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Liverpool Everyman Frederick Douglass plaque commission


Social reformer Frederick Douglass travelled widely and was a popular subject for early photographers
Douglass travelled widely and was a popular subject for early photographers

Liverpool's Everyman Theatre is commissioning a plaque to commemorate Frederick Douglass, the American social reformer, abolitionist and statesman, who spoke at Hope Hall, on the site of the Everyman, in 1860.

Laurence Westgaph, the historian in residence at National Museums Liverpool, collaborated with local theatre company Falling Doors and the Everyman to explore the role of the slave trade in the development of the city. He said: “ We discovered that Douglass had spoken on the site of what is now the Everyman. I’m looking forward to working with the team to find an artist to create a fitting plaque to detail Frederick Douglass’s role, not just as an abolitionist but as a social reformer, feminist and orator of great importance.”

If you are an artist with a connection to Liverpool City Region (by birth or because you live there), the theatre is inviting designs. The only stipulation is that the plaque must feature Douglass (who was in his forties at the time of the visit) and this text:


“Liberty is meaningless where the right to utter one’s thoughts and opinions has ceased to exist.”

Frederick Douglass, 1818-1895

An American social reformer, abolitionist and statesman, who spoke at Hope Hall on this site in 1860


Submissions will be reviewed and the chosen design will win £1,000. The plaque will be positioned at the Everyman's main entrance after an unveiling ceremony on January 19, 2024 – 164 years since Douglass's Hope Hall speech. Submissions must be received by noon on November 20.


Full info here

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