Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

The North East Is an Arts Hub - but We're Not Done; JANE TARR, Director, North, Arts Council England Says the North East Is a Place Where Everyone Can Enjoy a Vast Array of Excellent Art and Culture

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

The North East Is an Arts Hub - but We're Not Done; JANE TARR, Director, North, Arts Council England Says the North East Is a Place Where Everyone Can Enjoy a Vast Array of Excellent Art and Culture

Article excerpt

AS someone who lives and works in Newcastle, it is with great pride that I've watched the city become one of the UK's most important hubs for arts and culture.

Arts and culture have played a huge role in regenerating and re-energising the city, and the Arts Council has been instrumental in this transformation.

As the national development agency for arts and culture, we're tasked with looking after England's cultural crown jewels, but here on Tyneside we've done far more than caretaking.

We've helped establish and continue to support nationally renowned institutions such as Live Theatre, Northern Stage, Seven Stories, Dance City and New Writing North.

While just across the river in Gateshead, we've done the same with the Sage and BALTIC.

These organisations, and many others, ensure artistic excellence radiates out of Tyneside - you don't have to go to London to see great art.

They also help to provide jobs and volunteering opportunities, and bring visitors from across the country.

We've just announced how we'll be investing nationally over the next few years, and this funding is part of our promise to put more into projects and people outside of London. Our investment in Newcastle will increase, with three new additions to our regularly-funded national portfolio organisations.

Our investment in Amber Film & Photography Collective, who worked with photographers Jimmy Forsyth and Sirkka Liisa Konttinen to document Scotswood and Byker, will enable them to work with the next generation of artists - great news for them as they celebrate their 50th birthday next year!

And support for the exciting The NewBridge Project will empower this artist-led community in the city centre to further improve its work in helping, developing and promoting local artistic talent - people who want to live and work in the city and need studio space, a gallery and national networks to develop their own work and make a living here.

And our third 'newcomer' is Unfolding Theatre, an ambitious and talented company who won the Performance of the Year category at this year's prestigious Journal Culture Awards for its brilliant Putting the Band Back Together show. …

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