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North East family learns the value of art

  • Date: 19 February 2010
  • Area: North

A north east family have endured a week without art as part of the Arts Council's efforts to demonstrate that people take part in lots of art throughout their daily lives, sometimes without realising it - and just how important art is to a full life.

Fiona Usher and her daughters Julia and Amber agreed to keep a video diary as they were challenged to live without art for a week. From flute lessons to drawing and reading, the family had to go without any arts activities, which proved much harder than they anticipated. After the week finished the Usher family took back their books and pens and visited arts venues including Northern Print, Dance City and BALTIC while enjoying workshops with local artists.

Alison Clark-Jenkins, Director, Arts and Developement, Arts Council England, North East said: "Our aim is to show that people participate in the arts more often than they might think.

"The film showcases the many ways people can be creative and the real joy that can be had through the arts every day. Here in the region there has been a real cultural shift, we are world leaders in cultural regeneration and that has made a difference to the region's prosperity both financially and culturally. It's great to see how much fun the Usher family had during their art-filled week, and how closely it resembled a 'normal' week for the family."

Commenting on the project Paul Collard Chief Executive at Creativity, Culture and Education (CCE), a charity established to improve the lives of young people by helping them to access more culture and creativity said: "What binds families together - and provides them with resilience when times are hard - is the sum of positive experiences and memories they share. These can be gained from a range of contexts but the settings of so many memories are cultural and artistic - the music families enjoy together, the books they have all read, the films they have seen, their outings to museums and visits to the theatre."

In the video you can see the toll an art-less life took on the Usher family, and what they got up to during the second art-filled week.