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Local Museum and Art Gallery becomes recognised safe place for LGBTQIA+ community.

In April 2024, local museum and art gallery, The Whitaker, was officially granted allyship status by Spectrum Inclusion, by becoming a recognised official safe space for those within the LGBTQIA+ community.

The Whitaker worked collaboratively with the growing Spectrum Inclusion community group to undergo insight work and training to ensure the museum and art gallery meets the requirements to support those within this diverse community.

Spectrum Inclusion is dedicated to providing a safe and inclusive space for individuals who identify as part of the LQBTQA+ community in Rossendale. Their main aim is to support and connect people who may be experiencing discrimination, social isolation, or any other form of inequality that is often associated with the community.

To celebrate the new partnership, Spectrum Inclusion and The Whitaker will be hosting Rossendale’s first Pride event in July (20th).

The event – running 11AM until 3PM – will be free to enter, and will have fun for the whole family, including live music, family friendly workshops, performances, food and drinks, and will also offer information and support to those who need it.

Director of Spectrum Inclusion, Jack Riggs, said: “Spectrum Inclusion provides a platform for individuals to connect with like-minded people and access support and resources that can help them to lead happier, healthier, and more fulfilling lives.

“We are pleased that The Whitaker has chosen to support our work and ultimately the LGBTQIA+ community. We’re excited about the upcoming event that will celebrate our community in all its forms.”

Operations and Volunteers Coordinator, Caroline Beardmore said: ‘We are proud at The Whitaker to be a welcoming and inclusive space, and we strive to ensure all of our visitors feel that this is a place for them.  We have worked extremely hard to ensure our volunteer team is diverse and that all of our community is included.  We have higher than average representation of LGBTQIA+ people in our volunteer cohort, in no small way down to the forward thinking and broad programme and welcome that we offer.”

Gaynor Seville, Creative Director at The Whitaker said: “Since our ground breaking exhibition Wink Wink last year, which showcased one of the most important group shows nationally of work by LGBTQIA+ artists, we have firmly articulated our commitment to and support of this valued community.”

“We have continued to work with some of the artists from this exhibition, and also The Sunday Boys, gay men’s choir, ensuring our programme and the artists we work with continue to reflect our entire community.  We are very proud to be working on the first ever Pride for Rossendale with Spectrum Inclusion.”

To prepare for Rossendale’s first pride event (20th), The Whitaker is also hosting a ‘Family Antics’ craft event on Saturday 6th July. This is for those with young people aged 4+ to come along and create bunting, decorations and other rainbow crafts.

For more information, head to What’s On at www.thewhitaker.org