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Unity Theatre launches 2023 Open Call programme

The Unity Theatre has launched its latest Open Call programme.

The initiative, which offers paid development support to creatives based in Merseyside, is now in its third year – but this latest round of funding is also being accompanied by an urgent appeal for backing for the programme through a Crowdfunder which aims to raise £10,000 by March 21.

Over the last two years Unity’s Open Call programme has funded 44 different Liverpool artists and companies, providing nearly £80,000 of support.

Due to the rising cost of living, the Unity has this year increased the amount artists could receive by 25%.

The programme funds a wide variety of work including live performances of all genres, early-development work to be tested on an audience, visual art exhibitions, outdoor and offsite events, community and education projects, audio performances, digital productions and more.

Four different grants are available as part of the scheme: work in progress – performances and projects (up to £1,000), work that will be fully created – performances and projects (up to £1,500), cabaret and comedy slot (£75 for a 10-minute slot at one of two nights in October) and exhibition (£750).

Successful applicants will also receive a package of mentoring and professional resources, and their work will form part of the Hope Place theatre’s autumn programme.

Unity artistic director and chief executive Gordon Millar says: “Over the past two years the Open Call has become synonymous with Unity and epitomises all we stand for in supporting Merseyside artists, telling exciting, diverse stories, and becoming a springboard for creative talent.

“The artists we’ve supported through Open Call to date have gone on to tour regionally and nationally because of the opportunities we have given them, and the programme has seen us reach more first-time arts engagers than ever before.

“As we navigate difficult financial times due to increased running costs, we’re so grateful to the public for supporting Unity and ensuring our cities artistic community does not feel the impact of our reductions.

“With their help we have been able to increase the amount each artist could receive by 25%.

“However, we still have a way to go to make sure the number of artists we can support continues to rise. Our Crowdfunder is open for another 10 days and the more we raise the more we can say a big yes too, so please give if you can.”

Donate to the Crowdfunder by March 21 HERE

Unity Open Call is open for submissions until April 13. More details HERE

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