£1 million of funding has been awarded by Arts Council England to enable a project of cultural activity in East Durham to continue.
East Durham Creates, which aims to increase opportunities for residents of East Durham to get creative and involved in arts and culture, was first established in 2014 and has already engaged more than 22,000 people in a range of events and activities.
Nikki Locke, Head of East Durham Creates, said: “It’s fantastic news for East Durham that Arts Council England is providing the investment for this project to continue. Since 2014 we’ve tested lots of different things and our journey so far has been exciting, insightful, humbling and rewarding. We’d like to especially thank local residents who have made this project their own and are undoubtedly the reason why we have further support. We can’t wait to see what East Durham will create in the next three years – watch this space!”
Since 2014, East Durham Creates has commissioned six world-class musicians, artists and performers to create works with and for the people of East Durham, produced by Forma Arts. Recent events have included a performance by New York-based musicians Sō Percussion who composed a new work inspired by the people and landscapes of Seaham, and VoiceOver, a project which took place in Horden, linking residents’ homes through an interactive chain of light and sound.
The family focused Pirates of Crimdon Dene event saw around 2,500 people explore the coastal area of Crimdon Dene, with a pirate-themed arts trail, activities and performances.
Local community centres have also been supported to programme theatre performances and other cultural events, increasing their offer as a venue. Steve Clark, Manager of Horden Youth and Community Centre said: ‘East Durham Creates has not only brought the community together and helped in fostering creativity, most important of all it has promoted people’s wellbeing and mental health.”
Partners East Durham Trust have led the successful Let’s Create programme, awarding 22 commissions to local community groups, venues and arts organisations, allowing them to develop and programme creative events across East Durham.
Malcolm Fallow, Chief Executive of East Durham Trust welcomed the announcement, saying: “During the last three years we have witnessed how art and culture can make a valuable contribution to transforming the lives of local people – we look forward to taking the vision of a sustained arts provision to the next level.”
While the next phase of activity officially starts in March 2017, East Durham Creates still has events happening in the meantime, including the next major event – Stories of Easington, a free event on 24 November, celebrating the people of Easington past and present.
East Durham Creates will also be offering opportunities for people to get involved with the planning for the next three years.
Jane Tarr, Director, North at Arts Council England said: “Our Creative People and Places programme is a very important part of the work we do to make arts and culture accessible to everyone in the country regardless of where they live. Our funding helps to bring more opportunities to areas like East Durham and gives people power to change and improve the kind of activities they can access. So I’m delighted that East Durham Creates have been awarded a further £1 million to develop new works building on the success of events like From Out A Darker Sea with So Percussion in Seaham. If you haven’t been involved now’s a great time to start.”
Notes to editors:
Media contact: Emma Pybus / firstname.lastname@example.org / 07799 568 361
East Durham Creates is an Arts Council England-supported project, working across the East Durham area and aiming to get more people involved in arts and creative activity. We are working with residents to deliver an ambitious arts programme – every element of which will be community-led in some way, and totally distinctive to the area – inspired by East Durham the place and by the people who live there.
East Durham Creates will offer new experiences to inspire and delight. It will build on and support the vibrant existing arts activity in the area, and develop skills through the arts, helping to bring about long-term, lasting change.
The East Durham Creates team are collaborating with groups and residents to explore what the arts and creativity can offer local communities, testing out lots of different approaches to see what works (and what doesn’t) – and doing all we can to help sustain activity beyond our Arts Council England grant.
East Durham Creates is one of 21 Creative People and Places projects nationally, funded by Arts Council England. It is managed by Beamish, Forma Arts, and East Durham Trust working in partnership and supported by Durham County Council via East Durham Area Action Partnership and Culture and Sport Services. www.eastdurhamcreates.co.uk
East Durham Creates is part of the Creative People and Places programme, initiated and funded by Arts Council England. Creative People and Places is about more people taking the lead in choosing, creating and taking part in art experiences in the places where they live. There are 21 independent projects, each located in an area where people have traditionally had fewer opportunities to get involved with the arts. Creative People and Places projects have reached over 1.2 million people, 90% of whom do not regularly engage in the arts. www.creativepeopleplaces.org.uk
Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2015 and 2018, we plan to invest £1.1 billion of public money from government and an estimated £700 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country. www.artscouncil.org.uk