NEWS: Arts Emergency @ BALTIC, Gateshead | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Traditionally seen as a centre for industry and shipbuilding, the North East isn’t best known for its strong artistic heritage. Nevertheless, regeneration and funding in recent decades saw this tide change and, as we’re all familiar with, the iconic BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art was opened in 2002. However, since the 2008 recession, the arts have seen huge funding cuts, coupled with a dearth of talent, as upcoming University students are advised to complete degrees that will earn them an easy pathway into a graduate job. Art has equaled frivolity; art does not equal a career; art has been dismissed as something we don’t need.

Step forward Arts Emergency, a London-based charity who (in their words) is “dedicated to helping disadvantaged people gain access to arts education through a mentorship program”. Brought to the region by Breeze Creative, their mission is to breathe life back into the arts scene throughout the UK by encouraging those who have already had success in dance, performance, theatre, creative writing etc. to mentor young people who might not otherwise have access to that kind of insight. As comedian Stewart Lee, one of the patrons of the charity, said, “Arts Emergency are highlighting the reversal of decades of social access to the arts, and by association the possible disappearance of whole strands of discourse and the loss of educational enfranchisement to future generations.”

Their event at the BALTIC on Friday 1st May already boasts a diverse line up, with local creatives showcasing their talents for all to see. Expect to see local alt-pop lads Shields, animators from Novak studio, creative collaborators Zendeh, entertainment promoters The Candy Vortex, performance artist Constance Humphries and Latino festival producers Vamos! With a bill of strong performers, let’s celebrate what the North East has to offer and hopefully inspire the next generation of artists to follow their dreams.

Arts Emergency comes to Gateshead’s BALTIC on Friday 1st May.

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