We’re sharing this update as we want to be as transparent as possible with our LGBTQIA+ community, artists and allies who have supported our work through this most challenging of years.
We had hoped by this time in the year, to have been able to announce more online drag king workshops. These were a great success last year so we applied for funding to support another online course. But we didn’t get the funding! We have applied for Arts Council funding to support our work, three times since December 2020 and each time been unsuccessful. Competition right now is unbelievably high. So many artists and companies need support.
Accessibility and inclusivity are part of our core values. We need funding to make these workshops financially viable. We pay all our artists and staff fairly, and there are costs to making work accessible that we cannot cover through ticket sales alone.
We feel it’s important to be honest about the costs of working in the way we do, with care for our team and community centered. We want to be transparent about the work that goes on behind the scenes, and the challenges we face as a tiny arts organisation with one part time employee. It’s also important to us to be honest that failure is a huge part of any endeavor, and we’re proud we haven’t given up. We’re also proud of how we’ve adapted during the pandemic, that our Gender Awareness training is having an impact, and that we’re still here and growing our reach.
But its going to be a tough 6 months while we wait to see how the ‘reopening’ of UK society goes, and the vaccine takes effect. Unlike bigger companies or venues, we do not have the luxury of regular funding to take risks, or to return to live events with reduced capacities. We are funded only a project – by – project basis. We’re waiting on other funding decisions and will keep pursuing funding; we’re not giving up.
So we have something to ask. If you’ve got any funds to spare, please consider donating to Andro and Eve. Or buy something on our online shop. Your donation or sale really does make a difference and ensures that we will be able to return in a safe and inclusive way when the time is right, and in the meantime help us offer alternative spaces for connection for LGBTQ+ people during this challenging time. Trust us, we are making plans!
You can donate via the ‘SUPPORT US’ button above. You can also set up a regular donation there too. Or why not tell a friend or colleague about our Gender Awareness training to encourage their organisation to train their team? Links to some lovely merchandise, including tote bags, postcard packs, tees and pins via the online shop here! We greatly appreciate any support you can give.
Thank you to everyone who has continued to support us throughout the last year. Your support has been vital and deeply appreciated. Lets keep Yorkshire Reytqueer!
With the UK and devolved governments’ announcements over the last few weeks, we wanted to offer some information about how Andro and Eve plan to return to live events. We share some folks’ optimism but we also remain cautious. On the anniversary of the UK’s first lockdown, it also seemed like a good moment to provide some clarity for our community.
As a small arts organisation with community at our heart, we have consulted with our volunteers, partner venues and community, so that the board of Andro and Eve could make an informed decision about our offer over the coming months.
We know many of you cannot wait to burst into a venue again and enjoy some queer performance, while for others, the thought of this is anxiety inducing. Having heard from many members of the community, we know that you share our concerns about transmission of COVID-19 and want to ensure we continue to protect the most vulnerable members of our community. In returning to live events, we do not want to leave anyone behind.
Therefore for the foreseeable future, our offer will continue to be remote and online, and we will provide an online offer until well into the Autumn. We want to ensure those in our community with disabilities and long term health conditions, feel safe enough to attend in person. We have a responsibility to protect our staff, volunteers and artists. In this way we can provide meaningful opportunities for artists to connect safely with our community and share their creativity.
We have applied to several different funders to support online activity, and we do not expect to return to in person events until Autumn 2021 at the earliest. We may be able to do something small in person in the summer, but at this point, we cannot be sure. We thank you for your ongoing understanding, patience and support.
We know this has been an extremely challenging year, and our thoughts are with the many people who have not received financial support, or who are struggling with poor health or grieving countless losses.
As an organisation known primarily for our live events pre – pandemic, we are grateful that we have survived this crisis this far, and cannot wait to see you all in person again. We’re also proud that we’ve been able to provide opportunities for LGBTQ+ artists and share queer culture with our community.
However, we have that bit further to go yet. If you can, we’d ask you to donate to support our work, to ensure we do survive and can continue to support the work of LGBTQ+ artists and our community. You can do this via the ‘Support Us’ button above this post, by buying some of our merchandise, or Centre zine.
To be the first to hear about upcoming events and all our news, sign up to our newsletter via the subscribe button below too. Thank you to everyone who has donated, shared or supported our work this last year. Without you, and the hard work of our small team, we’d not still be here, and that means the world.
Team Andro and Eve x
Need Support? Links below.Remember you are not alone.
2020. Wow. We did not see that coming. The start of the year seems like a hazy fog, where the idea of putting on a huge drag king cabaret for 350+ people is like some mad dream. But that’s what we were preparing for back then.
Despite all the nonsense, heartache and grieving this year has brought, here at Andro and Eve we have things to celebrate. And as relentless purveyors of queer joy, (because joy is resistance, to so many communities), we’re here to review the highs, and some challenges that 2020 has brought.
We started the year with a screening of music documentary, Silvana, at legendary music venue, Yellow Arch Studios in Sheffield. Collaborating with Sheffield Doc/Fest, was a first for us, with Melanie Ireldale the deputy director, introducing this celebration of the story of Swedish rapper Silvana Imam, her rise to fame and blossoming romance with Swedish pop star Beatrice Eli. Many in the audience fell hard for this lesbian power couple that evening.
In March, we had the 6th edition of The Kingdom Come planned at Abbeydale Picture House with a stellar line up of talent. Just a few days after we trained our amazing team of volunteers at the venue, the board of Andro and Eve discussed the situation, and made the unanimous decision to cancel our drag king cabaret, scheduled for the 21st.
Facing a significant financial loss, the next week was a blur, but our community came through, with 85% of those who had already booked tickets, donating their ticket, which bought us valuable time to plan for a very different year and apply for funding. Thank you to you if you were one of those kind people.
In May we found out we had been successful in securing Arts Council England Emergency Funding. And with that a bit of breathing space. Launching our drag king workshop course in June, we were bowled over for demand for places on the course, with 50+ people taking part in 3 sessions led by drag king Christian Adore in July. Have a peep at what that involved, and what our participants thought in the video below.
Developing talent is key to our work. Our 2020 programme included an online Cabaret College, which we produced in collaboration with LoUis CYfer. Over 8 weeks, 13 emerging drag and cabaret acts were given the opportunity to develop their own material with regular mentoring from LoUis, and 4 creative sessions. As one of the participants said
The whole experience was so safe and welcoming. I was VERY nervous and always felt supported and like I could ask for help
As well as developing talent we were also aware that digital delivery would limit the audience for our work, and wanted to use print to connect. So we commissioned graduate artist, and founder of Racezine Collective, Okocha Obasi to produce a brand new zine. Okocha was mentored by artist Seleena Laverne Daye, and worked closely with Assistant Producer, Emma Bentley – Fox.
We launched Centre zine with a special online party, A Reyt Queer Night In. With a vogue workshop by Mother of House of Ghetto, Darren Pritchard, and a party makeup workshop by Christian Adore, the night was topped off with a brilliant set from Gal Pal’s DJ Xzan. The night certainly went down well with attendees..
The music was amazing, really good range covered. I liked being greeted on arrival, the friendly, multigenerational space and chance to put in requests
It sure beat our first attempt at an online party – a Netflix screening party of Clueless on March 28th! It was cute, but, not quite up to our usual standard..!
In November we launched a new range of merchandise including postcard sets, badges and tote bags in the Trans Pride Flag colours. Because trans rights matter and we’re here to celebrate trans lives. They look lovely on our newly redeveloped website.
Behind the scenes, we filed our first year accounts to Companies House (what a highlight!), and Artistic Director, Katherine developed a Gender Awareness Training session, aimed at staff in organisations and businesses of all sizes. Both Assistant Producer Emma, and Katherine, undertook anti racism training through Racial Justice Network, with Emma also taking part in Access and Audio Description training with Quiplash. This will inform the way we work in the months to come and is an important part of our mission to make our work accessible and inclusive to all.
On that note, we’ve just launched a new Community Survey. We don‘t know what the future holds, but we want to make plans with our community as the focus. If you’ve been to one of our events or workshops before, or follow us online and have 5 -10 minutes to spare, please complete the survey here. You can win a bundle of Andro and Eve goodies too!
Another highlight for Andro and Eve in 2020 was being invited to join Queer Arts North – a network of queer arts and Northern performance venues, platforming and providing talent development opportunities for LGBTQ+ artists in the North of England. It was great to be part of an artist networking event as part of Homotopia Festival in November.
The events of 2020 made us even more determined to work towards equality for all, and support the Black lives matter movement. The fight for racial equality would be nowhere without Black feminists like Audre Lorde, Angela Davis and Olive Morris, and Black LGBT+ community pioneers including Marsha P Johnson, Storme DeLarverie and Miss Major. We continue to familiarise ourselves with our history, and participate in anti racism work. On that note, this year, we’ve platformed Stop the Scandal, a campaign to prevent the use of mobile fingerprint scanners, linked to the Home Office database, by the police. If you haven’t read it yet, check out the piece by the Stop the Scandal campaign here.
At this point, please excuse some soppiness in expressing a wholehearted thanks to the two new members of the Andro and Eve board, Lola White and Ellie Wyer. Having only joined the board in February, they came through hard for Andro and Eve, and have supported the development of the organisation in this most difficult of years. A special mention must also go to Assistant Producer, Emma, who has gone the extra mile to help us produce and market all our creative projects and events in the last year.
We want to say a massive thank you to all the artists we worked with in 2020, for your dedication, creativity and hard work. Thank you also to the team of freelancers who help make our work look so bold and beautiful. And thanks so much to the volunteers who’ve helped out this year too.
In a year filled with challenges, and so much division sowed between communities, COVID has shown how unequal UK society is. We know in a way, that Andro and Eve and our tiny team are some of the lucky ones, we’ve carried on, while other enterprises have simply not been given the same support, or opportunity. We believe everyone should have the opportunity to make art, and access to culture. So we’ve dug in and got through 2020, and in many ways grown. But we know there is so much work to be done, and it is only in collective effort that we stand to make an impact.
Thank you to everyone who has told a friend about us, bought a ticket, donated, shopped or shared what we do. Your support is the reason we’re still here.
With 2020 drawing to a close (phew), and with pretty much nothing this year turning out how we expected it, we, like many other organisations are looking ahead to 2021.
COVID-19 has affected the way we share queer culture with our community, with the delivery of online workshops and the publication of our first zine, Centre in 2020. We, like everyone, are unsure what 2021 will bring, and are keen to plan ahead using the views of the community which we serve. So we’re launching a Community Survey, to get a sense of what, and when you’d like us to be doing in 2021.
As a community – led organisation your opinions matter to us very much, so if you have 5 – 10 minutes to share your thoughts, and you have either been to one of our events / workshops, bought a copy of Centre zine, or just follow us online, please do complete our survey.
What you say will likely have a direct impact upon when we return to live events, or what other offers we can make in 2021.
As a thank you, if you leave your email address we’ll add you to a prize draw, where you can win a bundle of Andro and Eve goodies, including our new tote bag!
We’re Andro & Eve and we celebrate queer culture! Check out this new film sharing our work. If you’ve been to one of our events or workshops before, you might just spot yourself! You can also find out more about what we do here.
We’re proud to have continued to bring you creative activity during the last 6 months. This has been made possible through public donations and Arts Council funding. We’re continuing to fundraise behind the scenes to support activity in 2021.
You can help us. Want to know how? Here’s some ideas!
Buy a copy of Centre zine – packed full of queer goodness – a brill way to stay connected to queer culture.
Tell your workplace / boss about our new Gender Awareness Training, helping support more inclusive service provision for Transgender and gender diverse people.
We believe in artists. They have the power to make change. We also believe that everyone has the ability to be creative, and therefore creative opportunities should be available for everyone. Creativity helps us explore. Helps us dream. Helps us find a way back to ourselves. Or discover who we are. Something people LGBTQ+ identified need. In a world that often taught us we didn’t fit, discovering ourselves can take that much more.
Our mission at Andro and Eve is to bring the community together to celebrate queer culture. The COVID-19 crisis has given us an opportunity to adapt our offer and find new ways to reach our community.
CENTRE is one such way to connect our community with one another, in a year in which everyone has been in some way affected by the global pandemic. Okocha has curated and designed this unique collection of stories, poems and creative works, bringing voice to a range of LGBTQ+ people living in the North of England.
We also believe Black Lives Matter, and stand in solidarity with those who fight against the structural racism here in the UK and across the world. CENTRE contains a piece by Stop the Scandal, a grassroots campaign to stop the use of mobile fingerprint scanning linked to immigration databases by police. We’ve also connected with our friends at LASS (Lesbian Asylum Support Sheffield) to bring you an interview with one of their members. 50% of all profits made from sales of CENTRE will be donated to Yorkshire’s Racial Justice Network, who bring together over thirty organisations in the West Yorkshire region to proactively promote racial justice.
The stories, poems and creative works in CENTRE are about things chosen by LGBTQ+ people living in the North of England that matter most to them. Andro and Eve, as a queer arts organisation based in South Yorkshire, is proud to serve and represent ‘Northern’ voices and we hope you will enjoy reading CENTRE.
Our thanks in producing this zine go to organisers from LASS, Stop the Scandal and Racial Justice Network. A huge thank you to Okocha Obasi for his creative vision and hard work, and to the artists and members of the Andro and Eve community who have contributed their work to CENTRE.
Ready to get a copy? Order from our shop here. And celebrate its launch with our special online party, A REYT QUEER NIGHT IN, on 10th October. We’re bringing the party direct to your front room! We hope that we’ll connect with you online soon.
Katherine Warman. Creative Producer / CEO Andro and Eve. September 2020.
This zine has been made possible through Arts Council England’s emergency funding in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
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