Manchester Gay Village organisers are aiming to make ‘everybody a superstar’ with the new Queerchester project.
The project, which is set to arrive in time for August’s Pride Festival, will showcase LGBTQ history, talent, performance and art to display the diverse range of identities in Manchester.
All proceedings from the events will be returned to the Village, aiding the development of cultural and community projects.
The exhibition has been fashioned to highlight the lack of community infrastructure for gay culture and arts – emphasising the importance of a vibrant and visible community with courage and creativity.
Community Organiser for Manchester’s Gay Village Elle Wiggins said: “This project has come as a result of me doing what I call ‘listenings’ with members of the local community to find out what they think would make their experience of the area better.
“From there, we identify grassroots projects that would tackle their concerns and mobilise people to want to get involved with the projects which can be something small like litter picking or something big like a three-week art exhibition.”
Following the success of the monthly Village Market – a community-led project running in the village’s Sackville Gardens – organisers have planned the Queerchester project in an effort to raise money for the LGBTQ voting system, which is to be spent on areas that the community has identified as in need of work.
The Queerchester project will feature an array of people dressed in drag for live photo shoots, badge-making workshops and many interactive and glamorous activities such as creating Qzines to represent ‘identity, portraits, fantasy and dreams’ across the LGBTQ community.
Organisers are reaching out to ‘everyday people’, offering them the unique opportunity to be involved in a ‘beautiful range of exhibitions’ within the space, asking for creativity and visionary LGBTQ concepts that represent real life within Manchester.
They have invited people to donate one six-by-four inch inspiring image for a huge photograph collage to represent the many wonderful LGBTQ identities and historical backgrounds from across the city,
The collage will also portray the important messages of ‘live, love and living’.
Organisers welcome budding artists with open arms, calling out to vibrant acts and performers to showcase their talents alongside many other rising stars as part of a fundraising exhibition at Canal Street bar VIA on Wednesday June 4.
Elle said: “I have been very lucky in that the people I have dealt with have been very forward-thinking and have wanted to create projects that are quite substantial.”
Organisers hope that the donation of artwork may open up a whole host of opportunities for the artists – with the possibility that charities and media outlets may use images that have inspired or touched them.
The community organisers are currently in partnership with the Peoples History Museum, Pride Fringe, the Lesbian and Gay Foundation (LGF) and the Manchester Community Organisers charity with a further outlook to involve a wider spectrum of LGBTQ businesses, charities and volunteers.