Edition #4 - Midsumma's tips for queer arts, artists and culture makers in the time of COVID-19

Image: by Daria Shevtsova

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It feels like halfway... are we halfway?... There is a sort of buzz in the air as we are congratulated for our collective efforts on staying home, and our creatives become more agile at producing work for online audiences. Where would we be without being able to watch our queer colleagues still share their work with us at this time?

This is Edition #4 of our tips for queer arts, artists and culture makers in the time of COVID-19 and we hope that you are keeping safe and sane. 

Midsumma acknowledges the immense impact that this crisis has on our artists, arts workers, and creatives, as well as all of the members of our communities.

During these challenging times, we are working internally to design new ways to be there for our artists, creatives, culture-makers, and audiences. We are really keen to keep in touch with you, so please contact us and let us know how you are doing if there is anything you are working on and what we can do to assist? 

If you have suggestions, want to share links to your own work or have some great tips and links to share with our queer arts communities, drop us a line at [email protected].


If you are experiencing distress and would like to chat with someone please contact a support network from this list here. Or, The Support Act Wellbeing Helpline is a free, confidential counseling service open to anyone working in Australian music or the performing arts - 1800 959 500.



Artist Articles in response to COVID-19

In Edition #1 of Midsumma's tips for queer arts, artists and culture makers in the time of COVID-19, we called out to our artists to contribute to the Midsumma Blog (a paid opportunity). We received a flood of creatives wanting to share their stories, works, and journeys.

These following pieces were commissioned by Midsumma as a response to the mass loss of the Melbourne queer arts industry (due to COVID-19). This blog is part of a series of works from our LGBTQIA+ arts and culture community that gives Midsumma audiences an insight into the practice of the queer arts and helps to make queer arts and cultures more accessible to diverse audiences in this time of physical distancing.

New Balance - by Christopher Bryant

New Balance was inspired, in part, by the question: what would it be like to have grown up in a balanced society? Read the full article by Christopher Bryant >>

Reality Check - by Martha Ackroyd Curtis

"I felt with this piece that I needed to focus on biology and that we are all human. We are all biological. This disease that is so full-on and toxic does not discriminate; that is the cold hard irony." Read the full article by Martha Ackroyd Curtis >>

“I Just Wanna Make Love To You” - by Sophie deLightful

"I rewrote the lyrics to focus on my desire to make love to anyone, of any gender or lack thereof, and my appreciation and respect for people being true to themselves." Listen to Sophie's cover of “I Just Wanna Make Love To You” >>

Tips from our friends

Since 2014, Emerging Writers Festival (EWF) has run the Digital Writers’ Festival (DWF), an online literary festival dedicated to making conversations around writing more accessible, as well as exploring the unique ways that technology and storytelling influence each other. In 2019, they also introduced the EWF Digital Stream.

We figure they are pretty well placed to share some information about moving to digital for artists and arts organisations alike in the current situation. They have compiled a resource that covers online events, interactive community management and digital projects.

Going Digital: Tips from the EWF team

From the EWF team, here are some tips on going digital. They have also created a .pdf tips and tricks sheet for livestream hosts and speakers you can download by clicking here.

Quick response Commissions

QUEERANTINE - Quick Response Commissions by Midsumma

Our communities have always been quick to adapt to new technologies and systems to get around restrictions society has pushed on us. Through this EOI process, Midsumma will be selecting up to 10 artistic projects to receive up to $1,000 each to create a new piece of art that can engage through Midsumma's online channels. 


The EOI is open now and will close Sunday 3 May at 11:59pm. See full details and APPLY >>

Money For Art

Melbourne Fringe wants to help save you time and energy, so they have combined two of their Money for Art programs.

You can read a little about each here, and see if you're eligible for both of the programs, then just make sure you tick which option you'd like to be considered for on their application form here.

Money for Art

Applications for both programs will close at 10am, Monday 18 May 2020. See full details via Melbourne Fringe website >>

Keeping you inspired

Livestreaming schedule: music, art, literature and events from Australia and beyond

As the coronavirus crisis continues, creatives and cultural organisations are moving their work online. Here’s what’s coming to a monitor near you - brought to us by The Guardian.

Livestreaming schedule

Music, art, literature and events from Australia and beyond, via The Guardian >>

Book a Queen - Live TV Guide

Book a Queen brings to the stage the most incredible, glamorous, high energy, and camp performances all around Australia. During this time they have compiled a little Live TV Guide so we can all see who is doing what and how and when we can support them. They will be updating this weekly.

Helen Mirren Teaches Acting

In her first-ever online acting class, Academy Award-winning actress Helen Mirren shares the techniques she has learned through the course of her international career that has spanned stage, screen, and television. Her powerful and versatile performances have earned her numerous awards, including the Academy Award in 2007 for her performance in The Queen, a Tony Award in 2015 for her performance in The Audience, and four Emmy Awards.

Helen Mirren Teaches Acting

Join an acting class by Academy Award-winning actress Helen Mirren.

Keeping you entertained

Global Pride 2020 ONLINE

Pride won't be beaten by COVID19 - join Global Pride on Saturday 27 June 2020 for the world's first Global Pride. 

Global Pride 2020

Click 'Going' on the Facebook event and they will keep you informed.

Digital art guide to beat coronavirus closures by Arts Hub

The world may be in lockdown, but self-isolation doesn't mean we have to stop experiencing art. Despite COVID-19 closures, Australian art is finding new ways to go viral. Artists, museums, galleries, institutions, and more are exploring innovative ways to reach audiences, spreading some timely comfort and unity. Below is the ever-growing list of Australian art ready for you to discover via Arts Hub.

Some events free, some are ticketed but we encourage you to make a donation to these and other organisations if you enjoyed their performances. For a full list of digital events check out ArtsHub's What's On guide


Digital art guide to beat coronavirus closures

From virtual exhibitions and livestreamed concerts to online art auctions, this is our guide to how art is going digital in the age of COVID-19.

Remotely Funny - the Quarantined Comedy Show

Remotely Funny was born out of a desire to support our Australian comedy and entertainment industry, in particular those affected directly by the cancellation of Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2020 and those impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The series showcases performers from around Australia who have submitted their acts to appear on the show. 

JOY TV with Kerrie & Dolly's House Party E1

Kerrie & Dolly’s House Party' is a new light entertainment variety program hosted by Kerrie Stanley and Dolly Diamond, with a bunch of regular contributors, on the freshly launched JOY TV. Tonight's premiere episode features musical guests, Rachel Trevorrow Dunham and Vincent Hooper.

Kerrie & Dolly’s House Party

Hosted by Kerrie Stanley and Dolly Diamond.

Platforms for your digital works

Creative Connections - webinars by Australia Council for the Arts

Creative Connections is delivered entirely online, and you can choose the sessions that are relevant to your needs and interests. All webinars are free and will be published after the live session. 

The series is focused around three key themes: leadership, digital and arts practice adaptation, so explore the schedule and choose what works for you.

Creative Connections - webinars by Australia Council for the Arts

Each of these sessions will be presented by a sector expert who will share their knowledge, strategies and tactics.

For more inspiring entertainment or queer arts funding and opportunities, see Midsumma's Digital Hub for Queer Arts and Artists during COVID-19

We will keep updating our Midsumma Blog with new opportunities and information. If you want us to share your work (or your friends), or you have something you want to contribute - hit us up at [email protected]


“I Just Wanna Make Love To You” - by Sophie deLightful

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Woman singing in a soulful way, eyes closed. A bearded man is behind her, a little out of focus
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