Dibby's Pride in Performing Arts Fund

by Dibby Theatre in Salford, Greater Manchester, United Kingdom

Total raised £1,507

£5,000 target 12 days left
30% 77 supporters
Keep what you raise – this project will receive all pledges made by 3rd July 2024 at 11:03am

Help us raise £5000 for our Pride in Performing Arts Fund supporting LGBTQ+ creative freelancers and communities to thrive

by Dibby Theatre in Salford, Greater Manchester, United Kingdom

It’s no secret that the last few years have been a tough time for the arts industry. 

And this Pride Month, as the UK slips further down to seventeenth place in the European ranking of LGBTQ+ safe countries, we know times are tough for our friends and colleagues too.

Funding setbacks have impacted our touring plans for our most recent show Toxic as well as our talent development programme, and we know we're not the only LGBTQ+ arts organisation out there feeling the pinch.

After lots of hard work, we’re now all set to tour in spring 2025, and whilst we know we can just about balance the books for the necessities like performers, transport and accommodation, our planned talent development and community outreach activity still hangs in the balance.

 And that’s where you come in…

Reaching LGBTQ+ people in smaller and more isolated communities

When we present our shows in Greater Manchester, we know the right people will come through the door - in fact, 86% of people who came to see Toxic identified as LGBTQ+.

But in some areas of the country, the LGBTQ+ community, and the cultural and service provision that meets our specific needs, is not as well developed as in our city region, and this means we must invest more time and resource into developing and connecting with audiences through community-led creative outreach activity.

And when we visit a new place, we know the best people to deliver this activity are local LGBTQ+ creatives.

Why is developing LGBTQ+ talent so important?

Did you know, 28% of the theatre workforce are creative freelancers?*

And a recent report found that a staggering 90% rely on income from outside the sector.**

We also know that growing up LGBTQ+ in a cis-gendered heterosexual world also impacts confidence and mental health which adds another barrier for LGBTQ+ people trying to build sustainable careers in the industry. 

At Dibby we have never been about handouts, instead opting for an approach that pays LGBTQ+ freelancers above industry standard wages whilst offering a range of free to access talent development opportunities.

Since 2021, First Dibs - our talent development programme for LGBTQ+ creative freelancers in Greater Manchester - has been supporting LGBTQ+ artists to develop the skills required to deliver their own creative projects that benefit their own community.

And when we visit new places on our Toxic tour, we want to extend this programme to support local LGBTQ+ artists to develop their own mini creative outreach projects that help connect local LGBTQ+ people to the show.

In areas where creative development opportunities might be thin on the ground, we want to support LGBTQ+ creatives with employment, but also offer mentorship to help them build the professional skills and resilience that will allow them to become leaders in their local communities and secure work beyond this project. 

But we also benefit too, learning about the innovative ways LGBTQ+ people are building a creative community in their own locality and connecting and strengthening our network of LGBTQ+ service providers and grassroots community groups.

What does this all cost?

Delivered in addition to our local talent development and outreach work, this project will cost us a further £15,000 and we’re looking to raise £5,000 of that by asking 500 people to donate a tenner each.

If successful in our fundraising, your money will secure:

  • 41 paid employment days for LGBTQ+ community artists
  • 90 free tickets for LGBTQ+ people to see Toxic
  • 5 x performances with improved access (BSL interpretation, captioning, and relaxed performances)
  • 24 x sessions of professional mentorship for LGBTQ+ artists
  • and a dedicated access budget to support those on low income or with other access needs to engage with the programme.

What’s more, if we beat our target - we can achieve even more. With every additional £500 raised we can:

  • Offer more free tickets for LGBTQ+ people on low incomes to see Toxic
  • Increase the number of employment days for LGBTQ+ creatives
  • and offer more sessions of professional mentorship for LGBTQ+ artists.

Help us by donating a tenner today!

Last year we generated 900 days employment for LGBTQ+ creative freelancers paid above industry rates - that’s nearly three years-worth of paid work!

And we delivered 450 sessions of in-person creative participation, and reached a further 3.5k through digital outreach.

Whether or not we can build on this success in 2024-25 hangs in the balance.

We know it’s a difficult time for many people right now - which is why we’re only asking for a tenner. 

Of course, if you can afford more, we’ll take it – but every donation, no matter the size, is always gratefully received.

With your donation to our LGBTQ+ Pride in Performing Arts Fund, you’ll be helping us to secure a stronger and more stable future for LGBTQ+ creatives who in turn will help strengthen LGBTQ+ communities across the country.

Thank you.

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