More Greater Manchester LGBTQ+ Artists to Perform After Lockdown

LGBT Foundation and the Greater Manchester LGBTQ+ Arts and Culture Network is delighted to announce more local artists will be supported through the Pride Stages Bursary to create new work for Pride events and beyond in Greater Manchester this year.
Competition for the award was fierce – with 47 artists submitting expressions of interest to the selection panel, and 10 artists shortlisted for interview. The incredibly high standard of ideas proposed made the work of selecting just one artist a really difficult choice, and with the impact of the pandemic on the arts and LGBTQ+ communities also a consideration, all of the Pride Stages partners wanted to ensure that more Greater Manchester artists received support at this incredibly difficult time, to develop their ideas further. 
Thanks to funding from Arts Council England, and the incredible generosity of the Pride Stages partners – The Met and Bury Pride, Waterside Arts and Pride in Trafford, The Lowry and Salford Pride, Oldham Coliseum Theatre and Oldham Pride -  alongside new support from Manchester International Festival and Manchester Pride – the Network is pleased to offer two Pride Stages Bursary awards to Jason Andrew Guest and Cheddar Gorgeous – who’ll each receive a £1000 development grant, access to rehearsal space, and tailored development support from the partners to create an exciting new performance celebrating LGBTQ+ communities.
Jason Andrew Guest’sWelcome to the Haus of Myztique’ will celebrate Black excellence through vocal house music and fashion, with an exploration of Black queer artists, musicians, and popular pop culture icons; while Cheddar Gorgeous ‘Oh What A Lovely Lockdown’ will use drag artistry and digital visuals to create a new performance exploring the experience of isolation and community during the pandemic.
As Greater Manchester starts to open back up after lockdown, the performances will initially be live streamed, then the hope is that they will be performed in front of live audiences at Bury Pride, Pride in Trafford, Oldham Pride, Salford Pride’s The Pink Picnic and Manchester Pride Festival this summer, providing much-needed moments of celebration.
Smaller awards will also support three other artists to further develop their performance ideas - Jade Williams and John O’Neill (supported by The Met and The Lowry) and Husk (supported by Salford Pride).
Jason Andrew Guest said
“I’m beyond overwhelmed and excited to have been awarded this opportunity to grow and develop as an artist. This chance to explore my fullest potential and to create something of excellence for my community is truly an honour and I cannot wait to share the space, share the Pride and share the love! It’s time to welcome everyone to the Haus of Myztique!”
Cheddar Gorgeous said:
“The Bursary will allow me the space to take what I do seriously. It’s the first time I’ve really had the opportunity to dedicate time to rehearsals, and listen to voices of other professionals. Despite being on stage for almost a decade the pressure of commercial work often leaves little time to create work that has weight and finesse. This is the first time in my career that I feel I have been seen as a legitimate artist.” 
Darren Adams, Venue Manager, Waterside Arts added: 
“We’re delighted that we’ll be supporting Cheddar and Jason with these brilliant new pieces of queer work. The calibre of the submissions was outstanding and we’re really proud to be part of celebrating the epic LGBTQ+ artists we have here in Greater Manchester as part of Pride in Trafford.”