Mas ar y Maes celebrates LGBT History Month

2 February 2021

Mas ar y Maes is a partnership between the LGBT+ community, the National Eisteddfod and Stonewall Cymru 

Mas ar y Maes, a partnership between the LGBT+ community, the National Eisteddfod and Stonewall Cymru will celebrate LGBT History Month throughout February with a series of activities and events across digital platformsThe programme, supported by the LGBT Consortium and a grant from the National Emergencies Trust, includes a number of brand new commissions from young artists and performers from across Wales, following an open call for ideas before Christmas.

This is the first time Mas ar y Maes has held a celebration to mark LGBT History Month, and follows the success of a number of LGBT+ sessions held as part of the AmGen Eisteddfod over the past few months. The varied programme aims to raise awareness, focusing on LGBT+ people, their history and rights through a Welsh lens.

The first session on Wednesday 3 February at 21:00 is a look back at the early days of LGBT+ Welsh language organisations in the Aberystwyth area in the late 1980s.  Cylch: Cofio’n Ôl, is a panel discussion with Elin Haf Gruffydd Jones, Richard Crowe, Dafydd Frayling and Berwyn Rowlands, and will be broadcast on the Eisteddfod's Facebook page, website and YouTube channel.

Betsan Moses, Chief Executive of the Eisteddfod, said, "It's a pleasure to work with Stonewall Cymru and the LGBT+ community here in Wales, and the Mas ar y Maes project is now well established.

"We are delighted to celebrate LGBT History Month for the first time this year with a creative, exciting and informative programme, and we hope people will enjoy these sessions as well as others we’ll have coming up as part of Eisteddfod AmGen over the next few months.”

Iestyn Wyn from Stonewall Cymru added, “LGBT History Month is an important opportunity to look back on our history and explore what has led us up to this point today. There’s very little visibility of LGBT+ history throughout the year, and the contribution of LGBT+ people to the history of Wales and the world is rarely recognised and often overlooked.

“Stonewall Cymru continues to be proud of our partnership with the National Eisteddfod and is delighted we’re able to further develop Mas ar y Maes, building on the success of the partnership. We hope to mark Welsh LGBT history this month, bringing communities together at a time when people feel isolated, and opportunities to socialise, learn and chat together are in short supply.”

Programme details will be announced weekly on the Eisteddfod’s social media channels and online, www.esiteddfod.wales.

MAS AR Y MAES PROGRAMME: WEEK 1

3 February at 21:00 – Panel Discussion, Cylch: Cofio’n Ôl

4 February at 21:00 – Pedr ac Ioan Premiere: In the early 1840s in rural Wales, a stranger ignites hidden feelings in Ioan.  A short film by Jonny Reed with sound by Peter Harding, to remember that LGBT people have always been here, and that there’s thousands of experiences and stories not included in history books.  A new commission for Mas ar y Maes.

-ends-

Notes to Editors

- LGBT History Month is held annually in February throughout Britain. The campaign began in 2005 to raise awareness and celebrate the lives and history of the LGBT+ community;

- LGBT History Month is an opportunity to showcase LGBT+ history prominently while giving visibility to voices and history often forgotten or obliterated;

- Mas ar y Maes was launched before the National Eisteddfod of Wales, Cardiff in 2018 in partnership with the LGBT+ community and Stonewall Cymru. Since then, the partnership has commissioned several new creative and artistic works; from plays to works of art;

- The partnership has also stimulated national conversations about the visibility of LGBT+ people and provided a starting point for organisations to start new projects and work streams.