Liberdade Community Development Trust, a charity which gives people with learning disabilities and autism the opportunity to belong, work and get involved in the arts is calling for the support of the local community to help win funding to continue their work in Gosforth Civic Theatre as part of the Aviva Community Fund 2017.
Liberdade (Lib-er-dar-jie) is relying on public votes to increase their chances of winning funding of upwards of £10,000 which they hope will help them develop a community engagement programme through the Theatre, providing amazing participatory events and opportunities for everyone. While also providing support for people with learning disabilities in front of house roles at the events and activities that take place at Gosforth Civic Theatre. The projects with the most votes will become finalists, so additional support is vital.
Founded in 2003, Liberdade uses the arts as a tool for change both within their participants and also throughout society as a whole. They use the process of performing and being a member of the company as a mechanism for personal and social development. In 2016, the charity successfully completed the asset transfer of Gosforth Civic Theatre from Newcastle City council, signing a 30-year lease. Having made significant changes to the building, Gosforth Civic Theatre is now a multi- functional performance venue, coffee shop, garden and gallery space. And is seen as a ground breaking project both for the learning disabled community and the cultural and community sector as a whole.
“In our experience, most of the fears and misconceptions about people with learning disabilities can be easily reduced by providing the opportunity to bring people together. By taking on the theatre, we have placed people with learning disabilities and autism at the heart of the community instead of at the periphery.” Rob Huggins, CEO of Liberdade Community Development Trust.
"We are social animals, we need places to meet, to talk, to have a drink, to have a laugh. This looks like a good place where people can be that.” Interview with Ken Loach at Gosforth Civic Theatre, August 2016.
To get behind Liberdade and help make a difference, visit avivacommunityfund.co.uk, register, and submit your votes before 21 November 2017. For more information about Liberdade and Gosforth Civic Theatre, visit liberdade.co.uk or gosforthcivictheatre.co.uk and follow them on social media channels via @liberdadecdt or @gocivtheatre.