Creative’pool: a new talent development programme from Unity

Friday, 9 October 2020

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Supported by Esmée Fairbairn Foundation


What is Creative’pool?

Today we are excited to launch Creative’pool – a new talent development programme supported by Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, providing over 200 artists a year with the training, networks, skills and resource to build a sustainable career in the creative arts.

With four different levels, Creative’pool has been designed to support creators of all backgrounds, at all levels of experience, preparing the next wave of Merseyside-based artists and producers to share their talent with the city and the world.

The programme will begin in January 2021 and includes £5 tickets across the Unity programme, free-to-access masterclasses and workshops, free space and support for artists to develop, record and stream their work, a year-long producer course with two weekend-residencies ran by national experts and a brand-new role for an Associate Producer.

Programme and event dates will be announced with our Spring/Summer 2021 season in November, with our weekender and guest artist line-up announced in January.

Why is it needed?

Creativity is at the core of Liverpool’s identity as a city – it is packed with talented diverse artists, all developing new and exciting work. Through Creative ‘pool we want to offer Merseyside creative freelancers the skills, connections and opportunities that will ensure they can continue developing their practice, whilst supporting the next generation of producers to take Liverpool-created stories outside of the city and across the UK.

At the heart of the Creative’pool programme is opportunity and connectivity – two core values of Unity that feel increasingly pertinent given the year to date. Designed to provide as many Liverpool based-artists with as many meaningful opportunities as possible to make their practice sustainable – the four tiers provide support, training, network and opportunity no matter the stage of career you are at. Created prior to the pandemic, we are delighted to finally share this new scheme with the world today as a renewed commitment to creative support, more necessary now than ever before.

Read on below to find out more about the four levels or visit our Creative Membership page to be first to apply for the free opportunities.


Level One: Creative Membership

We’re enhancing our current Creative Membership, launched in 2019, to expand the amount of free and subsidised opportunities for artists. Benefits include:

  • £5 tickets across the full programme
  • Free access to online and in-person masterclasses and workshops with visiting companies
  • Free 1-on-1 advice sessions with staff and industry experts
  • Free monthly networking sessions
  • Free access to an artist database that allows artists to connect with peers
  • Free hot-desking and refreshments at the Unity bar once a month on Freelancer Wednesdays.

Level Two: Space to Create

Open again from February 2021, Space to Create is a new Research and Development (R&D) scheme that offers over 12 weeks of free space across the year to artists who want to develop ideas in a financially risk-free setting. The free space also includes the opportunity to have work recorded and live-streamed, allowing artists to share their work with more programmers, venues and audiences than ever before. Artists can apply for up to one week’s worth of space and the applicants will be selected by a panel. Artists can also request technician support and will have the opportunity to share their work to industry networks at the end of the week.

Sign-up to Creative Membership to be the first to hear when the next round of Space to Create opens.

Level Three: Level-Up Producer Course

Starting April 2021, Unity’s Level-Up Producer Course offers a more intensive support and training programme for a smaller cohort of artists and companies looking to self-produce their work to a high-standard. Through a series of skills development, shadowing and networking opportunities, the course will help participants develop productions to a level ready for touring. Those on the course will begin with two weekend residencies across the year ran by producing experts and national partners, with bursaries and an on-site creche available. The full line-up of national artists, companies and experts will be announced in January.

On completion of the Level-up Producer Course participants will continue their training with access to one year of mentoring from a Unity staff member, shadowing opportunities, opportunities to pitch work and regular access to space.

Sign-up to Creative Membership to be the first to hear when applications open.

Level Four: Unity Associate Producer

Finally, level four of Creative’pool will give one mid-level producer the chance to work as Unity’s Associate Producer on an 18-month placement. This paid producer-role will include programming experience, a placement at both Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse and a grassroots organisation in the city. The role will also support local talent and the producing of community and emerging work on a mid-scale national tour.

Click here to view the full job pack and apply for the role.

Creative’pool – a new Talent Development Programme from Unity from Unity Theatre on Vimeo.

We need your help now more than ever – text, donate and help support Unity.

Unity remains at risk of closure due to the financial implications of the current pandemic. But with your help we can continue to provide space and opportunity for people to be creative, enjoy high-quality entertainment, and celebrate the communities of Liverpool – as we have for the past 40 years. You can support our future by texting the following numbers to make a one-off or monthly donation:

Text 5UNITY to 70085 to donate £5
Text 10UNITY to 70085 to donate £10
Text KEEPUNITYOPEN to 70085 to donate £5 a month