Wednesday, 1 January 2020
40 years. Don’t we look great! It’s been a wild ride from 1980 to now. We’ve been through many changes and watched the city fall and rise again. But here we’ve stood firm through it all, at the heart of Hope Place, a venue named Unity in a city so good at being united.
But none of this would exist without you – our loving, diverse and always supportive community. Whether you’ve been with us from the beginning, hooked up with us somewhere along the way or are still taking it slow and getting to know us, know that we don’t take your support lightly.
So to kick off our 40th anniversary celebrations, here are our 10 promises to you for a huge year ahead…
1. To local creatives, of all kinds and all levels…continuing our commitment to developing and nurturing talent, our 40th year will see the launch of a number of brand-new creative schemes including freelancer Wednesdays, support surgeries, socials and more R&D space than ever before.
We’re kicking off our 40th year in style with the launch of our brand-new Creative Card monthly events programme. Following last year’s successful launch of the Creative Membership – open to anyone who identifies as a creative to help access industry support and discounts – we’re levelling up our support with exciting new card benefits and activities. Each month, you can benefit from our offer of free hot desking with Wi-Fi, professional industry support, plus socials and special events.
2. To those who want more…we’re levelling up the Unity experience with special events and socials, including monthly quiz nights, gin and wine tasting events, brewery takeovers and our 40th birthday extravaganza.
Our brand-new event series features a monthly themed quiz night featuring special guests and brilliant prizes. We kick off in February with a Liverpool Queer Collective takeover, followed by a Wicked Women International Women’s Day event in March and a Proper Posh Quiz Night in April. We’ll also be working with our local suppliers to deliver gin tastings, wine and cheese events and brewery pop-ups. We’ll also be announcing our 40th birthday extravaganza later in the year. Watch this space!
3. To those who think we might not be for them…under our CommUNITY ticket scheme we’re opening up our building to those who can’t usually access it, with at least 1000 subsidised tickets available plus free ticket offers for local charities, schools and community groups. We will also continue to take performances outside of our building direct to your community.
The aim for 2020 is to raise £40,000 to mark 40 years. We’re already known for our participation programme.
This will help sustain ongoing participation work as well as support first-time engagement with the venue. The money will also make at least 1000 tickets available at a subsidised rate of £5, as well as free tickets for local charities, schools, and community groups.
4. To the planet… as the City of Liverpool declares a Climate Emergency we’re doing our part with on-going green initiatives across our building.
Just some of the changes we’ve already made include supporting local suppliers in our bar, reducing our single-use plastic waste with reusable cups and paper straws, an embedded staff recycling ethos and minimal paper brochures. We’re also supporting sustainable travel with a cycle-to-work scheme and better publicity of public transport networks. Things have to change before it’s too late.
5. To our audience… we’ll continue to present captivating, ground-breaking and affordable performances across our two stages.
Our Spring 2020 season is a dynamic mix of powerful storytelling, contemporary themes and meaningful performances that packs a punch. We have world class theatre-makers like Told by an Idiot, Scottee and Vamos back by popular demand, alongside much-anticipated Unity first-timers such as Sh!t Theatre. See the full line-up for Spring here
6. To local painters, photographers and artists… we’ll continue to provide a platform for you to exhibit in our public spaces throughout the building.
In 2019 alone we saw a fantastic array of local artists presenting their work throughout the building. Our exhibition space featured works from Liverpool businesses such as Homebaked, artists such as Mandy Romero and currently Dawn Yow’s Mother Lode from Mother’s Who Make Liverpool. We’ve literally extended art work from local artists across the walls of our bar, working with illustrator Gill Smith to create a stunning new mural to enjoy while you drink.
7. To Liverpool’s communities…we’re committed to representing the diversity of our city across our building and programme through strengthening longstanding relationships with other organisations. We’re stronger together!
You have to see them to be them, so we’ve always been committed to representing the diversity of our city’s population across our building. For example, in 2020 we will continue our work commissioning artists of colour to create brand-new pieces announced later in the year. We will also continue to work with current partners and friends including DaDaFest, 20 Stories High, Homotopia, Physical Fest, Travelled Companions, Mothers Who Make and LIPA. For example, we recently announced our brand new collaboration with DaDaFest to champion equality for diverse audiences and artists.
8. To students…we’re providing affordable, exciting performances and a space to hang out and enjoy good vibes.
We love being positioned at the heart of Liverpool’s most exciting schools, colleges and universities. In 2020 we’re renewing our commitment to welcome in as many students from the city as possible – offering discounted tickets and special support events.
9. To a Unity for all…there should be no barriers to theatre – physical or otherwise, so we’re making our building as accessible as possible, including a commitment to captioning all video content and creating BSL and familiarisation trailers across our building and social media.
We aim to provide the best possible experience of our venue for all our customers. On top of our current access provisions, this year we’re levelling up our offer and are developing more accessible work than ever before. We also know that a customer’s journey begins way before they step though our doors, so look out for more captioned content, familiarisation videos and BSL trailers across our digital channels.
10. To local independent businesses…we continue to source from local suppliers across our bar and food offer wherever possible. These include Love Lane Brewery, Big Bog Gin and Happy Go Cooking.
Our bar is brimming with a range of locally produced drinks. These include wine options from Dale Street’s RH&Y Wine, the Baltic’s Love Lane Brewery and Speke’s Big Bog Brewing Company. This not only reduces our carbon footprint, but supports our local economy. We’re also working alongside award-winning chef, Sky Glover at Happy Go Cooking who provides opportunities for people with learning disabilities and mental health concerns to work in the catering industry.