As the Engagement Producer for Theatre at Eden Court I am always excited by collaborating with others to make cool things happen. So I was delighted when my colleague Graeme approached me to see if I would be interested in hosting a session for LGBT+ young people as part of Back Online in March...
Maili and I invited the brilliant Natasha Ruwona to programme four short films that explore the LGBTQIA+ experience. We discussed our thoughts around the films and imagined how we would want an arts group for LGBTQIA+ young people to be. From that has grown the LGBTQIA+ Youth Arts Collective! A space for all LGBTQIA+ folks an allies aged 13-18 to come together once a week to make, debate, create and critique all things art! From filmmaking to spoken word, photography to zine-making; we will do it all!
First thing on the to do list will be for us to come up with a snappier, snazzier name. We know it’s a bit of a mouth full at the moment!
I’m really excited to be hosting this group online as it means distance and travel are not a barrier to attending as they so often are in the Highlands. I grew up in Orkney and although feelings towards (and ideas about) the LGBT+ community have changed a lot since then, we can’t underestimate the difficulties of coming out and being visible. This is especially true in rural areas where the representation and celebration of LGBT+ people can be much less than in more urban areas. I hope this group can provide the positive representation that someone needs to know it is okay to be who they are.
Hosting sessions online also provides us with the opportunity to invite guest facilitators from all over Scotland. I can’t wait to welcome some of the most exciting queer artists to host sessions to introduce us to their practice and take us through their process.
I’m so looking forward to seeing what is created, how the LGBTQIA+ experience is represented in your art but most of all I can’t wait to feel the joy that comes from building and being a part of an LGBT+ community.
So come along! Tell your pals in Inverness, Skye, Thurso, Lochaline and all over the Highlands about the LGBTQIA+ Youth Arts Collective!
The first session is Thu 6 May, 7.00pm-8.30pm on Zoom.
To join email me on email@example.com. You can also get in touch with questions or thoughts anytime.
This blog was written by Amy Watt