Press Release: December 03, 2009
PRESS RELEASE - For Immediate Release
Thursday 26 November 2009
A key event - Mayor of London
Londons premier gay arts festival, GFest - the gayWise LGBT arts Festival (known in short as GFest) came to a celebratory close last week. Hot on the heels of this years success, preparations for 2010 are underway.
Audiences were thrilled by a spectacular line-up of Visual Arts, Performances and Short-Film programmes - with sold-out nights and standing ovations featuring throughout the festival; and a diverse range of artists from all over the world in attendance.
The festival is supported by the Mayor of London and GFest 09 launch was hosted by David Lammy MP at the House of Commons last October, with cross-party support by ministers and politicians from each of the main UK parties - demonstrating the importance of solidarity in stamping out homophobia and promoting understanding of inclusive LGBT and queer culture across the country.
GFests reach this year extended beyond the LGBT and Queer community, through to mainstream audiences and with a more diverse demographic than ever, including families and people of various social and cultural backgrounds. With coverage in the mainstream press, plus unprecedented support by the travel and tourism sector, it meant that a great number of international audiences attended the festival.
We are proud to have built an LGBT arts festival for all - and I am thrilled to report that this years audiences came from all walks of life and backgrounds whilst showcasing diverse talent and attracting audiences with an appreciation of variety of art forms. For me, the standing ovation after Mavin Khoos performance was the star moment of this years festival. I think all the GFest 09 artists worked very hard and contributed to the festival with their best artistic abilities to send a common message - STAMP OUT HOMOPHOBIA!
We would like to thank all artists, funders, media, community partners, supporters, audiences and several thousand LGBT community members who helped make GFest 09 a success, in these particularly challenging economic times. - Niranjan Kamatkar, Artistic Director.
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Notes to the Editor
GFest - gayWise LGBT Arts Festival is the premier LGBT annual cross-arts festival in London
- a platform for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) and queer artists. Produced and
organised by arts charity Wise Thoughts, GFest is the brainchild of Wise Thoughts' Artistic
Director, Niranjan Kamatkar.
GFest 09, the third year of the festival, ran from 9 to 22 Nov 2009, comprising of three main artistic strands. GFest 09 featured over 75 queer artists and talent across performance events, short film screenings and visual arts exhibitions.
Connecting these strands were social and networking events, workshops, debates and seminars with leading LGBT artists, workshop facilitators, industry/sector experts and academics.
GFest 09 Selection Panel: Dr Alan Tomkins, Ajamu X, Brian Lobel, Campbell, Helen Sandler,
Shaun Levin, Sita Ramamurthy and Niranjan Kamatkar.
About Wise Thoughts
Founded in 1999 and currently celebrating its 10th year, Wise Thoughts works across the
arts, mainstreaming social justice issues, the needs of marginalised groups including LGBT
and Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities.
Wise Thoughts also works strategically with local authorities and statutory bodies on
LGBT/BAME matters and policy development as well as delivering a range of non-clinical
services for BAME/LGBT people, operating locally (in Haringey and in North London),
regionally (London wide), nationally and internationally depending upon the nature of each
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