WHAT IS Raze?
Raze is a charity established to support, develop and nurture queer performance in the UK. We have defined queer performance as "performing arts undertaken by people who identify as Lesbian, Gay Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Intersex (LGBTQI+) or that contains LGBTQI themes, content or context."
We're called Raze as the organisation was established in response to queer spaces being razed, through the threats and closures of many queer performance spaces in London and elsewhere around the UK, such as The Royal Vauxhall Tavern (Vauxhall), The Black Cap (Camden) and Madame JoJo's (Soho). We're a collective as we bring together people working in different aspects of the queer performance community, including performers, producers, promoters, directors, venue owners, academics and audience members in order to protect and promote queer performance for everyone.
WHAT DO WE DO?
We host a regular Queer Performers Network (QPN), which is an informal gathering of performers to discuss issues and offer advice and support across the scene.
We've been involved in establishing and developing the Queer Spaces Network (QSN), which brings together promoters, producers, programmers, directors, venue owners and others with an interest in supporting and maintaining spaces for LGBTQI performance to take place. This has included collaborating on some important research being undertaken by the UCL Urban Lab.
In the future we will be working with other organisations to develop and promote performance events and an educational programme for the general public. We also plan to begin a professional development programme for young and emerging queer performers.
WHO IS INVOLVED?
The work of Raze is determined and directed by our Board:
Beck Tadman (Chair): producer with an academic interest in queer performance. www.becktadman.com
Tam Vibert: experienced venue manager, queer nightlife veteran, now of the Outside Project and Vogue Fabrics Dalston.
Steve Hignell: planning consultant with expertise in nightlife venues and queer spaces.
Krishna Istha: performer, live artist and theatre maker.
Sadie Sinner: singer, producer and founder at The Cocoa Butter Club.
Jamie Tagg: Director at East Creative.
Tim Other: professional audience member.
Our operations and management staff include:
Ruby Glaskin: project manager, also a theatre producer at Milk Presents.
Rachel Gammon: operations manager, also one of the Figs in Wigs.
We are always looking for new members to join the board so please get in touch if you feel you would be suitable.
QUEER PERFORMERS NETWORK
This is a networking and support group that meets socially once a quarter to bring performers together to discuss issues across the scenes. Often performers will share their experience of working in the industry and it is a forum to offer advice and support.
QUEER SPACES NETWORK
Raze hosts a network of people interested in LGBTQI+ spaces, particularly in London. This includes those that host performances, but also other cultural and social spaces important to the community. The group currently includes venue owners, managers, performers, programmers, promoters, audience members, writers and many others.
Currently we manage a discussion group to keep people updated on issues - if you would like to join please send us a message on the contact page.
We also host regular meetings to bring the community together, and are currently working on a vision of LGBTQI+ culture for London in collaboration with the GLA. Please do get in touch if you would like to be involved with this.