Summer Culture Workshops unveiled

AN award-winning arts project has launched an exciting line-up of workshops to keep you busy over the coming summer months.

The Cultural Spring, a three-year Arts Council-funded project aiming to encourage and increase participation in the arts in ten wards on South Tyneside and Wearside, has a wide variety of artistic workshops for people to enjoy across a range of venues.

You can get involved in calligraphy, animation, card making, ceramics, jewellery making, sewing, creative writing, creating, singing or learn to play a guitar or ukulele. Some of the sessions are free, others have a small charge to cover the cost of materials.

Emma Horsman, Project Director of The Cultural Spring, said: “Our summer term of workshops is our first in our new wards and the culmination of what we learned during our first three years. Thousands of people have attended our workshops to date and we’re sure that the workshops we’ve organised for summer 2017 will attract hundreds more.

“We listen to Wearsiders and South Tynesiders when thinking about what courses to put on, and this summer’s range of courses reflects activities and interests that we’ve been told about. They’re aimed at introducing people to a new art form, or to deepen an interest or skill, or for people to have the opportunity to try something completely different.”

The first few workshops of the autumn programme include:

  • Calligraphy at Marsden Road Health and Wellbeing Centre, South Shields, starting Tuesday, June 4, 1pm-3pm (£2 per workshop)
  • Upcycling furniture and garden ornaments, at the Parker Trust, 25 Kayll Road, Sunderland, from Tuesday, May 30 to Tuesday, July 4, 10am-12pm (£2 per workshop)
  • Creative Writing at Back on the Map, Toward Road, Sunderland, Tuesday, June 6 – Tuesday, July 18, 1pm – 30pm (£2 per workshop)
  • Animation at Bilton Hall Community Trust, Taunton Avenue, Jarrow, Tuesday, May 30 – Tuesday, June 13 4pm – 6pm (£2 per workshop)
  • Beginners’ ceramics at Monkton Park Methodist Church, Wood Terrace, Jarrow, Wednesday, June 7 – Wednesday, July 5, 6.30pm – 8.30pm (£5 per workshop)

Over the coming months, The Cultural Spring will also be looking out for participants who’d like to take part in a large-scale commission to help launch Sunderland’s new participatory arts space, The Fire Station, currently being developed by the Sunderland Music, Arts and Culture (MAC) Trust. The project is on the look-out for people of all ages to take part in an opening event in early November – the event is still in the planning stages but will have elements of dance and theatre.

For further information or to see the full summer workshop programme, log on to

Further workshops are occasionally added so keep an eye on the website for additions, or sign up to the newsletter on the website, or follow the Cultural Spring on Twitter @Cultural_Spring for the latest news.

To book a course, call Michael Barrass on 0191 427 8197, or email

At the beginning of 2017, The Cultural Spring announced its focus on ten new wards in Sunderland and South Tyneside:  Hendon, Millfield, Pallion, Sandhill and St Anne’s in Sunderland, and Horsley Hill, Beacon and Bents, Simonside and Rekendyke, Monkton and Bede in South Tyneside.