Rey (left) and Joshua, co-founders of Dyddiau Du

‘An incredibly welcoming space’: Queer-run arts venue celebrates its first anniversary

The artists running the centre said it has helped them develop their own work

THE founders of a queer and neurodiverse community centre in Cardiff are celebrating its first anniversary on Friday with a gathering at the Queen’s Vaults. 

Dyddiau Du, based in the Capitol Centre, started as a community library a year ago before expanding to host art exhibitions and literary events, including a monthly open mic night. 

The community library at Dyddiau Du.

Co-founder and author Joshua Jones said he started the space because he thought that there weren’t enough queer literary spaces in Cardiff.

Oskar Salmon, who has volunteered at Dyddiau Du since the beginning, added that the centre filled a gap in Cardiff’s LGBT scene for sober spaces and spaces aimed at neurodivergent LGBT people. Neurodiverse refers to the wide spectrum of diversity in human brains and neurodivergent refers to people with brains which work differently from the norm, including those with autism, ADHD and dyspraxia. 

The team behind Dyddiau Du have achieved a lot in their first year. They have hosted launch events, creative writing and collage workshops, and several art exhibitions. More recently, they have raised £560 for the Palestinian Medical Relief Society.

Poet Iestyn Tyne reading at his book launch.

Co-founder and creative Rey Hope said: “[I’m] very proud of myself. This has been a real opportunity to gain confidence. I run workshops and I’ve done public speaking, which I never thought I’d be able to do.”

Mx Salmon said they were most proud of Gwerin, an art exhibition focused on work by LGBT people of colour. They said: “It was really cool getting to showcase art by people of colour. In the art world the spotlight is rarely on [them].” Mx is a neutral title used by some transgender and nonbinary people.

They added: “With our open mic nights we’ve provided a space for people to come and read [out their work] who never have before.” 

Evan Gwen read at an open mic in October. It was the first time they’d read their work in public since they were 16. They said: “It was a wonderful moment to get to share my poetry. I’ve always been more on the shy side when it came to presenting my own work, but Dyddiau Du is such an incredibly welcoming space.”

The future is very open at Dyddiau Du. Mx Hope said: “It’s just continually adapting to where we’re at or what the community wants or the physical space that we’re in and being open to having that sort of change. Not fitting ourselves into one box that will be the same.”

They have several events coming up in December, including a collaboration with the charity End Youth Homelessness Cymru on youth homelessness and neurodiversity. 

Dyddiau Du is always looking for volunteers and donations. If you are interested in volunteering contact them at and you can donate here.