We urgently need your help to keep our vital Open Call programme going.

Wednesday, 1 March 2023

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We urgently need your help to keep our vital Open Call programme going…


Today we’re launching an urgent Crowdfunder appeal to ensure the survival of our vital Open Call programme for 2023. Your donation will provide a life-changing opportunity to even more incredible Merseyside artists!

Running costs are rising, funding pots are reducing and times feel tougher than ever at Unity. But for every hurdle we face, independent and freelance artists face an even higher one, and the need to provide Merseyside artists with income and opportunity has never been greater.

To date our Open Call programme has funded 44 different Liverpool artists and companies, providing nearly £80,000 of support across two years. Artists in the programme receive up to £1500 each, a featured slot in of our programme and a package of mentoring and resources to help them grow their career and share incredible Liverpool talent with the WORLD.

But Open Call is at risk – our budget can no longer meet the urgent demand for support from creatives – so today we are asking for your help to continue to give them this money and support directly…


One of our Open Call supported events by Travelled Companions, a playful, interactive experience at Kingswod Mount Care Home that explores what it means to be young and what it means to get old.


What Support Have We Given Out To Date:

Since then, with your help, the programme has only grown…

  • The Open Call programme saw Unity win Liverpool City Region’s Arts Organisation of the Year Award 2021.
  • It has supported 44 artists and companies to date, providing nearly £80,000 worth of support to Merseyside creatives.
  • Many artists who debuted their shows in our Open Call programme have gone on to tour nationally and internationally, meaning more people are finding out just how much talent is in Liverpool.
  • Unity has worked with every artist in the programme to make sure every single show has either captioned, BSL, audio description or an online version available so that everybody who wants to can be entertained.
  • Record-breaking audience numbers have enjoyed Open Call programmed shows online, out in the city and live at Unity – “I know I am going to experience original and exciting work” (Up Next Festival attendee).
  • Open Call has supported a HUGE variety of artists and ideas. From shows of all genres to be performed on our stages, scripts to be tested on audiences, digital installations, online productions, outdoor events, puppetry parades with refugee communities, workshops and performances in schools and care homes, an interactive storytelling session with Alder Hey Hospital, hip hop dance classes, a walking-tour of Liverpool exploring women’s safety, monthly family arts workshops and an epic cabaret celebrating Liverpool’s incredible Asian community – the programme has been VITAL in bringing arts and culture to people across Merseyside and beyond.


This Crowdfunder isn’t about us asking for money for Unity. It’s giving you the chance to support artists directly. We need to raise another £10,000 to keep all of this going. Your donation will ensure:

  • More Merseyside artists receive a guaranteed income of up to £1250 and the time, space and mentoring support to develop an idea and have their work be part of our Autumn 2023 season.
  • More artists will be receiving both financial AND practical support to develop and test out ideas.
  • Audiences will have more high-quality entertainment to enjoy as a result of more work being developed and shared.
  • The Open Call isn’t just for artists looking to create physical performances, many of those we’ve supported in the past include fantastic community based workshops for young people and isolated communities. Your donation will allow us to fund more activities like this.
  • All of the work showcased as part of the Open Call, whether online, in venue or out in the community will be fully accessible with captioning, BSL interpretation, audio facilities and a digital version available. This means that everybody who wants to can enjoy the best of Liverpool’s performers.
  • All artists who take part in the Open Call programme receive a free professional recording of their work which Unity will share with industry contacts and will allow them to continue to make money after the Open Call has finished.
  • For 2023, your donation will also allow us to increase the fee our script-in-hand artists receive from £750 to a minimum of £1000. A vital increase with cost of living rises.

Together, we can transform the careers of even more of Merseyside’s most talented, innovative artists and keep our city’s creative scene alive.

With the world watching Liverpool this Spring, let’s show them what we’re made of.