LGBTQ+ Creatives was a project about raising awareness for LGBTQ+ rights in Swale.
LGBTQ+ is an umbrella term for people who are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, or Queer. The plus (+) represents anyone who might feel that those words don’t exactly describe them.
The project started in September 2019 for young LGBTQ+ people in Swale get to create an awareness campaign right here in the heart of the community.
Together with our team, young people discussed their creative ideas, what being LGBTQ+ meant to them, and the issues they face growing up LGBTQ+ in Swale.
We took them to see different events to get inspiration. From a visit to Turner Contemporary in Margate, to dance performances, film screenings and to London to see Dante or Die’s User Not Found – a play about grief and our digital lives that is set inside a real coffee shop.
Our group decided through a series of meetings and workshops that they wanted to create a play about being LGBTQ+ that could be toured around local schools.
They put out a commission (a creative job ad) for a writer to create the play.
The next phase…
The group chose Martha Pothen to write the play which was called ‘For Jenny‘.
The story was inspired by a true event. Ned takes action when his sister Jenny goes through a horrible experience on a bus, but who needs to change: jenny or the world?
We held sessions in Sittingbourne Library in 2019 where the group rehearsed the play and talked about how to put the show on.
This included how it would look on stage, how it would be promoted and where it would be performed.
The original plan was to show For Jenny in early 2020. However, due to the Coronavirus pandemic and lockdown we had to move the whole project online.
Several Zoom rehearsals and sessions, and despite the challenges going on globally, our LGBTQ+ Creatives worked hard to make For Jenny a success.
In August 2020, For Jenny was performed live in a Zoom performance as part of Electric Medway, an online festival of digital and art events.
You can see the trailer for the show below
(Content warning: Although the video is suitable for all ages, the situations and themes in this video might be upsetting for some people. Viewer discretion is advised)
We want to carry on the work we’ve started with LGBTQ+ Creatives and help support young people in both Medway and Swale be heard through creative ways which they will make with us.
If you want to get in touch with us to talk about LGBTQ+ Creatives or any of our Youth projects, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
ABOUT THE PROJECT
LGBTQ+ Creatives was funded by Live Well Kent.
It was supported by Swale Libraries and Local Schools in the Swale Area.
Additional support came from Shaw Trust, Porchlight, Swale CVS, Kent County Council, Medway Council and Swale Borough Council.