Glasgay was founded by Cordelia Ditton in 1993, establishing Scotland?s first lesbian and gay arts festival as a biennial celebration of the best work internationally and locally across a range of art forms, writes Lorenzo Mele.
The festival was essentially a one-woman show with temporary staff brought in around festival time to cover specific areas under Ditton?s artistic direction.
In 1997 Cordelia moved on to new challenges and there were changes to the board members. The artistic direction of the festival, by then an annual event, became the responsibility of the board which employed an administrator, Gillian Garrity, to carry out the necessary day-today work. The festival also sub-let office space from the Glasgow International Jazz Festival in a month-to-month agreement.
In 1999 Lindsay Mitchell took over as Administrator and in 2000 became a year-round employee, reflecting the growing status and workload ? Glasgay had become the largest and most diverse lesbian and gay arts festival in the UK. Lindsay?s job was redefined as that of Festival Producer, reflecting her greater artistic input into the programming decisions. The company moved to its own office space and also began employing a marketing and press officer in the run-up to the festival and reduced its reliance on volunteers for event co-ordination. Scottish Arts Council and Glasgow City Council funding has been stable between 1999 to 2001, and the festival has a turnover of around £45,000 including sponsorship and box office. The company is now to employ a Development Manager to secure greater funding with longer-term commitment from funders and sponsors alongside the new producer, David Leddy.
Over the years Glasgay has attracted prominent lesbian and gay artists such as Neil Bartlett, Spilt Britches, 7:84 Theatre Company, Doo Cot, the Divine David, Amy Lame, Gay Sweatshop, Starving Artists, Del Grace, Fernando Arias, Scott Capurro, Ursula Martinez, Tim Miller and Helena Goldwater.
Lorenzo Mele is Chair of Glasgay. t: 0141 334 7126.