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Organisers of the UK’s first Diversity Ball, to be held in Chester Cathedral in May, are coming up with fresh ideas to make the event a success.  A varied programme of performers is being assembled, ticket details will soon be finalised and an appeal is now going out to local artists and sculptors to donate pieces for a fund-raising ‘blind auction.’

‘We are looking for 15 or so pieces in total and we would particularly welcome work which has a diversity theme but the important thing is that it’s an opportunity for Chester’s many talented artists, working in all mediums, to exhibit their work while supporting what we hope will be a well-attended, signature occasion,’ says event founder Joel Josephson. He was inspired to organise the venture after seeing the success of the world’s first Diversity Ball in Vienna with its principle of inclusiveness, irrespective of ethnicity, sexual organisation and ability/disability.

‘We are all human beings and all command the same respect,’ he says. ‘This city welcomes everybody, we are a city of walls without barriers.’

A recent plea for volunteer helpers, dancers, stewards and fashion show models had a big response but Mr Josephson adds ‘the more the merrier’ as he and his organising committee look to expand the scope of the event.  The Ball, to be staged on May 22, will utilise the whole of the Cathedral building with music stages in the nave and the chapter house and another in the refectory for poetry, dance, comedy and solo performers. There will be a sign language choir plus a diversity fashion show organised by the University of Chester.

The event has received support from many organisations including Chester Racecourse, Chester Rotary Club, community groups and city retail outlets.  The over-18 event will have a 1,400 capacity.

The Ball is a registered charity. Any surplus funds raised will be used to help institutions that help integrate the diverse elements which make up our community

Tickets details, which will include an ‘early bird’ discount option, are expected to be announced before the end of the month.  Enquiries, including information about donations for the auction, should be directed to Joel Josephson on 07956 942177 or at info@diversityball.co.uk

Diversity Ball website here.