News: Dingy Butterflies – 10×10 Creative Gateshead | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Gateshead based community organisation Dingy Butterflies in collaboration with The Best of Bensham Collaborative have launched a creative community project, 10 x 10 Creative Gateshead. Across August, hundreds of activity booklets will be distributed across the Gateshead community. There are two booklets, one for adults and one for young people and families; each with 10 creative activities created for the people of Gateshead by Gateshead artists, in collaboration with 10 Gateshead community and creative organisations.

The 10 Gateshead community and creative organisations involved are part of the Best of Bensham Collaborative and include the likes of The Comfrey Project, Bensham Grove Community Centre & ReCoCo. The Gateshead artists chosen were selected from a call out, which attracted 50+ strong artist submissions, all with links to Gateshead. The activities include a wide range of art forms from mindful writing, to puppet making, to origami, to Gateshead celebrating creative prompts and can be used indoors or outdoors, alone or as a group.

The Best of Bensham Collaborative rallied together in response to COVID-19 community needs and have been hard at work providing emergency community support and food parcels during lock down. It is through this network that the 10 x 10 Creative Gateshead booklets will be distributed into the community. These physical packs are targeted at people who have limited or no access to the internet; Gateshead has a high proportion of residents without internet access and low levels of digital literacy. 

Ben Jones Artistic Director – Dingy Butterflies CIC explains how 10 x 10 Creative Gateshead came to be and why: “10×10 Creative Gateshead developed through conversations with other creative people and community workers concerning the need for activities for socially isolated people. We wanted to create activities for people who have little or no access to digital technology in Gateshead and support their health and wellbeing through creativity in this difficult time. 

At the same time, we want to support local artists, many of whom would have lost freelance work, and showcase how much fantastic creative people we have living and working in Gateshead. 

Finally, as a member of the Best of Bensham Collaborative, Dingy Butterflies wanted to promote the valuable and important work that community organisations do in Bensham & Saltwell, and the hard work they have been doing supporting local people at this time. We hope that people will find the activities in the booklets creative, fun to do and be something they can go back to and revisit over time.”

You don’t have to be from Gateshead to enjoy the activities in the booklet. If you’re looking for something to do, you can download both versions here.

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