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Community projects commissioned by North East Fund for the Arts, backed by Arts Council’s Catalyst scheme

  • Date: 15 February 2013
  • Area: North
Young girl photographing flowers, as part of a Tees Valley Arts project, set to benefit from new funding.

Young girl taking part in a Tees Valley Arts project, who are set to benefit from new funding from the North East Fund for the Arts. Credit: Joe Dunne

The North East Fund for the Arts, a project set up by The Sponsors Club will support community arts activity and increase arts philanthropy across the region. With support from the Arts Council’s Catalyst programme, doors have already opened to donations and other income streams. 

After successfully applying to the Arts Council’s Catalyst programme, aimed at building capacity and driving philanthropic giving in the arts, a commitment of up to £195,000 in match funding from the Arts Council has been made towards the new fund. The Sponsors Club has already begun receiving donations which have been matched.

The backing from the Arts Council also helped The Sponsors Club to secure additional support from the Thriving Communities Fund. This support is unique and has been committed to fund three new community arts projects in the region. These are examples of the kind of work the North East Fund for the Arts will do in the future, as it secures more donations and match funding. These projects are:

  • Tees Valley Arts will work with Middlesbrough Sure Start on a project to engage fathers and male carers with their children using storytelling, strengthening better parenting through speech development. 
  • St Martin’s Centre Partnership will work with Helix Arts to deliver a participatory arts project for residents in Byker. It will include a range of arts activities, which participants can then choose the arts activity they prefer and wish to develop and continue with.
  • Newcastle Performance Collective, a new organisation, will run a series of ten weekly workshops for individuals who in the absence of positive support structures find themselves leading isolated lives. They will bring participants into central Newcastle to experience a range of activities in the artist-run creative space, Commercial Union House.

Adam Lopardo, Director, The Sponsors Club said: ‘The North East Fund for the Arts has been something I’ve talked about for a long time but it has only been in the last couple of years that it has been able to become a reality due to the support from the Arts Council’s Catalyst programme. From that we have been able to secure additional support and start to grow donations.

'There’s still a lot to do but we believe these projects will show potential arts donors of the value and importance of arts activities in our communities in the North East. This is by no means a replacement for any of the existing arts activity but hopes to encourage participants and donors to get more involved in the arts.’

Alison Clark-Jenkins, Regional Director, Arts Council England said: ‘The innovative approach The Sponsors Club have taken to securing investment – through our Catalyst programme and kick-starting project commissions with the Thriving Communities Fund – is a good example of how we need to approach arts funding now and in the future.

‘Exploring different partnerships and opportunities is vital to ensure that great art keeps happening in our communities. What Adam and The Sponsors Club have achieved so far is fantastic and I look forward to seeing future commissions come out of the North East Fund for the Arts.’

Links and further information

The Sponsors Club
web, Twitter, Facebook

Arts Council England - North East

For more information on our Catalyst funding scheme, click here