Diversity & Equality Alliance Renfrewshire

Diversity & Equality Alliance Renfrewshire

 

renfrewshire2023.com/dear-group

 

Diversity and Equality Alliance in Renfrewshire (DEAR) contributes to the wider agenda of community empowerment through the Forum for Empowering communities board within Renfrewshire Community Planning Structure.

DEAR Membership consists of statutory and third sector organisations with an interest and focus in contributing to the successful promotion and development of the current, emerging and evolving equalities agenda within Renfrewshire.

mailto:sofija.tkacenko@renfrewshire.gov.uk or phone 0141 618 4168.

Steven Thomson

Creative Director/CEO, 2004-present

Steven Thomson is now the Creative Director & CEO for Outspoken Arts Scotland. He was initially appointed as Producer of the former Glasgay! Festival In Feb 2004. During his tenure he successfully grew the Glasgay! into a large month long celebration at nearly 20 venues, attracting up to 35,000 visitors and contributing upwards of £0.5m to the national economy. He successfully repositioned the festival as Scotland’s annual celebration of LGBT culture, grew public funding, increased private sponsorship, and diversified the income base.  The festival was funded since its inception by the former Scottish Arts Council and Glasgow City Council. Glasgay! ran from 1993-2014 and subsequently the company entered a period of funding transition in 2015-2017 re-emerging as Outspoken Arts Scotland. In 2016-2018 Steven has also consulted, as a Creative Producer, for Renfrewshire Council supporting its Paisley 2021 UK City of Culture bid and an Event Legacy plan 2018-2022.

In 2005 Steven was awarded a Pride Award by Phace Scotland and The List Magazine. In 2009 he was listed 22nd place in the List Magazine’s Top 100 cultural movers and shakers of the year. In September 2005 he opened the Q! Gallery, Scotland’s first gallery dedicated to queer art and artists. The festival has been officially listed in Fodders and Frommers world travel guides, awarded Top 4th Gay Destination by USA’s Gay.com and won the prestigious Top Gay Event of the Year (List Magazine 2007). The Festival was awarded “Cultural event of the year” by the Equality Network in September 2015.

He began his career in 1983 as an actor and assistant director of a young, Paisley based community touring theatre company, Arc Theatre Company. He toured “The Game’s A Bogey” by John McGrath (7:84 Theatre Co.). The show transferred to Mayfest 1984. From 1983 to 1987 he worked as Box Office Manager at the Tron Theatre. Following that he was appointed as Theatre Manager with programming responsibilities at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. The RSAMD (now known as the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland) had just opened a fine new public facility with four large performance spaces and he helped foster a significant growth in the profile of the venue, curating a busy programme of professional theatre, music and conferences. In 1992, after five successful years producing high quality public events, he took up a new promoted post as Senior Marketing Officer.

From 1987 to 1993 Steven also maintained his work as a Director and Producer. In 1987 he along with Pene Herman-Smith and Lorenzo Mele (formerly 7:84 Theatre Co.) founded Made In Glasgow, a professional student theatre ensemble at the RSAMD. The company staged the first Scottish Student Drama Festival at the RSAMD, and toured to the Edinburgh Fringe. In 1991 he produced Dunoon jazz singer and Billie Holiday look-alike Suzanne Bonnar (River City) in “I Cover The Waterfront – the Billie Holiday” story by Troy Fairclough which played at Glasgow International Jazz Festival, Edinburgh Festival Fringe and RSAMD. He made his directorial debut in 1992 for the Scottish première of Nice by Mustapha Matura which starred afro-caribbean actor Desmond McLean.

In late 1993 Steven left the RSAMD to go freelance and carried off a successful short-term marketing contract with New Moves – Scotland’s international contemporary dance festival. He followed that with a short stint as Press Officer for touring company Winged Horse’s Production of Tom McGrath’s The Android Circuit starring Michelle Gomez (The Green Wing). Mid 1994 he was appointed General Manager for Promenade Productions producers of The Big Picnic at the Harland & Wolff Engine Shed former Shipyard. This epic 1st World War production written and directed by Bill Bryden (former Head of Drama at BBC Scotland and Associate Director of England’s Royal National Theatre). He worked principally under the Producer, Nicholas Newton (founder of London’s the Bush Theatre and son of 1950’s Hollywood film actor Robert Newton). The production was staged to great acclaim to over 50,000 people and recorded for Broadcast on Armistice Day by BBC Television.

Between 1995 and 1996 he worked for Glasgow City Council as a citywide Theatre Manager at The King’s, Mitchell and Tramway Theatres. Mid 1996 he also organised the ticketing operation for the World League of American Football’s Scottish Claymores successful World Bowl Championship at Murrayfield Stadium attended by 38,000 people.

In July 1997 Steven relocated to London to again take up the post of General Manager with Promenade Productions who had been commissioned by Channel 4 to make a new six-part drama entitled SOHO. This was to have been a £6m serial drama filmed at Pinewood Studios. Unfortunately the production was cancelled by Channel 4. Over the last two decades Steven has continued to work in an associate capacity with Bill Bryden and Producer, Nicholas Newton. He has worked on a string of BBC Radio Recordings and the production Baby Doll by Tennessee Williams at the Albery Theatre in London’s West End in June 2000. During his year in London he returned to work for the World League of American Football, this time at its NFL Europe London Headquarters managing, the stadium and ticketing operation for its two main teams the England Monarchs and Scottish Claymores.

In May 1998 Steven returned to Glasgow and New Moves International in a new role as Administrative Director. During his tenure he was successful in securing an increase in the Company’s annual funding by moving the company from project to core revenue funding as well as managing many successful medium scale lottery bids. He also organised a major review by the Scottish Arts Council which culminated in the creation of new posts to further develop audience and contextual programming and took the average annual turnover of the Company from £100k to circa £350k. He found continuing funding support from the British Council, Visiting Arts and from time to time the Arts Council of England. In a bold move in October 1999 he successfully persuaded the Artistic Director and Board to merge the National Review of Live Art and the New Moves festival into a new annual five-week festival called New Territories which ran until 2010.

Engagement Programme

Outspoken Arts Scotland Limited is undertaking a programme of outreach and engagement with cultural organisations in Renfrewshire over the next year.  This engagement programme is funded by Creative Scotland and the National Lottery Awards for All. The activity is as a result of the legacy of Paisley UK City of Culture bid.

We are an equalities and protected characteristics focused arts organisation that delivers work in the performing and visual arts. We wish to begin a process of engagement and project development with up to a dozen local community, voluntary and arts sector organisations in Renfrewshire to build a cultural programme of some social impact. Our organisation worked closely with Renfrewshire Council as a Creative Producer on the Paisley 2021 bid and have met and consulted with many groups in 2016.

From that process we recognised there are many arts and community groups in need of professional and meaningful collaborations with the wider professional arts sector outwith Renfrewshire. We also recognised that many communities in the area are in zones of multiple deprivation and have vulnerable people that require more recognition, support and regular arts activities to promote inclusiveness and better health and well-being. We wish to develop our work through a process of genuine engagement that fosters collaboration, leading to shared creativity and co-production that is truly empowering for all participants.

We have identified a dozen organisations we wish to collaborate with to develop new projects. Those are as follows:

1. Create Paisley, a local mixed arts/multi media youth charity
2. Erskine Music & Media Studios, Bargarran – a music and participatory arts for vulnernable people
3. H-arts – a local theatre company in Paisley which focuses on new writing
4. PACE Youth Theatre, Paisley largest youth theatre for under 18s
5. Disability Resource Centre – a local support project for disabled people in Renfrewshire
6. THCAR2 – Renfrewshire Council’s Heritage Arts programme – regeneration/social history
7. Paisley Arts Centre – a key venue and local co-producer – theatre
8. University of the West of Scotland – spoken word/music – young professionals
9. Diversity & Equality Alliance Renfrewshire – a network of local equalities groups
10. Thread Mill Museum – a local social/industrial heritage group in deprived East End of Paisley
11. ROAR Connections for Life – a participatory arts, health and wellbeing group for older people
12. STAR Project – a local arts/community group in Love Street, north side area of high deprivation

Part of our process will be engaging more deeply and regularly with the groups, their leaders and participants to identify shared interests, stories, dramas, everyday life issues and experiences and seeing where and how we can match the organisation to a like minded professional artist. These collaborations would then lead to the development of larger project which might result in performances, exhibitions, training, presentations and the like. This programme of engagement would be continuous, with regular meetings, workshops and creative development sessions to build capacity.  We will deliver the outcomes of this engagement process as part of our 2019-2021 programme.

For further information please contact our Creative Director mailto:steventhomson@outspokenarts.org

CURRENT STAFF

Steven Thomson, Creative Director/CEO & Company Secretary
steventhomson@outspokenarts.org
T: +44(0)141 552 7575
M: +44(0)776 272 2460

Steven has worked in the professional performing arts since 1983. He has worked at Glasgow’s Tron, Tramway, King’s and Mitchell Theatres as well as the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (now Royal Conservatoire of Scotland). He followed that with a large scale project, The Big Picnic, with Bill Bryden and Promenade Productions. He worked subsequently for the Scottish Claymores and from 1998-2003 he was Administrative Director for New Moves International Ltd, producers of the New Territories festival. He ran the Glasgay! festival from 2004-2014 and subsequently transition the company into Outspoken Arts Scotland. He has also consulted, as a Creative Producer, for Renfrewshire Council supporting its Paisley 2021 UK City of Culture bid and an Event Legacy plan 2018-2022.  Steven is the Co-chair of Erskine Music & Media Studios CIC and a lay committee member of the Paisley Art Insitute.

Alphonso Harrison, Engagement Manager
alphonsoharrison@outspokenarts.org
T: +44(0)141 847 1122 | M: +44(0)759 891 1026

Alphonso joined the Company as initially our Administrator in April 2007. He was previously Ticketing Director for NFL Europe League’s Scottish Claymores and England Monarch’s American football teams. He was also Box Office Manager for Promenade Production’s The Big Picnic at Harland & Wolff Engine Shed. Alphonso most recently worked for US military defence contractor Northrop Grumman. in his newly reformed post Alphonso will look after most aspects of artists, communities and participants engagement activities as well as programme and event management.

Lisa Watt, PR & Marketing Manager 
marketing@outspokenarts.org
T: +44(0)141 847 1122
Lisa re-joins the Company after a spell of working on major events such as the Mackintosh Festival and other work with Glasgow’s Merchant Square.  Lisa brings a wealth of experience in public relations, advertising, publishing and press campaigning.

Islay Macinnes, Marketing Officer 
contact@outspokenarts.org
T: +44(0)141 847 1122
Islay Macinnes joined the company in June 2019. This is a shared post with Erskine Music & Media Studios. Islay will be responsible for all social media, marketing activities in support of our engagement plans and events programme.

Make it Fabulous! 2019

COMING OUT IN 2019
Call for acts and participation in a brand new programme of events for LGBT History Month Scotland – February 2019.

To mark the 50th year since the Stonewall Riots (July 1969), Outspoken Arts Scotland wants to hear from acts, troupes, performers, artists and activists.

We want to capture what is to be LGBT in 2019 but we also want to remember where it all began and celebrate the fabulous explosion of LGBT culture since Stonewall, through Gay Liberation and Pride Marches. We want you to be inspired by and perhaps celebrate the wonderful troupes of artists who led the way such as Hot Peaches, Bloolips, The Cockettes and even London’s own Duckie.

If you have an act, performance, show or idea that could make us laugh, sing or cry we want to hear from you. Whatever your identity, be you drag queen, femme, dyke, diva, bitch, boy, bear, or ally or none of these- if you can get up on a stage and tell your story – we want to hear from you.

Send us some of the following things –
a headshot, CV, publicity materials, youtube or other social media or website links to your work. mailto:steventhomson@outspokenarts.org

P.S. Make it Fabulous!

Stonewall Inn, New York City, 1969

Hot Peaches, NYC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Our website address is: http://outspokenarts.org.

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Your contact information

if you have concerns about your data or this policy mailto:contact@outspokenarts.org

Social Media

We operate across a number of channels and have a current reach of over 150,000 followers

Facebook
The Director’s personal channel with over 574 industry contacts. https://www.facebook.com/steventhomsonPA2
The organisations public events channel with over 1660 followers https://www.facebook.com/outspokenartsSC

Twitter
The organisations main news channel where we stream live equality news updates. Followed by nearly 3,000 followers https://twitter.com/outspokenartsSC

Youtube
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbnE9-9UxnFLRQ3BJEPd99g

Scribd – our main archive of press cuttings, past print and programme materials
https://www.scribd.com/user/197964574/Steven-Thomson

Mailchimp – our maling list – e-flyer news channel with over 15,000 subscribers, past bookers & attenders. register here

Flickr – our main photo archive 1993-present
https://www.flickr.com/photos/glasgayfestival/

Our Audience

The Company has over ten years of audience research data.  It surveys its audience by questionnaire and aggregated box office sales data each year.  This is an extract of some useful measures.

Age
16-24  …..    7%
25-34  …..  29%
35-44  …..  26%
45-54  …..  21%
55-65  …..  10%
65+     …..    6%

Gender
Male  …..  47%
Female  …..  51%
Transgender  …..  2%

Orientation
Bisexual  …..  9%
Gay  …..  25%
Lesbian  …..  15%
Heterosexual  …..  45%
Prefer not to say  …..  6%

Ethnicity
Black  …..  1%
Indian  …..  1%
Mixed  …..  3%
White – other  …..  23%
White – British  …..  3%
White- Scottish  …..  71%

Our Values

Mission

Outspoken Arts Scotland features year round and seasonal work by artists and communities with the protected characteristics.  As a diverse community of arts activists we are currently interested in work which references cutting edge social issues such as creative learning for young and vulnerable people, stories of migration and asylum, issues affecting LGBT people, disability, ethnicity, creative ageing and social health and well-being. We focus on the development of new voices and emergent talent and explores stereotypes in the contemporary arts.  We create genuine professional opportunities for the work of our artists and communities to be enjoyed by wider audiences across Scotland.

“the achievement and celebration of equality through the arts with a particular emphasis on the lives, work, and experiences of people with the protected characteristics.  We wish to engage, advocate, and work with people from diverse communities and we will do this by promoting, presenting, and producing social, cultural and educational activities.”

Who it is for

We represent diverse communities and recognise that equality, equal and human rights are now very much the focus of mainstream society, civic and organisational culture and our shifting sense of identity plays an increasingly influential role in this. Yet we also recognise that people with the protected characteristics have sometimes come from the margins of society where they have felt less than accepted, sometimes abused and neglected. That often informs their work, their attitudes and their interests.

Our Strategy

  • to bridge the gaps between the different tribes, behaviours and create intersections between the places of creative activity and interest.

How we will do this

  • We work with an informal collective of programmers and curators.
  • We are interested in radical, independent, activist, counter-cultural voices.
  • We aim to embody practice that engages and encourages reflection on what unites people.
  • We want our organisation to be a reflection of the work artists wish to make matched alongside the needs of partners’ organisations and wider audiences.
  • We want to be seen as multi-generational.
  • We wish to curate programmes which create art, develop community, and build a sense of identity and solidarity.
  • We wish to support emergent artists at the start of their career, established artists who have made new work, and afford opportunities to foreground new trends, new scenes and new movements.

This is an extract of our mission, vision and programme aims.  For further information please refer enquiries to our office.  contact@outspokenarts.org

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