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Creative Fuse NE Events and Opportunities

Creative Fuse North East (CFNE) provides opportunities for registered freelancers/sole traders, micro businesses and SMEs from the cultural sector across the region to benefit from a wide range of innovation support delivered by the region’s five universities and in partnership with the Creative, Digital and IT sector.

This update includes the Creative Fuse Conference and call for contributions, CAKE 21 Games in the North at Teesside University, the NE Culture is Digital event at mima, a new opportunity for small businesses to work with larger organisations through Creative Connections (NELEP area), plus the ongoing range of innovation and support across the region.

Please click the below link to view the opportunities on offer

Creative Fuse NE cultural sector opportunities and update (26th April 2018)

Noisy Daughters – a great success

I attended an afternoon discussion event and the evening Noisy Daughters concert on Saturday 3 March 2018 and found both engaging, enjoyable and interesting. It’s great to see activity like this, programmed by tracksdarlington.co.uk/ happening here.

The discussion was free flowing  and  offered a range of insights, analysis and perspectives from an expert panel brought together by Tracks, with lots of contributions from the audience.  It addressed some challenging questions with intelligence, generosity and positivity.  Having watched TV discussion around a variety of topics in the surrounding days (not having got out much due to snow), it was nice to hear a discussion focussed on exploring where women are in music now and what might be done to address concerns.  People discussed openly and energetically and shared what came to mind without necessarily having to subscribe to either a party or corporate line, it was focused on the music and the surrounding infrastructure.  It was interesting to hear what behaviours or concerns may impact on levels of engagement, and discussion covered many areas from role models, to access to music, programming, recording, gigging and interviews.


Doors opened for the ticketed evening concert at 7.30pm.  I found the evening event enjoyable, interesting and great value (I’d bought a ticket in advance on Friday at the Pennyweight) with four great distinctive acts performing and live music working well in The Hullabaloo setting.

First up I found the song writing of  Zarahruth  distinctive, powerful with fantastic vocals and musicianship. Her short set was largely her own songs and made me think I’ve not heard songs of this type or ideas and feelings expressed in this fashion before.  I felt hooked from the first song, with the openness, poetry and clarity of language and expression, plus the vocals sounded brilliant to me.  I have to confess to enjoying the work of particular singer songwriters who sometimes use language to explore both challenging and happy areas of human experience and our culture, and this performance helped me marvel at what a voice, musicianship and a person can bring to the stage.

Next up was ‘much hyped hip-hop act’ Leddie MC, whose performance really struck me again, in terms of the distinct tones and flavours of delivery across her set, the clarity, conviction, energy and artistry of her delivery, and the real sense of ‘I want to share this with you and I believe it needs saying’.  Sadly (this may reflect my age) my knowledge of current local hip-hop isn’t particularly broad, however the lyrical concerns within particular pieces and her performance struck me straight away as fresh and original and not copying anything I’d seen or heard elsewhere and something which made me think.  I particularly liked one piece which seemed to explore the motivations around, and effects of, those ‘what are you up?’ to type questions on performers.

Third on the bill was Eve Conway, whose set combined songs performed on guitar with songs performed with vocals and effects pedals.  Their power, impact and drama brought a real sense of energy and Eve’s music appeared to make a real impact on those attending. Her performance made me further appreciate the fantastic clarity and insight which song writing, words, music and live performance can bring to events and situations which do not always feel  clear, and again the impact which words and music can bring in helping us to navigate situations which don’t always seem simple or black and white.   Eve’s music and performance was full of colour, I found it uplifting.

The evening closed with electro-pop pioneers Twist-Helix, two musicians, combining vocals, keyboards and drums, with  a real sense of energy and fun.  Their music felt very current and distinct, and they brought people to their feet.  It was great to see the energy within the two piece band performance and I enjoyed the interplay of vocals, keyboard and drums. One song, which appeared to be informed by pressures on the availability of space in which to develop and share live music put me in mind of the positive power and impact music can have in encouraging change.   People were up on their feet dancing throughout the final act of the evening and Noisy Daughters gig overall, had l in my view, real energy, drive and buy in.


Noisy Daughters as a whole made me think that while some situations may not be reconciled or redeemed by a single song, music can help bring people together, to keep people engaged, motivated and challenging the concerns they have.  I’m looking forward to seeing and hearing what Tracks bring here next.

Photographer Credit : www.rob.irish

Are you a dancer with a learning disability, autism or both?

Are you a dancer with a learning disability, autism or both?

Launch your career as a dance performer, dance maker and dance leader. Join the Talent Hub.

Offering ten talented dancers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

TIN Arts are working in partnership with Yorkshire Dance, the Leeds-based dance development organisation, and are supported by Inclusion North, an organisation dedicated to making inclusion real for all people with a learning disability and their families.

The Talent Hub is looking for people who:

  • Have a learning disability, autism or both – with or without other disabilities.
  • Are aged 18 or over on 1 July 2018.
  • Live in the North East of England or Yorkshire, although those living outside this area may be considered as part of the recruitment process under special circumstances.
  • Are passionate about dance and interested in developing a career in dance.

They may wish to be a dance performer or be keen to develop their own dance performance work. They may have done some dance training but need access to further training and focused support to enable progression.

Over the next two months, the Talent Hub will be accepting applications from dancers who’d like to “Join George”.

“George” is George Williams, from Thornaby in Stockton-on-Tees, who has worked with TIN Arts for several years. George was the first dancer with a severe learning disability to perform with the National Youth Dance Company and he has been appointed as the first member of the Talent Hub.


With funding from Arts Council England’s Ambition for Excellence Fund and from The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, the Talent Hub aims to provide a step change for the sector, enabling dancers with a learning disability, autism or both to progress professionally into dance companies or emerge as independent dance makers.

Dancers who would like to be considered for the Talent Hub are invited to submit a video of themselves dancing at yorkshiredance.com/talent-hub/ and to fill out an application form. Applications close on Friday 27 April.

Successful applicants will be invited to take part in one of two dance workshops in May, after which a final selection day will take place in June to pick the final ten members of the Talent Hub.

Over the two years, they will work together with leading choreographers to create new dance work which will be toured nationwide in 2020.

They will also receive individualised ‘wrap-around’ support where they live, alongside intensive periods of training together as a company.

More information is available at yorkshiredance.com/talent-hub/

Regular updates will also be posted on the Talent Hub facebook pagehttps://www.facebook.com/TalentHubDance/ and twitter feed @TalentHubDance

If you have any questions or need further information about the Talent Hub, please contact Jo Turner, Project Coordinator by emailing talenthub@tinarts.co.uk or calling 0191 384 0728.

Creative Fuse NE cultural sector opportunities and update

This edition of the Creative Fuse NE Sector Update includes the following…

  • CAKE events on the science of performing arts and innovative women
  • Tees Valley’s newly announced programme of events and support
  • New dates for Get Ready to Innovate and registration for Digital Literature from Northumbria University
  • Dates for Durham’s Bespoke programme of workshops for small companies, traders, artists and craftspeople – teaching your art, play based inspiration, improving social media and funding finder
  • Sunderland’s Digital Business Innovation support and Hothouse projects
  • Newcastle’s Creative Connections work, B2B Connect and Innovate
  • A wide range of funded placement programmes for undergraduates, graduates and postgraduates

Click the link below to read the update…

Creative Fuse NE cultural sector opportunities and update (16th Feb 2018)

Falling on Your Feet

Helix Arts Falling on Your Feet is our dance and health programme with people aged 65+ who are living independently. We are currently working with talented dance artists in communities across the North East. Regular workshops lead to high quality co-choreographed pieces which can wow local audiences. Participants have fun, get fitter and make new friends!

Helix Arts Falling on your Feet has been awarded 3 years’ investment from Dunhill Medical Trust and The Henry Smith Charity.

In Darlington, Falling on your Feet will run every Wednesday and Friday 10.00-11.30am, from Wednesday 21st February and Friday 23rd February 2018, for ten weeks. (Some dates will be missed due to Easter Holidays)

We are delighted to be working in partnership with the Landscape Partnership, River Tees Rediscovered. The sessions will lead towards a relaxed sharing of a co-choreographed performance work based around the theme of the River Tees and the heritage of the area.

If you would like to join any of the sessions you can call us on 0191 241 4931, or email foyf@helixarts.com

Photographer Credit Dan Alecks/Locus Productions

Prince’s Trust Enterprise Course for artists in Tees Valley

Anywhere and more

Congratulations to Darlington Hippodrome, ODDMANOUT and all the people who contributed to 30 great performances of Anywhere (5 matinees and 5 evening performances per day no less) at Darlington Hippodrome from Friday 2 February to Sunday 4 February 2018.   Each promenade performance took around 50 minutes to journey around Darlington Hippodrome, but thanks to some fantastic staging, some theatrical magic, amazing energy, and meticulous timekeeping new shows set off every half hour.  With my comfortable shoes, I was part of a happy party of explorers on the second show of Saturday evening.  This came to a close just as another was setting off.  It was great to see smiling people heading off to discover Darlington Hippodrome as a place that can take you anywhere, when I knew my experience had lived up to the billing.


I didn’t count the number of performers, but it appeared tens of talented people from Darlington helped fashion these fantastic shows working with Darlington Hippodrome and ODDMANOUT.  The show began near the ground floor entrance and proceeded to journey around the theatre.  Fish and actors used to be brought to Darlington and travel on the same train and the show began with both heritage and a splash of singing, with people encouraged to join in, and some comical speculation on which may have smelt worst.  A trio of stern top hatted businessmen gave a nice contrast to this Fish Train jollity and this helped to grab my attention to start with.

It was nice to be playfully engaged in Anywhere during my journey round the theatre and to have fun within a party whilst gaining some new insights into its heritage.  The participatory aspects of the show were really well judged (I managed to hide jam tarts, play a tin bucket and brush, dodge some faux snowballs and walk arm in arm with a pantomime dame during Anywhere, but  everyone was encouraged to explore). One of the highlights for me in this respect was the Mad Hatters Tea Party element, where I hope everyone will have felt involved whilst sitting down at the table.  I also liked the snow queen element of Anywhere, which felt like a real change in temperature/out of the bright lights, and helped to communicate the theatre can take you anywhere message.

Various performers took turns in leading the party into different adventures, there were fantastic changes in pace and tone, from three actors battling over the Signor Pepi role in the main theatre to a blissfully and beautifully costumed Cheshire Cat welcoming us to the next floor up.  A variety of Shakespearean,  Alice in Wonderland characters, entertainers, impresarios and virtuoso performers  from different ages, helped create a time travel/anything is possible feeling.   The wonder of language was to the fore, the Shakespearian sections travelled the ocean blown, romantic and backstage mechanics of devising theatre.

I particularly liked a Shakespearian section focused on the rigours of rehearsal set within one of Darlington Hippodrome’s beautiful changing room upstairs, with actors engaging with both their peers and their mobile phones and it was also nice to hear the catchphrases of more recent celebrities given voice and applied to Anywhere.  I was pleased to see participants in Dickens in Darlington working together again on work of this quality and to see different generations working to bring something so original to life.  There was little on the night  I could have imagined,  despite having a reasonable knowledge of the heritage of Darlington Hippodrome, and there were some moments that really helped encourage insight into the life of Signor Pepi and which helped me better understand the mechanics of backstage and joy of theatre.  Anywhere was, in my view, another great chapter in the ongoing Darlington Hippodrome story.

Noisy Daughters

Darlington music collective Tracks http://tracksdarlington.co.uk/are putting on a day which celebrates females in music which we hope will be followed by many more.  Sarah Wilson from Tracks said… ‘It’s vital to give women in music credible, female-led music events nationally and it’s brilliant that we can do this in our hometown of Darlington. We are hoping to inspire the next generation of female musicians whilst giving a platform to the current batch of female artists that are leading the way.”

Noisy Daughters will take place at the fantastic new Hullabaloo on Borough Road in Darlington on Saturday 3rd March 2018 and includes–

A free songwriting workshop for women from 1pm – 3pm delivered by Liz Corney (from The Cornshed Sisters, Field Music), where participants are encouraged to bring their instrument and are offered guidance in all things musical composition. (Places are limited; so booking’s advised using this link: skiddle.com/e/13131591 )

A music panel discussion running 3.30pm – 4.30pm around the topics of issues facing women in the music industry today and what can be done to make a change. Panellists include Rianne Thompson from BBC Tees, Hannah Van Thompson (of the Van T’s), Claire Dupree from Narc Magazine, and Liz Corney (The Cornshed Sisters / Field Music), with Sarah Wilson from Tracks/BIG Little Gigs chairing. The discussion will last an hour with some time allocated for questions from the audience at the end.

A ticketed evening performance (Doors 7pm) by quality female artists in the form of BBC 6 Radio playlisted singer-songwriter Eve Conway, much hyped hip-hop act Leddie MC and energetic electro-pop pioneers Twist Helix. Headlining the night is hotly tipped Scottish 4-piece, The Van T’s whose ‘surf-pop with rock swagger balanced by sugar-pop harmonies’ have gained the attentions of radio DJs and music publications around UK and Europe, leading to appearances at T in the Park & Wickerman Festival as well as support slots with Honeyblood, Sunflower Bean and Rat Boy.

The workshop & panel discussion are free, and tickets for the gig are £6 ADV/£9 OTD (£4 for concessions/NUS holders/unemployed with proof) are available online from Skiddle (www.skiddle.com/e/13131578), or physical tickets can be purchased from The Pennyweight in Darlington.

12 + event (under 16s accompanied by an adult).




Tracks are a not-for-profit organisation and any money raised from ticket sales will go back into funding future Noisy Daughters events.  We hope that the forthcoming Noisy Daughters event is the first of many.

Encountering the Other

Between 2013 and 2016 Creative Darlington supported a variety of organisational development activity led by a number of organisations and enterprises, including Darlington Hippodrome, Darlington for Culture, Humantics CIC, ODDMANOUT and Theatre Hullabaloo. ODDMANOUT a new writing company rooted in Darlington and Creating in the North-East and beyond undertook work around their mission, brand and website and to explore new partnership and opportunities to develop income  http://www.oddmanouttheatre.co.uk/creative-darlington/ .


In 2017 ODDMANOUT led the Encountering the Other programme with the Market Theatre Laboratory as the culmination of an exciting international collaboration between both companies.  This collectively created production was a passionate, riotous and often hilarious examination of just what womanhood in 2017 means. A collection of voices, stories and experiences of young women and men living across two hemispheres were brought together through a fusion of music, dance, comedy, colour and the internet with Encountering the Other performed by young people from South Africa and the North East of England in Johannesburg in October 2017 and at Darlington on 27 November 2017.

Photographs of Encountering the Other dress rehearsal by Scott Akoz  www.scottakoz.com


Creative Darlington supported a programme of engagement activity based in Darlington in the week before the performance on 27 November 2017.  19 education, participation or training sessions were delivered, including work with CLIC and Darlington After Care Team students, north east artists, Teesside University students, Darlington Youth Theatre, Northern Stage Young Company and Darlington Community Chorus.