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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

GFest 2009 Arts Festival Seeks to Stamp Out Homophobia in London

London’s premier gay arts festival, GFest – gayWise LGBT Arts Festival, is now in its third year and is promising an exciting line-up to thrill audiences… gay and straight alike.

GFest is a platform for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer artists, organizations, and venues that promote LGBT artists. The festival runs November 9-22 and covers visual arts, performance, and short-films, as well as social events, workshops, and debate. Alongside GFest 09 venues (RichMix, Cochrane Theatre, Drill Hall and McKenzie Pavillion), Wise Thoughts, the charity behind the event, highlights LGBT issues through the arts and takes the lead in stamping out homophobia across London.

According to the Metropolitan Police, there was a “harrowing 14% rise in homophobic attacks this year.”

“With the recent rise in homophobic attacks in London and the UK, it is more important than ever that we continue to reach a mainstream audience,” said Niranjan Kamatkar, Artistic Director. “The festival is truly inclusive and open to anyone with an appreciation of both established and emerging talent. This year, we have taken some risks in selecting work that will challenge audiences. We are really thrilled to announce a greater and ever-expanding artistic content.” Based on a sample of 1,000 plus attendees at last year’s festival, more than 30% said they were straight.

The program for the event was announced last month and the festival launched last week and was hosted by Minister David Lammy at the House of Commons and attended by the Deputy Mayor of London and Stonewall Politician of the Year nominee Lynne Featherstone MP.

The festival will include:
Performances – Cochrane Theatre: November 19, 20, 21
Visual Arts – McKenzie Pavilion: November 9 – 22
Short-Films – RichMix: November 13, 14, 15th
Film workshops/cafes – RichMix: November 13,14,15
Performance workshops – The Drill Hall: November 11, 16, 17th

Parties: November 10, 17th – Royal Vauxhall Tavern / November 14th at RichMix
LGBT Arts Debate at University of the Arts London, November 18th

A full festival program can be found on the GFest website:

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