Gosforth Civic Theatre- a perfect venue

Finding my way to Gosforth Civic Theatre is another serendiptious part of the story of my Love This Place show.  It’s a great setting, close to the Regent Centre and other civic buildings and community infrastructure, library, leisure centre etc.  It seems it wasn’t being as well-used as it could be, so a group of young social entrepreneurs working for Liberdade have taken it on.  Here’s what they say about themselves:

“We’re an arts venue and cafe in Gosforth, just north of Newcastle, which is home to, and run by, Liberdade Community Development Trust.  We’re a truly inclusive space for performance, music, cinema, and community activity at the heart of Gosforth that aims to break down misconceptions of learning disability while also being a space where everyone can enjoy our café, get involved in a class or go to a show.  We’re a not-for-profit organisation so every penny you spend goes back in to Liberdade and the venue.”

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I found my way to GCT via a chain of friendship connections, just at the moment when my original venue fell through.  I called by on spec and chatted to one of the team and it was on!  My proposal was formally accepted a few weeks later and I’ve had a great time working with the staff on organising the show.

There are many reasons why GCT is a perfect venue:

My grandparents looked after us in the school holidays just down the road so it resonates with my artwork about my family and its roots in Gosforth.  All the family homes are a short walk away

It celebrates Gosforth and invites local people to visit GCT, to know more and feel good about where they live, and get to know all the great things that go on at GCT

It’s a big, convivial and beautiful space, with lots of flexibility and plenty of room for my artwork, as well as safe, pleasant outside space

The staff are great- flexible and helpful.  They have created a positive and relaxed vibe

GCT has offered some great opportunities for collaboration.  There is a yoga class for people with Parkinsons which prompted me to get together with them to organise a fundraiser- a Garden Gathering on Sep 2nd (I have been caring for my Mum who has Parkinsons, for over 20 years).  There is a choir rehearsing for a performance, Sing Home, on Jul 18th.  I have been in touch with them about possible collaboration because of the obvious thematic connection.  I am going to offer an artist’s talk to follow on from one of Judith Stevenson’s ‘Talking Art’ sessions, on July 13th

They have been particularly welcoming to me as a woman and made it clear to me that they are keen to support and amplify women’s voices at a time when we are creating important shifts

I’m really looking forward to the next few weeks and getting to know the space and the people better



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