Somewhere at Edinburgh Fringe Festival
"Our Fringe coverage is giving a vital platform to the tiny three percent of the Festival output made by, for or about LGBT+ people"
In November 2014, back when I lived in Manchester, something really shocking happened to two members of our LGBT+ community.
Two young gay men were singing songs on a city centre tram, and in an instant became victims of a homophobic attack, beginning with verbal abuse and ending with physical violence.
In response, as then Co-Chair of Manchester Lesbian and Gay Chorus (MLGC), I created the headline-making, award-winning Safe to Sing campaign which became a local to global message within one short week, culminating in a powerful focused platform for the community to express themselves and heal through creative protest and performance.
At the time I was managing a voiceover talent agency, and following various jobs in broadcast and print media over the years, I was hungry for a new challenge. The attack and subsequent campaign became a pivotal moment in my life, when I understood that what I was as a person and want I wanted to do with my life came into sharp focus, and from there, the idea of Somewhere was born.
Bearing the name of the West Side Story song sung by the MLGC with poignant lyrics, “there’s a time for us”, “there’s a place for us”, I started to shape the format for a new style of social and connective organisation, based on a positive wellness outlook, championing LGBT+ people’s life’s challenges and issues with creativity, attitude and courage.
Over the course of the following two years, I researched and developed the organisation as part of my Arts and Cultural Management postgrad at Manchester Business School, before taking the radical decision, post-Brexit, post-life changes, post-Arena bomb, to relocate to Scotland; feeling that the progressive nature of Scotland’s approach to equality, diversity and inclusion, its blossoming social enterprise sector and support of women in business, added up to the right place for the Somewhere hub.
So here we are, six months after my submitting my Masters research into LGBT+ entrepreneurs, and Somewhere as a Safe to Sing legacy is finally coming out of the closet.
Our Somewhere At The Fringe project is our first contact with old and new communities, a way to show how passionate we are about championing LGBT+ culture and creativity, in the arts sphere and in business.
The #EdinburghFringe preparations and set-up continues. The vibrant visuals are going up for @ThePleasance at @eicc Their lineup of shows is rather impressive too! #SomewhereAtTheFringe #IntoTheUnknown pic.twitter.com/Yfb77sITzi— Somewhere: LGBT+ Culture & Enterprise Hub (@SomewhereEDI) August 3, 2018
Our Edinburgh Fringe coverage is giving a vital platform to the tiny three percent of the Festival output made by, for or about LGBT+ people. We are creating a beautiful new noise and getting heard, and in the months to come, with new friends, new partners and new connections made we will be able to deliver a whole host of innovative projects engaging diverse members of our LGBT+ community in actual life-changing projects.
We are passionate about burning closets on the Beltane fire, about coming out as the new staying in, and about showing the courage and vulnerability that everyone needs in order to be themselves.
Somewhere is a new LGBT+ Culture and Enterprise Hub organisation, setting out its stall and aiming to provide a refreshing new way to inspire, celebrate and transform the lives of LGBT+ people through exciting new initiatives, partnerships and projects focusing on raising the visibility and representation of LGBT+ people in the arts and business worlds.
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