Arts organisation launches small grants scheme

To celebrate the beginning of Darlington Arts Festival, which it co-ordinates, arts organisation Darlington for Culture has announced the launch of a small grants scheme.

The voluntary organisation has launched the scheme after receiving a donation from a company with Darlington connections, and is working in conjunction with Creative Darlington to administer the scheme.

DfC has long believed that small grants can allow everyone from music groups to art organisations to achieve great things and the scheme will offer grants of up to £500.

Applications will be open from April 27, 2017.

DfC Vice-Chair Jo Potter said: “Since early in our formation, DfC has played an important part with our volunteer programme in supporting the arts in Darlington.

“In more than twenty years of working with local drama groups I have been impressed by the wealth of artistic talent from the town, particularly young actors who have gone onto stage school and more than a few that have subsequently become successful on stage and screen.

“The fund that we have launched is aimed at supporting all grassroots arts initiatives, not just drama, to become established.

“We welcome applications for any planned event that will enrich the cultural offering available from Darlington and help to further establish the town as a centre of excellence for the arts.”

More information can be obtained on the home page of DfC’s website at

Textile and Sewing Group with Sarah Oatley

Textile and Sewing Group with Sarah Oatley

99 Parkgate, DL1 1RZ

Come and join her she runs sessions:

Mondays 1-3pm & 7-9pm

Tuesdays 7-9pm

Wednesdays 10am-12pm

Fridays 1-3pm


She also works out of the studio as a textile artist, selling landscapes and seascapes.

Moved by the Spirit exhibition

Cpirits by the sea spirits


The Moved by the Spirit exhibition on Quaker heritage by Darlington Photography Association will be closed to the public from Monday 6 February to Saturday 11 February 2017. The exhibition will re-open to the public on Monday 13 February 2017.

The Bridge Christmas Open Day


Stay, Play and Create

Play, Stay and Create


Play, Stay and Create was planned by the Make Art Happen group on Red Hall and took place on Sunday 11th December 2016. Local artists, producers and parents got involved in planning the event which contained fun activities, including animation. Helix Arts provided a training package for the Make Art Happen group, which will help in planning future activities.

All set for A Tale of Two Cities

Community cast all set for A Tale of Two Cities from The Touring Consortium Theatre Company in association with Darlington Civic Theatre.

Charles Dickens considered his novel, A Tale Of Two Cities to be the best story he had ever written. Interweaving one family’s intensely personal drama with the terror and chaos of the French Revolution, it is an epic story of love, sacrifice and redemption amidst horrific violence and world changing events.

The Touring Consortium Theatre Company, who most recently brought Of Mice And Men, A View From The Bridge and Brave New World to Darlington Civic Theatre have (in partnership with the theatre) created a totally unique production of A Tale Of Two Cities using a cast of community actors.

This new adaptation by Mike Poulton (Fortune’s Fool, Old Vic; Wolf Hall, RSC) is led by director Eduard Lewis who has worked extensively for the Royal Exchange Theatre, and will be staged in the atmospheric setting of Darlington’s Central Hall, where Dickens himself read on 21 September 1858.

Eduard Lewis said: “In A Tale of Two Cities Dickens masterfully sets a love triangle to the backdrop of the most bloody revolution of his era, the French Revolution. He says in the opening of the novel that ‘the times were so like our own as to be almost indistinguishable from them’ looking to Syria, Turkey and even the Black Lives Matter movement in America we can see that this is truer now than it ever has been. Revolution is a part of the fabric of human society, when we see injustice in the world people rise up and stand against it. Mike Poulton’s exceptional adaptation takes the core dramatic elements of Dickens’ novel and condenses it into an action packed two-act play. I could not be happier to be bringing this epic story to the unique setting of the Central Hall and to have the privilege of making it with the people of Darlington, for the people of Darlington. It’s a process that Dickens himself, a great lover of the theatre, would be proud of.”

Please note this is a promenade performance which means that the action will take place in various locations around the set, and the audience will be stand and watch in spaces around the action, and then walk to different locations in the room following the actors as the scenes change and the play progresses. We would encourage the audience to stand to be fully immersed in the experience, however some limited seating options will be available if seating is required.


A Tale Of Two Cities is at Central Hall, Dolphin Centre, Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 November.

Tickets* are priced £18 for adults, under 16s £10

To book contact the Box Office on 01325 486 555 or visit

*Includes £1 restoration levy


Festival call out

Darlington for Culture (DfC) is seeking to hear from arts groups, venues, performers and businesses who would like to showcase themselves in the fifth Darlington Arts Festival, themed A Celebration of Talent and due to run from late April to the end of May 2017

The festival, again to be staged at a wide range of venues across the borough, is being co-ordinated by DfC, the group which speaks for arts and culture in the area. Planning is well under way for the 2017 festival, which will include:

* A month-long literary festival, featuring readings and writing workshops

* Arts-based events involving a wide range of artists

* A Film Festival to be run by Darlington Film Club, which is based at the Forum in Borough Road

* A series of music events

Deadline for inclusion in the brochure is Jan 31.

Details can be sent to

Collection on show

A series of paintings of unknown women have provided the inspiration for a new exhibition in Darlington.

The canvases form part of Darlington Borough Council’s art collection and were unearthed by North East curator Michaela Wetherell who launched an appeal asking the public and other artists to help tell the stories of the forgotten women.

‘Tell Her Story’, which opens at Crown Street Art Gallery on Tuesday 22 November, will feature the original paintings alongside a series of new artworks created by artists from across the region and beyond.

The project has been supported by Creative Darlington and the Arts Council England and features the work of artists Alyson Agar, Mircea Cirtog, Sarah Cooney, Norma Kylem Tallulah Lines, James Quinn, Jonnny Lancaster, Helen Steel and Helen Winthorpe Kendrick.

 ‘Tell Her Story’ will run from Tuesday 22 November until Thursday 12 January. For more information about the gallery and Creative Darlington, log onto the website at


Photo caption: Stephen Wiper, Creative Darlington manager, and Michaela Wetherell, curator, with one of the original paintings from the art collection to be featured in the exhibition – ‘Fear of the unknown’ by artist Tony Peart

Author returns

A popular gervase-phinnNorth Yorkshire author will be returning to Darlington Library to talk about his latest books.

Professor Gervase Phinn is probably best known for his best-selling autobiographical novels ‘The Other Side of the Dale’, ‘Over the Hill and Dale’ and ‘Head Over Heels in the Dales’.

He will be returning to Darlington’s Crown Street Library on Monday 19 December to talk about the latest in his Little Village School series ‘Secrets at the Village School’.

He has also recently released his second book in ‘The best days of our lives’ series entitled ‘Grandparents’.

As a former teacher, education advisor and school inspector, Gervase has a particular interest in children’s reading and is also President of The School Library Association as well as Visiting Professor of Education at the University of Teesside. He is also an award-winning speaker having been presented with the Association of Speakers’ Club’s ‘Speaker of the Year Award’ in 2004.

His many books include academic texts as well as stories for children, and he has also made many television and radio appearances as he now works full-time as a lecturer, broadcaster and writer.

Tickets for ‘An Evening with Gervase Phinn’ cost £6, which includes wine and nibbles, and the event starts at 7pm.

For more information or to book your place call into Darlington Library or call 01325 462034.