£13,000 of Your Art support for local groups

MORE than £13,000 has been awarded to community groups by an award-winning arts project.

The Cultural Spring, an Arts Council England funded project working to increase engagement in the arts in Sunderland and South Tyneside, has been supporting local communities to shape, lead and programme arts events in their areas through its Your Art scheme for more than three years.

In the latest round of support, 17 groups have benefitted from grants including Hadrian Primary School, Friends of West Park and New Hope Church in South Tyneside, and Dame Dorothy Primary School, Friends of Donnison School, Holmeside Writers and Sunderland North Family Zone in Sunderland.

Grants ranged from £400 to £1,000, the maximum allowed under the scheme.

One beneficiary is The Click, Click Club run by Sunderland Deaf Society. The Cultural Spring awarded the society £1,000 to pay for photography workshops and training for deaf people, delivered in British Sign Language. Another Wearside beneficiary is the Living History North East Project, which has been awarded £1,000 for an arts and music initiative called Silent Voices to commemorate the Victoria Hall Disaster which claimed the lives of 183 children in 1883.

In South Tyneside, Autism Able CIC has been awarded £400 to help set up a specialist drama club that will support young people with autism to develop their acting, lighting, sound and writing skills. Another South Tyneside beneficiary is Compass Acapella, a men’s chorus group based in Cleadon which plans to produce 20,000 beer mats and distribute them through 120 outlets in South Tyneside and Sunderland to spread awareness of the group.

The next round of applications is now open and support is available to:

  • develop a new group;
  • enable a group to work with an artist;
  • help a group attract new members;
  • organise tickets and/or transport to see a performance or exhibition;

or to purchase equipment/supplies for arts activity

To be eligible for a grant, organisations must be based in Sunderland or South Tyneside, made up of at least four people and the new idea must be arts focused. The group or organisation will also need a bank account.

The deadline for this latest round of support is June 30.

Emma Horsman, Project Director for the Cultural Spring, explained: “We want the Cultural Spring to have a lasting legacy on Wearside and South Tyneside and believe Your Art will help to sustain participation in arts activity, as well as providing the opportunity for people to try something new.

“There are two stages of support. The first stage can be funding of up to £400, which can be made available to get new projects off the ground. Stage two is for more developed projects and up to £1,000 could be available.

“Applications must include a brief proposal including a timetable, and a budget.”

Proposals will be assessed on the following criteria:

  • How the activity relates to the ambitions of the Cultural Spring programme, especially providing new opportunities to engage in the arts;
  • How the project supports community involvement in the planned activity;
  • The group’s ability to manage and deliver the proposed activity;
  • A realistic and well-costed budget;
  • Sustainability of the proposed activity.

Applications will be assessed by a panel of five residents from Sundeland and South Tyneside who have participated in the Cultural Spring programme. Proposals should be sent to YourArt@theculturalspring.org.uk or to Michael Barrass – Michael.Barrass@theculturalspring.org.uk – at the Customs House, Mill Dam, South Shields, NE33 1ES.

Find out more about the Cultural Spring project, or the Your Art Fund, at www.theculturalspring.org.uk