Try something new with The Cultural Spring

FANCY learning a new skill or taking up a new hobby? An award-winning arts project might have the perfect opportunity to do so.

The Cultural Spring is an Arts Council funded project aimed at increasing the number of people taking part in arts activity in Sunderland and South Tyneside. It has just launched its latest programme of online arts and crafts workshops.

The programme includes writing bootcamps; salt dough make and model workshops; card making workshops; sessions on folk music from around the world; workshops to make an Antoni Gaudi-inspired insect hotel; ‘plabric’ making workshops; the opportunity to learn and be inspired by ‘awesome artists,; an introduction to podcasting ; stone painting workshops and a summer collage workshop.

All of the activities are online – some of them are spread over weekly sessions while others are one-off workshops.

The workshops and sessions are free to attend, but are delivered on a ‘Pay what you can model,’ so donations will be gratefully received.

Michael Barrass, for The Cultural Spring, said: “Obviously we’d prefer our local artists to be working with people face-to-face, but we have a wide range of activities for people to enjoy online – and hopefully we have something for everyone.

“There are some great opportunities to learn something new or take up a new hobby, being led by some great artists, singers and podcasters. There’s probably never been a better time to do something different!

“You don’t have to be an expert to attend the sessions, all you need is an interest in discovering, challenging yourself and having fun.”

The first few workshops are:

·      Writing Bootcamp (starts Saturday, April 3 and every Saturday in April) YouTube sessions with James Whitman, who will take you from raw ideas to a stack of writing

·      Card Making Workshops (April 14 and 21, 11am-12pm) with Infinite Arts which will allow you to create beautiful cards to send to friends and family.

·      Folking Around The World Part 2 with Sinead Livingston (starts 2pm – 3.30pm, Thursday, April 15 for eight weeks) Explore the world and folk traditions through the medium of song during weekly sessions.

·      Summer Writers with Amanda Quinn (starts Monday, April 19, 1pm-3pm) Get writing this summer with a course of ten creative writing workshops and activities. Writer and tutor Amanda Quinn will encourage and support you to write with weekly online workshops. No previous writing experience required.

For more information, or to book your sessions, go to http://theculturalspring.org.uk/workshops/

Places are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis and priority will be given to those living in Sunderland or South Tyneside.

The Cultural Spring was launched in 2013 and is funded by Arts Council England’s Creative People and Places project. It aims to increase participation in arts activity in Sunderland and South Tyneside, and is four partners are the University of Sunderland, the Customs House (South Shields), Sunderland Music, Arts and Culture (MAC) Trust and Sangini, a women’s health organisation working in Sunderland and South Tyneside.