StoneCrabs awarded a grant from Heritage Fund to continue LGBTQ+ Heritage work

StoneCrabs is thrilled to announce that it has been awarded a grant of £76,760 from the Heritage Fund for its new project, “Pride In Self, Pride In Place”. This ground-breaking initiative aims to explore the role of the NHS in LGBTQ+ culture on theIsle of Wight during the 1980s and 1990s, a time when the LGBTQ+ community was fighting for recognition and support in theface of Section 28 and the AIDS pandemic.

Creating safe and welcome spaces

The project is all about creating a safe and welcoming space for LGBTQ+ individuals to share their life experiences through oral history recordings. We’re looking for LGBTQ+ people and allies who are passionate about this cause to help us withvarious tasks such as conducting research, organising events, and assisting with interviews. If you’re interested in helping usdocument and preserve these important stories, please get in touch.

Channel 4 documentary It’s A Sin highlighted the 1980’s and 1990’s as a turbulent time for LGBTQ+ people struggling with Section 28 and the AIDS pandemic. Those struggles galvanised a community which thrived on the Island with NHS-funded Gay Switchboard and WightOut newsletters. Pride In Self, Pride In Place aims to research the period in more detail producing anexhibition of its findings which will be displayed at Carisbrooke Castle Museum.

Raising awareness and promoting inclusivity

StoneCrabs Artistic Director Franko Figueiredo expressed his excitement about the project, stating, “We’re thrilled to havereceived this grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, and we’re grateful for the opportunity to continue exploring and celebrating LGBTQ+ history. We hope that this project will raise awareness and promote inclusivity, inspiring other organisations to explore and share LGBTQ+ history in their own communities.” There will also be opportunities to learn about this fascinating Isleof Wight Heritage with guest speakers delivering talks about LGBTQ+ history during the eighteen-month project.

Making everyone feel included

Partners include Carisbrooke Castle Museum, NHS LGBTQ+ Staff Network, Classic Boat Museum, Rainbow Island and others.  Dr Victoria Preston trustee of the Classic Boat Museum said: “The Classic Boat Museum is delighted to be collaborating withStoneCrabs in the new project ‘Out On An Island: Pride In Self, Pride in Place‘. We look forward to hosting events at the museumand wish StoneCrabs every success with this project and well-deserved grant award. StoneCrabs is a pioneer on the Island not only for raising awareness about LGBT issues but also for making everyone feel included.”

Learning about the work of the NHS in the 1980’s and 1990’s

Commenting on the award, Pride In Self, Pride In Place project manager Caroline Diamond said: “We are grateful to the National Lottery Heritage Fund for giving us the opportunity to work closely with Solent NHS, one of the Island’s biggest and most inclusive employers. We look forward to learning about the work of the NHS in the 1980’s and 1990’s and to supporting today’s LGBTQ+ community with new opportunities.”

Notes to editors

Project Launch evening: Friday 7 July, 7pm at Caffe Isola. Free event. Booking required. email to reserve your ticket.

About StoneCrabs | Based on the Isle of Wight, StoneCrabs Theatre places underrepresented voices and untold stories centre stage. We produce and tour high quality, innovative, socially engaged, form-breaking new theatre work locally, nationally, and internationally. Our work on the ground engages with diverse communities and we use professional theatre as a tool for raising aspirational, educational, personal, and social development. We provide enriching accessible cultural experiences to UK-wide audiences as well as free mentoring, training, and staging opportunities to young people at early stages of their career. StoneCrabs is a registered charity in England and Wales with almost two decades of experience producing high-quality work.

About The Heritage Fund | Using money raised by the National Lottery, we Inspire, lead and resource the UK’s heritage to create positive and lasting change for people and communities, now and in the future. Since The National Lottery began in 1994, National Lottery players have raised over £43 billion for projects and more than 635,000 grants have been awarded across the UK.

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