New workshop programme launched

A NEW programme of online creative workshops has been launched to keep you busy during lockdown.

The programme, from award-winning arts and culture project The Cultural Spring, features songwriting, podcasting, crafts and face-painting. The workshops are free thanks to funding from Sunderland Council’s East Area Committee and Arts Council England.

There are four workshops taking place throughout this month and next:

●      Awesome Artists (2D & 3D) – starts Saturday, January 23, 10:30am till 12noon, and led by artist Pui Lee. A mindful art session where you will have the freedom and support to get creative in a series of fun activities.  Materials are required but free material packs covering the items needed are available if you email;

●      We Make Culture – adult songwriting sessions are Tuesday, January 26, and Tuesday, February 9, (you will need to attend both) from 7pm till 9pm, led by singer-songwriters Natasha Haws and Marty Longstaff (The Lake Poets);

●      Animal Face / Pet Portraits – Tuesday, February 16, at 10 until 11:30am with Sue Loughlin. An opportunity to learn fun skills in collage and mixed media. Again,  materials are required but free material packs covering the items needed are available if you email;

●      Curiosity Creative – Wednesday, February 24, and Wednesday, March 3 (you will need to attend both sessions) at 10am with Alex Henry and Dominic Smith. The sessions will introduce you to the world of podcasting and editing.

“Due to Covid restrictions, we are unable to deliver our usual programmes of workshops and artist-led activity sessions. However, we think that it is important that we continue to offer a range of exciting and ambitious opportunities so those in our communities can try something new, meet new people and experience the arts,” explained Emma Horsman, Project Director for The Cultural Spring.

She added: “We’d like to thank Sunderland Council’s East Area Committee, and Arts Council England for their support for our new online programme – and the artists who are hosting our sessions.

“We don’t include a set charge to ensure that cost is not a factor which deters people from taking part. Ideally we’d like everyone to attend and enjoy every session that they’ve signed up for.”

Fore more information, or to book one of the sessions, go to

* The Cultural Spring is hosting its next Community Conversation on Monday, January 25 (4pm-5pm). These Conversations are to introduce residents to events, activities, venues or organisations in their local communities. Two speakers are confirmed:

·      Tania Robinson, from The Word, will be talking about what’s coming up at the South Shields venue.

·      Jennie Lambert, from Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens will talk about Connect and Create, and Creative Age sessions for carers and adults living with dementia. Jennie will also talk about the museum’s online activities and takeaway packs that link into the museum’s Paint the Town in Sound exhibition.

You can sign up here for the Conversation … Places are limited.

The Cultural Spring aims to increase arts participation in areas that don’t have a tradition of arts engagement. It is funded by Arts Council England’s Creative People and Places project and its four partners, the University of Sunderland, the Customs House (South Shields), Sunderlands Music, Arts and Culture (MAC) Trust and Sangini, a womens health organisation.