Homotopia is the longest running LGBTQ+ arts festival in the United Kingdom, based in Liverpool.
It started in 2004, after a grant from Liverpool City Council was given to boost cultural activity ahead of Liverpool’s 2008 European Capital of Culture. Many festival and small professional arts organisations still exist in Liverpool today doing inclusive and fascinating work because of the events around 2008.
Homotopia presents a whole series of events in November of each year (this year 1st-10th November 2019, https://www.homotopia.net/our-events/), ranging from theatre and cabaret, to heritage and visual art exhibitions. All artists featured are LGBTQ+, and the content is based around the queer experience – this year the festival features Amy Lamé, Split Britches, and Rachael Young to name a few, and Travis Alabanza (Total Theatre Award 2019 winner) as artist in residence. The festival usually includes several outreach projects and specific commissions, promoting social justice and combatting homophobia and transphobia through art.
They work with HIV support charity Sahir House for outreach work, the Unity Theatre for their main programme of live performances, or St Helens’ Culture Hub on the exhibition Pansy Boy, which opens on 1 November.
This collaboration with the Culture Hub, whereby they can move the exhibition to a range of different sites, allows them to reach new audiences in a very strong local community. It helps fulfil their objective of making sure LGBTQ+ art is prioritised and visible across a range of cultural programmes.