The Tyne and Wear Metro has welcomed LGBT performers on to the network as part of its biggest ever community arts programme.
Curious Arts, the leading LGBTQIA+ arts organisation in North East England, set up ‘Story Stations’ on Metro to tell the stories of customers’ everyday journeys on a giant colourful mural.
The Metro Takeover programme involves major regional arts organisations running community projects and commissions which are being showcased at stations across the busy urban transit system.
This latest event saw families travelling from Central Station and Monument Metro station in Newcastle greeted by two friendly performers (story catchers) and an illustration artist (story shapers).
The illustrators mapped out the stories on a large paper canvas, which over the two days became a huge Metro map of families’ stories and adventures that interweave.
While the families were enjoying their time at the Story Station, with consent the illustrators, they had sketched their portraits. The quick-fire sketches were offered to them as a memory of their Metro journey that day.
Customer Services Director at Nexus, Huw Lewis, said: “We had an amazing weekend working with Curious Arts and their LGBTQIA+ performers on Metro, and our customers really enjoyed it too.
“The artists engaged brilliantly with families to tell the story of everyday journeys and days out on Metro. The illustrators were able to bring this to life on two really colourful and eye-catching murals.
“This event celebrated diversity and inclusivity in the communities that Metro serves, and it provided some really fun interactions for people of all ages.
“Metro has been turned into a platform for community arts and live performances by creative people from across North East England over the coming year as part of the Metro Takeover, our biggest ever community arts programme.
“Creative arts and the barriers it breaks down are a great way to help people reconnect with Metro in their everyday lives now that we have emerged from lockdown.”
Between August 2021 and spring 2022 Metro will be brought to life in new ways through dance, song, music and visual arts projects involving people right across the region and funded by Arts Council England.