REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL: CROWDFUNDERS, CHARITY INFO, COMMUNITY RESOURCES & OPPORTUNITIES | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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As lockdown continues and our region’s cultural venues wait to discover their fate, there’s still much that you can do to help them through this most difficult of times. A handful of Crowdfunders have been super-successful so far thanks to generous donations and some excellent rewards, so keep the goodwill going and if you can afford to donate to any of our region’s venues they’ll be thrilled with every penny.

Here are a few (by no means all) of the venues who need your help: Stockton’s Georgian Theatre is a historic venue and the cornerstone of the town’s music scene, they have some great rewards up for grabs, including some unique experiences; Alphabetti Theatre are appealing for donations for their wonderful community space; the treasure trove of history and culture Newcastle Castle have a donations page; Sage Gateshead have a resilience fund to help support them while their doors are closed, and they also offer membership opportunities; friends of First Avenue Studios in Newcastle continue to raise funds for a much-loved rehearsal space; the generous and kind-hearted folks at Sunderland’s Pop Recs Ltd. continue to support their communities, forward buy a coffee or chuck them a few quid via PayPal ([email protected]); South Shields cafe Sea-Change provide sustainable employment for those with autism and learning difficulties, their crowdfunding campaign will help them continue their excellent work; the Artist Food Bank Network is a volunteer-run collective of artists, musicians, studios and galleries who banded together to support the Trussell Trust’s local food banks, and they’re appealing for donations via their GoFundMe page; independent charity Northern Stage are appealing for help with their participation programme costs via their donation page online; established for over 20 years, Dance City supports the growing dance ecology in the region, they’re appealing for donations to help the industry continue to thrive; as a charity, South Shields’ Customs House have a variety of ways you can help them, from donating by text, purchasing a gift certificate or becoming a friend; the Grade I listed Tyne Theatre & Opera House is a treasure of a building which needs continual maintenance, you can name a seat, join their friends club or make a larger donation to the preservation trust; Orbis manage the eight floored cultural hub of Commercial Union House in Newcastle, which is home to a variety of artists, galleries and unique cultural spaces, they’re calling for donations to support them during the current closure; The Witham in Barnard Castle have an annual friends membership and a JustGiving page; the Ouseburn Farm is a haven for the community and a much-loved part of the Valley, support them by sponsoring an animal, buying a bee (not a real one!) or donating via their website; independent community theatre People’s Theatre in Heaton need help in continuing to bring theatre to the heart of their community; Newcastle music venue Billy Bootleggers are running a crowdfunder to help them through the crisis; Gosforth Civic Theatre is so much more than just a cultural venue, they support people with learning disabilities and autism, so they need your help now more than ever; the historic Theatre Royal is an irreplaceable part of Newcastle’s cultural heritage, and as an independent charity who receive no funding they’re asking for donations to help keep them going; Newcastle’s Live Theatre are also a charity who do excellent work in supporting up and coming writers, actors and theatre makers, you can become a friend of the theatre, donate or buy merchandise through their online shop; we also recommend purchasing a voucher for Tyneside Cinema to help see the independent picture house through this rough time, they’re also appealing for donations, which you can do online or by texting TYNESIDE and your chosen amount (10, 20 etc.) to 70085.


Local label Butterfly Effect are proposing a one day festival once restrictions are lifted featuring some of the bands on their roster, including Ceiling Demons, Nel Unlit, James Leonard Hewitson, OSH, John Stainthorp and more. Their crowdfunder provides some interesting rewards for those looking to support musicians, including living room gigs (once social distancing rules are relaxed, of course), signed vinyl and a special 12” release of the Corona Sessions, featuring a song from each of the bands performing.


For those who need advice on the latest grants and government funding or just support and a friendly ear, there are plenty of resources and helpful local organisations who can offer their expertise. For artists, NewBridge Project continue to be a touchstone for advice and guidance and have put together a helpful online resource for artists which covers everything from claiming benefits, emergency funds and opportunities. The good folks at Tees Music Alliance continue to be on hand to offer advice to musicians, and their resident music experts Chris and Dave are available for Zoom chats and synchronised cuppas and biscuits, drop them an email on [email protected]; Generator’s Tipping Point have put together a Covid-19 advice and resources list on their website, which covers funding opportunities and helpful online pages, they also run music advice clinics and a supportive Facebook page for musicians and industry professionals; Sage Gateshead continue their monthly sessions to support early career musicians and emerging artists via one-to-one sessions by phone or video call.

If you’re looking for somewhere to hang out and share your love of the local arty scene, be it music, theatre, art or anything in between, check out the lovely and supportive Facebook groups hosted by Tyne & Wear Cultural Freelancers, Theatre Fans NE, Sunderland Indie, and Come Together NE.





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