In 2017 two Newcastle-based writers, Alex Morris and Chloe Warren, created a female-focused open mic night called Heart Open (or Her Art Open depending on how you read it). The event began as an experiment at a pub and has gone on to thrive at a range of venues including Newcastle Art Gallery, The Lock-Up and Newcastle Museum.
Alex and Chloe typically brought in local female writers, dancers, musicians and visual artists. The night included an open-mic session, allowing anyone of any gender to have a go at the limelight. The two hosts briefly interview each act as well, offering insights about their career choices.
In 2019, Heart Open received sponsorship from the Hunter Writers Centre to pay all featured guests. Unfortunately, in 2020, the pandemic caused Heart Open to pause its usual format, and to change gears while continuing to encourage women and celebrating creativity.
Now Heart Open hosts intimate creative comedy workshops, led by women in the comedy sphere and sponsored by City of Newcastle. One event was a burlesque workshop at The Roost Creative with Lana Del Banana. They’ve got plenty in the pipeline, so follow @her_art_open on Instagram and HerArtOpen on Facebook to learn more about their upcoming gigs.
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