Seven local LGBTQI initiatives are among 66 projects that will share in more than $300,000 funding as part of the Inner West Council’s 2019-20 community grants program. 

Inner West mayor Darcy Byrne said the projects funded under the program aim to address local issues, promote social justice, enhance wellbeing and foster inclusion and social connection across Inner Western Sydney.

The grants are divided into the categories of Individual Artists, Living Arts, Heritage and History, Community Wellbeing, Environment and Recreation and are awarded to a field of successful applicants each year

Mayor Byrne said the grants enabled the community to develop projects and programs that address local needs. 

“I congratulate all the recipients of the grants,” he said. 

“I’ve seen for myself the amazing work that has been achieved by previous years’ grant winners. I can’t wait to see results from this year’s funded projects.”

The funded projects include a stage play script about the origins of Australia’s oldest surviving gay community group the Pollys Club, an expansion of the 2020 Mardi Gras Film Festival into the Inner West, a Queer Skate Research Lab Exhibition by artist Leo Tsao, a DJing workshop for women and non-binary diverse people, a Queer Lunar New Year Festival for 2020 at the Red Rattler Theatre, and a grass-roots, community-led pilot project addressing high levels of homelessness among LGBTQI people seeking asylum.

The Heartland Project will deliver an online platform connecting LGBTQI people seeking asylum with local Inner West LGBTQI hosts and flatmates, fostering connection and inclusion in the Inner West.

Minus 18’s Queer Formal received $7,500 and were singled out for special mention by the council.

Last year the event was attended by three hundred people and has been held in the Inner West for the past two years.

Organisers say the event is a positive response to media attention surrounding secondary students not being allowed to take their same-sex or gender diverse partner to their school formal.

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