Dibby's LGBTQ+ Community Arts Covid Recovery Fund

by Dibby Theatre in Manchester, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 26th April 2021 we successfully raised £3,255 with 136 supporters in 28 days

As we recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, help us kick start a legacy of LGBTQ+ stories told by LGBTQ+ people in Manchester and beyond!

by Dibby Theatre in Manchester, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

An additional £2000 will help us support those in digital poverty with the purchase of computing equipment for staff, freelancer, educational and community participant use.


Dibby Theatre is an award-winning LGBTQ-led theatre company with working class roots, and we’ve been telling stories nationally and working in communities in Greater Manchester since 2018.

This past year has been incredibly tough for everyone. In the arts it has been particularly difficult for small organisations and freelance artists, many have fallen through the cracks of financial support packages from both the  Government and funders.

As the Government outlines the roadmap back to normal life, we want to ensure that LGBTQ+ people and working-class artists in Greater Manchester and beyond get the best support possible to kick-start and re-ignite their careers.

We truly believe access to arts and culture is a human right and it's integral to living a fulfilling life – theatre, music, gigs, clubbing, storytelling - it’s the stuff that elevates us from just ‘surviving’ to living, connecting and thriving both as an individual and as a society.

What’s On The Cards For The Future of Dibby Theatre?

We’re made up to have continued support from our funders, partners and audiences, but in order to continue to meet our ambitious artistic, outreach and educational aims to become an industry leading company, help us diversify our workforce and increase our impact both locally and nationally, we need your support.

Our aim is to raise £3000 by asking 300 people to donate a tenner.

Ten quid - less than the price of a theatre ticket. And whilst theatres remain closed, what better way to ensure the future of theatrical storytelling and live events than supporting our work?

We’re asking for a tenner but if you can drop more in the pot then we are eternally grateful. And if you want to support but can only afford a few quid, that’s amazing too – every contribution is welcome.

Building a Sustainable Arts Business in the Age of Covid-19

Over the past year we’ve been working hard to build Dibby Theatre into a sustainable company that will continue to provide new and exciting shows, digital stories and events as well as radically inclusive training and development opportunities for LGBTQ+ people.

And despite losing all our income from ticket sales and the funding landscape becoming increasingly challenging, since last March we have…

  • Published our award-winning show First Time with Nick Hern Books and are in the process of booking our biggest UK tour to date (every copy bought from www.nathanieljhall.co.uk directly contributes to supporting the tour).
  • We’ve continued to tackle HIV stigma and shame though our community-led creative outreach programme In Equal Parts – an initiative that has reached 5.7K people in person and over 57K people through online events. 
  • We’re developing two brand new shows: The Alleyway of Dreams by Chris Hoyle and Toxic by Nathaniel Hall.
  •  And we’ve just launched our brand-new talent development programme First Dibs – a course for early-stage career LGBTQ+ writers from Greater Manchester, and Dibby’s Pick and Mix, a series of online workshops by celebrated LGBTQ+ playmakers and writers.
  • And as part of our commitment to making the arts a more equitable and accessible place, we’re proud to say that participants on our First Dibs course will receive a £1k bursary and that we are striving to always offer a portion of free and low-price tickets to as many of our events and workshops as possible.

Creating a Lasting Legacy of LGBTQ+ and Working Class Theatre and Art in Greater Manchester and Beyond

We need your help to meet our ambition to create a legacy of LGBTQ+ stories told by LGBTQ+ people for future generations to enjoy.

Growing up gay, bisexual, trans or non-binary in a cisgendered-heteronormative world can be tough. Sometimes the traditional routes of access to the arts industries can seem out of reach or blocked to people like us.

Sometimes we feel like outsiders, sometimes we feel uncomfortable, sometimes we feel unwelcome and sometimes we feel unsafe.

But, Manchester is one of the most LGBTQ+ friendly cities in Europe and we want to add to the great work that’s already been done here to improve opportunities for LGBTQ+ artists and audiences.

And we were overwhelmed by the number of high-quality applications recently made to the First Dibs course which shows there is a need for us to continue to expand our talent and development offer for LGBTQ+ and working-class artists.

But to do all this, we need your help.

What Will Your Money Support?

  • £500 will ensure we can pay the community participants we’re working with on In Equal Parts a proper fee for their time, emotional labour and creativity.
  • £500 will ensure we can continue to offer ACTUP+Live, our digital creative workshop tackling HIV stigma and shame, free of charge to schools and community groups across the country for another 6 months.
  • £500 will allow us to offer a up to 100 free places to LGBTQ+ and working-class artists to attend our workshops and training opportunities across the next year.
  • £500 will support the process of booking the autumn tour of First Time, helping us navigate the challenges of presenting work during the Covid-19 pandemic and ensuring that the show’s important educational message about ending HIV stigma and shame continues to have an impact across the U.K.
  • £500 will pay for essential web page development, subscription costs and ongoing marketing to help us build our profile online, widening the impact of both our theatre productions and community outreach and talent development work.
  • £500 will allow us to offer drop-in writing and career development surgeries for LGBTQ+ and working-class artists as they rebuild their careers post Covid-19.

 It’s just ten quid. 

But it’s ten quid that will help us at a crucial stage as we develop Dibby into a sustainable arts business that will continue to serve and support LGBTQ+ and working class artists in Greater Manchester and beyond for years to come.

Help Spread the Word

We know this year has been tough and we don’t want anyone to feel bad if they want to support us but can’t afford to donate – but please do help us by spreading the word about our campaign by liking it and sharing it with your friends and followers.

On behalf of all the future audiences, artists and communities that will benefit from your donation we want to say: Thank You.

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