INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY: Heart Open is putting females in Newcastle on the stage

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY: Female power in Newcastle | PHOTOS Alex Morris interviewing dancer Jacinta Rose at a Hearts Open event.
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Open Mic: Alex Morris interviewing dancer Jacinta Rose at a Hearts Open event. Picture: Lazy Bones

Alex Morris. Picture: Lazy Bones

Poet Laura Kebby at a Heart Open open-mic event. Picture: Justine Cogan

Poet Bastian Fox Phelan at a Heart Open open-mic event. Picture: Lazy Bones

A guest performer at a Heart Open open-mic event. Picture: Lazy Bones

Poet Katy Gray at a Heart Open open-mic event. Picture: Lazy Bones

Poet Rachael Ainsworth at a Heart Open open-mic event. Picture: Lazy Bones

The band Moonsign perform at a Heart Open event. Picture: Justine Cogan

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So, she and friend Chloe Warrenstarted abi-monthly, female-focused open-mic night in Newcastle, called Heart Open.

“I didn’t know Chloe that well [at the time], but I loved her stand-up comedy and thought she and I could be a good team,” Alexsaid.

“We got chatting with our friend and amazing local typographer Sophie Elinor Brown, and she helped us come up with the name and created our logo for us.

“Then we just invited some of the talented women we knew to come and perform in a local pub.”

Chloe’s a scientist, so she wanted to make sure decisions about where to take the event were informed by data.

“We started collecting feedback from our audiences and we hope that each show has been an improvement on the last,” Alex said.

The next event will be held on Fridayat Newcastle Museum’sBHP Gallery to mark International Women’s Day.

The night will feature artists and performers. Aspecial guest will attend to respect the location and its history.

Chloe and AlexwillinterviewJanet Murray, a former BHP chemical engineer and blast furnace operations superintendent.

“Janetworked for nearly 20 years at the Newcastle steelworks. She’s a fascinating woman with so many interesting stories.”

Alex said the event aimed tocreate “a welcoming and encouraging environment where female-identifying and non-binary people feel comfortable expressing themselves”.

“It’s also an open mic nightand we really want to be inclusive, so we encourage all people to sign up for that in between featured performers.”

Heart Open is promoted as a “bi-monthly celebration of creativity”.

Each event features fourartists “sharingthe secrets of their journey, their creative processes and inspiration”.

“We welcome poets, dancers, comedians, musicians, actors, authors, painters, sculptors, air-ukulele players … you get the gist.”

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