Time is running out to enter the North East Culture Awards 2022
Two new categories have been added to the Culture Award list this year and these are arguably the most important. In fact, I can’t imagine why anyone would claim otherwise.
They are ‘Best Arts & Education Partnership’ and ‘Best International Collaboration’.
Time is running out to make your nominations – the deadline is 5 p.m. on July 25 – let’s focus on them.
To assess the first of these categories, the jury will look for “an exceptional partnership that has demonstrated how working together can unite and improve the cultural education of children and young people in our region”.
When it comes to arts and education, you get mixed messages.
By all accounts, the UK has a thriving creative industries sector. However, artistic subjects in some circles are still considered less valuable than others, such as medicine or law, for example.
It’s strange because lately we’ve heard a lot about stressed nurses and young doctors and seen lawyers going on strike.
The idea of “good work,” a holdover from the full employment of the 1960s, when a steady paycheck was valued above uncertainty and work was not meant to be fun, clings ominously.
Even if an arts subject doesn’t lead to a directly related job, it can lead to a rewarding hobby. You don’t come across many people who fill their leisure hours with recreational surgery or litigation.
In 2019, the first report of the Durham Commission on Creativity and Education, a national survey conducted by Durham University and Arts Council England, endorsed the integration of creativity teaching into our education system.
The result, he said, would be “young people who have the ability to express their creativity and have the personal creative confidence that will support them in all aspects of their lives – not just employment and economic success. , but also in their relationships with others in their community and in their own identity, health and well-being”.
Every major arts or heritage organization has an educational team, and most schools and colleges have staff willing to collaborate.
But even most small organizations are generally keen to engage with young people. On a purely pragmatic level, it helps them grow their audience.
Over the past few months, I have seen or heard many examples of young people thriving in a creative environment.
There were the primary school children from a cash-strapped urban area making their public debut as orchestral musicians in the In Harmony program at the Discovery Museum in Newcastle.
Then there were the young people who took part in BALTIC’s murals collaboration with schools in the North East, one of whom surprised his teachers by speaking suddenly when he never spoke.
The offer of County DurhamSponsor once again of this year’s Culture Awards, which will be the UK’s City of Culture, was full of equally heartwarming examples of children being empowered to be creative.
You’ll find a few on the websites of TIN Arts, Northern Heartlands or The Forge – and there are similar organizations throughout the region.
Personally, I’ve lost count of the actors, writers, and artists I’ve interviewed who attribute their success to a supportive teacher or an imaginative arts education project.
So what partnership between the arts and education, over the past 12 months, deserves applause in Durham Cathedral and recognition in print and online?
There must be many deserving candidates. So it’s up to you, parents, teachers, project leaders or even students. Not all education projects are aimed at the very young.
What about the other category, “Best international collaboration”?
This prize will be awarded to “an artist, group or company in any art form or heritage medium that has developed a major international project”, whether it be “a collaboration, an international tour in the North East, or from the region to an international destination”. ”.
This, of course, between the end of July last year and the closing date.
This category was introduced for the 2020 Culture Awards and the fact that they never took place due to the Covid-19 pandemic only underlines its importance.
If the pandemic has made us more insular, some would say Brexit has done the same. Neither made the trip any easier.
But regardless of the challenges posed by politics or viruses, it is certainly important that we all keep talking and sharing our enthusiasms.
It’s one of my favorite theories that if fans around the world got as much television airtime as politicians, the world would be a better place.
That said, potters, bakers, and ballroom dancers led the way in this regard. And if we talk about audience figures, just look at Eurovision!
Can music, this universal language, be anything other than international?
I ran into a musician friend from Newcastle a few weeks ago who told me how good it was to play again. In fact, his first post-lockdown performance had been days before.
I asked where it was, expecting a local place. “Moscow,” he replied. “We’ve been going there for years.”
The concert was the weekend before the invasion of Ukraine. His Russian friends and fans never mentioned it, he said, because they had no idea. They were not in the plans of their president.
The BBC Proms concert in Sage Gateshead this weekend focuses on folk music with a program that includes Dvořák’s ‘New World’ symphony.
It embraces the Czech composer’s love for his homeland and his fascination with native music from America where he had recently arrived.
It will be performed in Gateshead by the Royal Northern Sinfonia and many, remembering how Ridley Scott used part of it for his 1970s Hovis TV advert, will appreciate its purported English quintessence.
The concert, featuring the new Voices of the River’s Edge Choir, will once again demonstrate how music travels where people travel.
The same can be said of all branches of the arts and, indeed, of any aspect of life that brings pleasure, comfort or understanding.
In recent months, throughout the region, I have met and learned from artists from Portugal, Cyprus, Spain, Colombia, Lebanon, Finland and the United States. Artists from the Northeast travel just as widely.
International connections have helped make the North East what it is, and life without them, I think, would be less vibrant or interesting.
So think about caps and appointments, please.
You can apply online at www.necultureawards.com where you will also learn more about this year’s Culture Awards which will culminate on September 8 with an evening of entertainment and celebration at Durham Cathedral.