Under-threat Liverpool independents fight back with new Duke Street creative space


Duke Street Open Day

With Mello Mello defunct and Wolstenholme Square facing turbulent times, a collective of former tenants will open their new pop-up artistic space , Getintothis’ Patrick Clarke reports on the state of the resistance.

A collective of former Mello Mello tenants and independent artists have announced a fundraising ‘open week’ at their pop-up new creative space at 45-61 Duke Street, set to start on Saturday November 29 until Friday December 5.

Headed by Aleasha Chaunte and Hollie-Ann Coleman from former Mello Mello tenants TiLT Dance, the Make Art Studios will open to the public from 5pm til midnight every day that week.

The movement follows recent news that The Kazimier and Nation faced a potentialy perilous future of their own in the wake of new plans for residential construction in the Wolstenholme Square area.

“Why should you get involved?,” says Hollie-Ann. “Because really you want a place like this to exist. Somewhere that doesn’t cost a lot, gives lots of value, keeps people communicating, fulfils some of the functions of the old fashioned community centre, but with an independent artistic twist.” 

In recent months the venue has primarily been home to yoga and meditation classes and theatrical workshops, but the open evenings promise a whole lot more including an arts market and freelancer fair, clown cabaret, exhibitions, live drawing, rehearsed readings, film nights and free dance classes.

There will also be live music organised by Barberos‘ Joel Murray, previously events booker at Mello Mello, plus a pop up bar and cafe among the new venue’s draws.

MellowtoneMovemaRachel DeanDaniel Baird CapoeiraParabenRed Tent Circle, Howard Be Thy Name and Lee Shannon are among a swathe of the creatives set to lend their involvement to the project, which is part of a longer transformation of the site into a planned ‘artistic incubator’.

The launch party on November 29 features USA Nails (see below) while listings are popping up here, with a full programme to follow.