Friday, May 08, 2009

from Annie Lloyd and Moira Innes:

The Gallery & Studio Theatre at Leeds Met University have been told the buildings that house them will be closed by the end of 2009. The buildings are to be sold and decommissioned. At this time there are no plans in place to rebuild the Gallery & Studio Theatre.

As you know the Gallery & Studio Theatre is an Arts Council England regularly funded organisation with an exemplary record of service to the city and region. We have supported contemporary artists from around the country and abroad for two decades. We have helped raise the profile of visual art in the city and we are an important part of the national infrastructure of contemporary performance practice.

This week the University agreed to a long overdue consultation process to discuss the future of the organisation. Many of our colleagues, artists, educators, students, audiences and supporters have asked us if there is anything they can do. There is.

We are now asking you to please write to us, giving your support to help us build a case for the continuation of these venues as essential to the vibrant cultural life of the region and as a positive public face of the University making Leeds a desirable destination for students and artists.

We have only a short time to gather support. Please write to us or email by 15 May. Feel free to forward this letter to your networks, asking them to respond to or to the postal address below.

We want to enter into this consultation with the University with as much backing as possible. Thank you for your support.

Annie Lloyd, Director
Moira Innes, Deputy Director

Gallery & Studio Theatre
Leeds Met University
Civic Quarter
Woodhouse Lane

A little personal note: it's a few years since I worked at LMU Studio Theatre, back in the early days of my association with Unlimited Theatre, when we were working on the first versions of Scream If You Want To Go Faster, a cheerfully rough-and-tumble little show that eventually morphed into Neutrino. I have great memories of the place, as a hospitable, dynamic venue punching way above its weight. The prospect of its being lost is not just of concern to theatre makers in the region but nationally and internationally. If you've had any kind of connection to LMU Gallery & Studio Theatre -- even if you've never been there but you've simply seen in other places any of the work that it's helped to bring into the world -- it really is worth taking the time to write a quick note of support. 

I am the Controlling Thompson and I endorse this message.

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