhibition. At a time when I wasn’t sure what lay ahead of me when I was coming out, there were stories in exhibitions like these that made me feel hopeful that I would have a positive future.

In the exhibition I’m organising I want to give every LGBTQ+ person an opportunity to tell part of their positive story. I want everyone in the community to feel they can submit something creative or artistic, whether they’re a professional, amateur, hobbyist, DIY or bedroom maker. And when I say creative or artistic, that could include anything (as long as part of it can be shared in a digital format) – including but not only painting, drawing, writing, music, video, games, digital stories, interactive pieces, crafts and textile arts, performance. The key thing is it just needs to be creative and share positive experiences of being an LGBTQ+ person.

Even though this is starting out as an online exhibition, in the long term I also want to be able to share these experiences in a physical exhibition as well.

I’m discussing the ideas behind this project in a Voluntary Arts Creative Network session on 17th Feb (5-6pm), which is open to everyone. During the session I’m also looking for input into how I can develop this project as a safe online space for LGBTQ+ people to share and discover these positive stories.

If this sounds like your sort of thing I look forward to seeing you on the 17th.

And keep an eye on this blog for updates and calls for submissions.

Free Creative Cultural Leadership Development Programme

The Create Place programme is open for applications for its second cohort of participants (deadline 29th January). It’s a free North Staffordshire and Cheshire East based programme supported by Arts Council England. It focuses on developing leadership skills in creative & cultural co-creation, co-production and co-curation for the arts & heritage sector…. which includes getting communities involved in making, creating, & community arts.

Even though I’m based in Surrey (not Staffs or Cheshire), I’m part of the 1st wave of participants & it’s been a great experience for me. I have had so many useful conversations about developing creative projects; linking up with other creatives; and developing strategic & leadership skills. I’d totally recommend applying for a place if you’re based in England.

It involves 3 x 2 day residencies (currently virtual/online) & continuing support from 16 North Staff/Cheshire & UK cultural/arts organisations.

There’s a lot more detail on the Create Place site.

Please share this with anyone you think might be interested.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon from Pexels