This Place We Call Home – Artistic Commission 2019/20


CLICK HERE to download the full Artistic Commission brief.

CLICK HERE to download a map of East Durham.


This Place We Call Home’ is a three-cycle commissioning process 2018-2020 that will further establish East Durham’s reputation as a place that creates relevant, exciting and inspiring art.

Our approach will put collaborative working at its heart – bringing field-leading artists in to work with groups of people facing deprivation, isolation and unemployment. The artists we work with will share our passion for experimenting, fully understand what high-quality looks and feels like, take risks, be ambitious and open to having an enabling role: building our creative capacity with the aim of increasing long-term engagement.

Quality of participation and engagement processes, artistic product and audience experience is paramount to success and the building of creative, more deeply embedded legacies.

East Durham Creates is seeking to commission a major arts project for communities and audiences in East Durham.

Our first, exciting commission, ‘Everything There Ever Was’ culminated in a beautiful event for families in and around Crimdon Dene in August 2018. Our second commission, ‘If These Walls Could Talk’ will bring the work of artists Sally Southern and Nicola Lynch and a huge range of people aged over 55 years to somewhere secret in Horden in May 2019.

This third cycle of commissioning will target Young People.


The Commission

East Durham Creates is one of twenty-one Creative People and Places projects across England and is managed by East Durham Trust, a pioneering poverty charity located in Peterlee. and

This third cycle of commissioning will target YOUNG PEOPLE AGED 13-25 and their friends and families – audiences and participants (2019-2020).

The commission will develop work that will be grown across East Durham with a series of or single culminatory event/s around April 2020.

Through this commission, we seek to develop:

  • High quality, ambitious art projects with very strong artistic integrity
  • Projects with a strong connection to our communities: responding to stories, diverse and often challenging social contexts, places, people, hopes and ambitions
  • An opportunity for local people to help create, take part in and ultimately see work that they have not previously had the opportunity to see in a stunning natural and built environment that has a powerful history
  • Innovative approaches to building relationships and engaging with communities – especially communities with low levels of cultural engagement. This should result in an increase in the amount of people participating in and making arts and culture in East Durham
  • New opportunities for community members to get involved, participate and learn through doing quality artistic work that creates a high level of local excitement and pride, as well as attracting attention from beyond the area


Panels of local people – including young people – have helped shape our thinking around this third commission. They have informed us they would like the overarching art-form to be MUSIC.


This could take the form of a one-off festival, co-produced and co-created with young people. It could be series of smaller events in diverse locations, from outdoor spaces to interiors to site specific or newly found spaces. It could happen over one weekend. It could happen over a month. It could build a raft of associated workshop and participation activities – young people tell us that being able to access great workshop processes is critical to this commission.


Ideas young people have given include: spoken word and rap; traditional song writing; making music through electronic devices; making music out of every-day objects; dance & theatre workshops/performances that grow from the music being produced; visual art workshops that are musically inspired – murals, vinyl art, spray, guerilla art.

The work should be developed between August 2019 and April 2020 (Easter).


There is a maximum budget of £50,000 available to the successful proposal. This figure is inclusive of VAT. This will need to cover all artistic and technical costs, engagement and participation costs, travel expenses, transportation of materials, PLI and DBS and any copyright permission required.


For a full commission brief, please click here for the full Artistic Commission brief. For enquires please call 0191 569 3522 or email Ben Ayrton, Artistic Associate at


East Durham Creates is grateful for the support of Arts Council England.
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