Frederick Douglass

Artist call out for plaque to mark abolitionist Frederick Douglass at the Everyman Theatre. 

From the press release which can be found on the Everyman Theatre website 

In 2021 we discovered, thanks to historian Laurence Westgaph, that prominent abolitionist Frederick Douglass spoke at Hope Hall (now the site of the Everyman Theatre) back in 1860. We’re announcing a commission for an artist with a connection to Liverpool City Region, to create a plaque for the front of the Everyman to commemorate Douglass and be a lasting physical reminder of the struggle for freedom and reform.

Laurence, historian in residence at National Museums Liverpool, collaborated with local theatre company Falling Doors and the theatres to explore the role of the slave trade in the development of the city. As he explains,

“There were four writers on the project and as we did more research, we discovered that Douglass had spoken on the site of what is now the Everyman Theatre. I’m looking forward to working with the team to find an artist to create a fitting plaque to detail Frederick Douglass’ role not just as an abolitionist but as a social reformer, feminist and orator of great importance.”

If you’re an artist with a connection to Liverpool City Region (either by birth or as a current resident), then we’d love to hear from you! Submissions, which are encouraged from Global Majority artists, must be received by midday on Monday 20 November and the winning artist will receive a fee of £1,000 (with an additional budget allocated for creation and installation).

Submissions will be reviewed by a panel including Laurence Westgaph (Liverpool Black History Research Group) and Adeyinka Olushonde (Liverpool Black Mens Group), Dr Teena Cartwright-Terry (Chair of the theatres’ Diversity Action Group), Nancy Msiska (Falling Doors Theatre Company and Young Everyman Playhouse Graduate), Lucy Byrne (Director of dot-art), history students from Bluecoat School and Mark Da Vanzo (CEO, Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse). 

The plaque will be unveiled on Friday 19 January 2024, 164 years since Douglass spoke at Hope Hall.