West Yorkshire Queer stories was made possible through financial backing from the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The grant facilitated the crucial practical elements of delivering such a large scale heritage project, including the employment of project workers, the acquisition of equipment, the development of the website and covering travel costs of volunteers in the field.
The National Lottery Heritage Fund also backed the vision of the project to use the community networks that the project fostered to generate new creative evidence surrounding West Yorkshire’s queer communities’ experiences. Queer film director Matt Mead was commissioned to travel across the region recording local experiences. Documentary maker Chris Newby has captured participants describing the importance of objects that have been accessioned into the collection at Leeds City Museum. Sound artist Debbie Sharp has taken creative renditions of the audio collection into public spaces, increasing access to the these stories both amongst and beyond the LGBTIQ+ community. Photographer Geoff Brokate has recorded both personalities and the region. And the creative work continues… (You can find out more on our Artists page.)
Locality and heritage are at the heart of each of the artist’s approaches. Collectively, their creative visions open up the collection to a wider audience, inspired in equal parts by the community, the culture they create and the landscape that surrounds it.
West Yorkshire Queer Stories would like to extend its gratitude to the National Lottery Fund for recognising both the social significance of saving these stories and responding to them, for both today’s community and for future generations of queer people looking to understand their community’s heritage.