Becky Tebbett's Lesbos epiphany creates ArtPride
Becky Tebbett is an artist. She explained the background to ArtPride. "ArtPride
is a group of women that identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer,
transgendered anything like that come together because there's are a
lot of creative people, creative women out there that do things ... but
they haven't really got anywhere to display their work or any way of
way coming together networking, meeting each other, talking to each
other but they're all sort of doing it very individually. ArtPride was
meant to be a way of bringing everyone together but also exhibiting
everyone's work on a regular basis as well."
"It was originally born out of me running away to (Skala) Eressos (on Lesbos) and living on the beach for about seven weeks and having a bit of an Epiphany when I was there and deciding that I had to do something with my life and thinking I would either do ArtPride or open a community gay-like bookshop, or a gay cafe. I chose ArtPride."
“I was 25 when I started ArtPride, in November 2005 I got together with a group of women who had had a similar idea. We decided that we wanted to do something that would coincide with Birmingham Pride 2006. We had a meeting every month and then about two months before then we had a meeting every week or so. We didn't know what we were doing; we just had to pull something off. We had to be as cheeky as possible and get as much as we could for free as we didn't have any funding; bringing the women together."
“The first Artpride happened, ArtPride 2006, during Birmingham Pride 2006, May Bank Holiday weekend. We put a small exhibition over about three venues or so. We had a stall and we got lots of things for free because we were really cheeky. It's all grown from there. We now have a management committee and we're constitutionalised."
The Artpride group now has a management committee made up of 5 people, a chairperson (Becky), treasurer, publicity/marketing, website moderator and a secretary, and a membership of around 30 people. The group is advertised through the Birmingham Girls e-mail group. “There are some women that come and go, sort of fluctuate. Some people aren’t even creative but just want to be part of the network and kept in the loop. On a good day there’s about ten people there, on a bad day there’s about four. We (originally) had the meetings at The Fox, but the place we meet now is ABplus, where we don’t have to pay any money and we can make our own tea and coffee. The thing we were always up against is money”.
Contributed by: Becky Tebbett, 27