EDI theatre project receives funding to explore LGBTQIA loneliness and histories

29 January 2021

WCCEH is thrilled to announce that Dr Charlotte Jones and Dr Fred Cooper have been successful in obtaining funding from UK Research and Innovation’s Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) for their EDI theatre engagement project.

The Beat of Our Hearts – staging new histories of LGTBQIA loneliness is a new engagement project running in partnership with playwright Natalie McGrath, the Intercom Trust and the Exeter Northcott Theatre.

This creative project addresses loneliness as an expression of LGBTQIA marginalisation, exclusion, and harm, alongside the relationships and spaces that LGBTQIA people have built for solidarity, creativity, and dialogue. It will deliver a programme of engagement on the subject of LGBTQIA loneliness with groups in Devon and Cornwall, drawing on previous research undertaken by Drs Jones and Cooper. This will culminate in a festival of public events and the development and staging of an original theatrical performance on the recent histories of LGBTQIA loneliness.

The AHRC have awarded funding to the collaborative project to bring this work to life. The panel’s feedback was very positive, including praise of the strong underpinning research, recognising the realistic and achievable impact the project promises, and highlighting the appropriate avenues for engagement being chosen.

Professor Christopher Smith, AHRC Executive Chair, said: “Learning about our heritage and culture and participating in the arts can deepen our perception of our history and of ourselves.

“The EDI Engagement Fellowships will enable researchers to connect their scholarship with diverse communities across the UK and bring about positive change.

“Arts and humanities research has tremendous potential to help people to embrace different viewpoints and to build a fairer, more inclusive society.”

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