Gosforth Civic Theatre is an arts venue, café and community hub in Gosforth, and is home to, and run by, Liberdade Community Development Trust. Liberdade is a disability arts organisation, we began in 2003 as an apprenticeship scheme with the aim of enabling 8 young people with learning disabilities to set up and run their own physical theatre company. Those 8 original company members and now many more show how running an organisation can offer people with learning disabilities choice, and the opportunity to shape the world in which they live.
We opened Gosforth Civic Theatre in 2016, and in 2019 we hosted more than 900 events and activities, and invited over 50,000 people through our doors. In the words of Ozzy, one of our founding members, we opened the theatre because; “Historically society has created places for people with learning disabilities to go, at Gosforth Civic Theatre, people with learning disabilities are creating a place where everyone can come together.” Like all arts organisations we want to change the world, we want to bring people together to create understanding, we want to decide what is the new normal by being extraordinary, and we want to shape our community by telling our stories and providing a home for everyone to enjoy.
Photo by Krzystof Furgala.