We want your views

Last year, the council decided to keep the main library at Crown Street and will invest £2m in improvements and repairs.

Between now and 15 March, we are gathering your views on how Crown Street library could look in the future.

Follow the link below to have your say…


Bring it on – Darlington BookFest fast approaching at Crown Street Library



Would you like to go to Hogwarts like Harry Potter? Or to the deep dark woods with the Gruffalo?

Would you like to have a go at stop animation? Or perhaps gaming is more your thing?

Whatever your interest… be sure to check out BookFest.

Coming soon to Crown Street Library.

Looking forward to the next Dover Art Prize selection

Mallinson & Doyle delivered a proposal which was selected for the Dover Art Prize 2016, leading to the creation of  a new work, Strang Stone, which was shared Darlington’s Indoor Market in  2018.  Strang Stane was informed by the heritage, including periodic relocation, of Darlington’s Boulmer Stone, and would periodically rotate whilst in Darlington (a rhyme written about the Boulmer Stone described it turning when the Town Clock struck).

Earlier this week Strang Stane was on the move again, leaving Darlington (thanks Ian, Creative Darlington’s man with a van and a lot of technical experitse) ………………………


and returned to creative hands of Mallinson & Doyle, who worked with a number of local artists whilst working in Darlington, particularly around the launch of Strang Stane.


The Dover Art Prize, co-ordinated by County Durham Community Foundation, isn’t standing still either.  A call out for arists for the Dover Art Prize 2019 closed in January 2019 and the selection process is fast approaching.  Exciting times ahead and great that the winner will share their work in Darlington in the not too far distant future.

Crown Street Call Out

Creative Darlington have the pleasure of launching an opportunity for artists. We are seeking submissions from visual artists of works to be installed in and around the Crown Street Gallery, Darlington. Art forms can include drawing, painting, illustration, poetry, photography or design.

We are looking for contemporary, visually captivating works which will demonstrate the creative brilliance of the creative communities in and around Darlington and the wider Tees Valley.

Artworks can be pre-existing works. We do not see this as a commission for the creation of new work.

4 artists works will be selected. Successful artists will receive £150. Their work will be printed and shown as part of an external site specific showcase around the Crown Street Gallery in Darlington. Works should be suitable for reproduction in print. The final artworks will form a collection of banners and window vinyl, which animate the exterior of Crown Street Gallery, sparking people’s curiosity and highlighting the creativity in the region.

Successful artists will also be profiled through the Creative Darlington website and marketing material.


Artists can submit up to 3 works. Applications should be done through Curator Space here and should include

  • a brief artist statement
  • a short paragraph describing the submitted work(s) (200words max per artwork)
  • works should be submitted as a jpeg image.

Creative Darlington are interested in showcasing creative talent from in and around Darlington and the wider Tees Valley. We would like to know the location of artists applying for this opportunity, but submissions will not be judged solely on this. We welcome applications from artists across the UK.


Application deadline 12 noon, 28 February.

Submissions will be reviewed by a selection panel w/c 4thMarch

Selected artists will be notified via email by Fri 8thMarch.



Further information on sites for installed works can be found here

Viewpoints Artists Call Out 2019

A new and exciting opportunity for artists from Festival of Thrift has launched today…

Viewpoints by Festival of Thrift offers artists an exciting opportunity to create new temporary work in the public domain in response to a broad brief.

A key theme of Festival of Thrift 2019 is ‘Clean Air’ and we are particularly keen to see artists’ responses to this theme. We will also welcome responses to the wider theme of future sustainability, where ideas will be expressed in particularly fresh and intriguing ways.

Proposals should explore aspects of the unique ecology, technology, landscape, history or industries of the Tees Valley. The title Viewpoints has been chosen both because we will site the finished work in a location where it may be best viewed, but also because we intend that the work produced might also offer a fresh viewpoint or change people’s views on an environmental or sustainability issue and how industry is tackling it.

(Click the image below to access the Call out Brief PDF Document and further online application form)

The application is by online submission. Artists are welcome to submit two proposals if you so wish.

Expression of Interest deadline: Mid day March 12th 2019

Shortlisting: Week of March 16th

All applicants informed if shortlisted or not: March 23rd

Site visits for shortlisted artists: Mid April

Short listed proposals developed for full submission(if necessary): Early May

Short listed artists informed if commissioned or not: Mid May

Programme confirmed and announced: Mid July

Event dates: Sept 12th for minimum one week

The Hullabaloo

The Hulaballoo have an exciting programme over the next three months. Find out more below, or by visiting theatrehullabaloo.org.uk.

(Credit Kristen McCluskie)



Wednesday 16 January – Sat 23 March, 10am-2pm, The Hullabaloo – Gillian Dickinson Creative Play. Dreamland is a beautiful sensory play installation that welcomes children 0-4 years and their grown-ups to take a journey above the clouds. Free activity. Theatrehullabaloo.org.uk.


Wednesday 13 – Saturday 16, 9.30am, 10.45am, 12.30pm, 2pm, The Hullabaloo. Blink. Blink again. What do you see? Day by day your world is filling up with colour, little one. A first theatre experience for you and your baby (6-18 months) by Filskit Theatre.

£10 grown-up and baby ticket / additional tickets £6.

Box Office: 01325 405 405 / theatrehullabaloo.org.uk.




(Credit Kristen McCluskie)

Enchanted Forest

Mon 1 – TBC, 10am-2pm, The Hullabaloo – Gillian Dickinson Creative Play. Come inside and explore a forest of interactive trees, ponds and lily pads that light up, make a noise and tell stories. Designed for children 0-10 years to play with their grown-ups.

Free activity.


Easter Storytelling

Tuesday 16 & Wednesday 17, 10.15am & 1pm, The Hullabaloo.

Join Chris Connaughton at The Hullabaloo this Easter for brave and bold stories from Aesop’s Fables for ages 2-5 years.

Tickets £3 each / Family Ticket: Buy 4 tickets, save £2 (must include minimum of one adult). There will also be craft activities in our café space.

Box Office: 01325 405 405 / theatrehullabaloo.org.uk.

Easter Storytelling

Tuesday 16 & Wednesday 17, 11.15am, The Hullabaloo.

Join Chris Connaughton at The Hullabaloo this Easter for brave and bold stories from Aesop’s Fables for ages 5-7 years.

Tickets £3 each / Family Ticket: Buy 4 tickets, save £2 (must include minimum of one adult). There will also be craft activities in our café space.

Box Office: 01325 405 405 / theatrehullabaloo.org.uk.


Thursday 28 March – Wednesday 10 April, Please see website for times, The Hullabaloo. Join two dancers and a live musician as they use their eyes and ears, noses and mouths, fingers and feet to discover a world of play that makes the ordinary extraordinary. A WinterWalker and Theatre Hullabaloo production for ages 3-6 years.

Tickets £7 / family ticket £24.

Box Office: 01325 405 405 / theatrehullabaloo.org.uk.



Saturday 18, 11am & 2pm, The Hullabaloo. A funny, magical, physical production for ages 5+ by egg, co-produced with Oxford Playhouse. With original songs and quite a lot of Spanish, this mischievous show asks what it takes to stand proud and be true to ourselves.

Tickets £7 / family ticket £24.

Box Office: 01325 405 405 / theatrehullabaloo.org.uk.

Emil and the Detectives

Friday 24, 1.30pm & Saturday 25, 11am & 2pm, The Hullabaloo. Never underestimate the determination of a child! Can a bunch of kids work together to uncover and outsmart the true criminal? Slingsby return to the The Hullabaloo with this immersive show for ages 8+, based on the book by Erich Kastner.

Tickets £7 / family ticket £24.

Box Office: 01325 405 405 / theatrehullabaloo.org.uk.

(Credit Ian Tilton)

One Little Word

Friday 31 May & Saturday 1 June, 11am & 2pm, The Hullabaloo. A beautiful and gentle story of friendship, power struggles and the rich world of creative play. M6 Theatre Company present this wonderful production for ages 3+.

Tickets £7 / family ticket £24.

Box Office: 01325 405 405 / theatrehullabaloo.org.uk.

Conversations in Painting Studio Visits

Continuing on from previous creative activity, Conversations in Painting are hosting a number of Painter’s Studio Visits throughout 2019. The first will be with the initiators / organisers of Conversations in Painting – painters Sarah Cooney and Phil Gatenby at their Navigator North studio in Middlesbrough. Join the visit (and conversation) on Wednesday, 23 January 2019 from 18:00-20:00.

Address is Riverside House, High Force Road, Riverside Park, Middlesbrough TS2 1RH

An informal evening of discussion about Contemporary Painting at the studio of painters Sarah Cooney and Phil Gatenby.

All are welcome / Free to attend / Refreshments provided

6-8pm / 23.01.19

Riverside House is situated on Riverside Park. Riverside Park is located adjacent to the A66 and is approximately 5 minutes drive from Middlesbrough Station.

Event Page Link here

See Darlington through the eyes of artists in January 2019

Darlington through the eyes of artists

5th – 30th January 2019

Darlington through the eyes of artists is on display until Wednesday 30 January 2019. A selection of oils, watercolours and sketches from the local studies collection, all featuring views of the town that have inspired artists over the years. Interesting not only for their artistic merit but also for what we can learn from them about Darlington in times gone by.

As Robert Scarr, writing in the Darlington and Stockton Times, 7th October 1967 said:

“Darlington has provided many fine artists in times past, and their works, besides being a constant source of pleasure to connoisseurs are also of great help to local historians, depicting as they do, many aspects of the town’s architecture and pastoral charm in times past”.


Royal Northern Sinfonia – New Year New Artists performance – Thursday 17 January 2019 at Darlington Hippodrome

In 2018 Creative Darlington was delighted to support a fantastic film and music project as part of our ongoing work with Orchestras Live and Durham Music Service, which began with the Hallé Orchestra giving two performances at the Dolphin Centre in 2016.  In summer 2018, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (OAE) started a creative film composition project in which young musicians from Wyvern Academy, Darlington, composed a live musical soundtrack for a short film working with renowned music leader James Redwood, several OAE players and a trainee music leader.  The created soundtrack was orchestrated so that additional members of the OAE could join the young musicians for a pre-concert performance of the new music together with the projected film at The Hullabaloo on 10 September 2018. This was followed by the OAE concert at Darlington Hippodrome, featuring the orchestra performing Richard Strauss’ 1925 score of Der Rosenkavalier, performed live with the original silent film. The audience were invited to arrive early to attend the ‘curtain-raiser’ event, in which they could enjoy the contemporary film music work of local young people.    I’m Never  Gonna Stop,  is a  beautiful depiction of Darlington in my view, developed as part of a fantastic programme of activity involving talented young people in Darlington.

In 2019 Creative Darlington is also supporting workshops with a composer/music leader, several Royal Northern Sinfonia (RNS) players and an assistant (trainee) music leader, to devise a short piece of music that combines the participants as an ensemble together with solo saxophone. Following a morning rehearsal, the project will culminate in a pre-concert event on stage at Darlington Hippodrome on Thursday 17 January 2019, when Jess Gillam will join young musicians from Carmel College and RNS players to perform the new piece, with the Royal Northern Sinfonia concert at Darlington Hippodrome at 7.30pm to follow.


Invitation to Artists – Thursday 13 December 2018

Great news from the Auxiliary Project Space, who have curated helpful activity in Darlington this year and brilliant activity various regarding space and future opportunities, hope lots of artists from Darlington and other parts of the Tees Valley accept their invitation, shown below.


The Auxiliary Project Space are happy to announce plans for a new gallery and studios on Station Street, Middlesbrough.

Housed in a large warehouse with roller door access and high ceilings, The Auxiliary are inviting regional artists, groups and organizations to come and view the space and open the conversation on what types of space artists in the Tees Valley need.

This is an opportunity for local artists to direct how The Auxiliary studios will be planned. Studios will be ready to occupy early 2019.

Other areas of the warehouse will also be open, and thoughts on how these spaces could be best utilized by the local arts community are most welcome. For more details, please contact Liam or Anna on info@theauxiliary.co.uk.

Place: 29 Station Street, Middlesbrough TS1 1SR (the large green warehouse, opposite Station Street car park)

Date: 13th December

Time: 12-2pm

Light refreshments will be available.


About The Auxiliary

The Auxiliary Project Space is an artist-led, contemporary grassroots organization. Founded in 2016, it is for the production, practice and exhibiting of contemporary and experimental art, in particular sonic art. Through investigating the rich local industrial heritage through artistic inquiry, The Auxiliary reimagine the Tees Valley as a site for invigorated, creative industries.
Enabling local, national and international artists in devising independent art platforms and structures for the dissemination of contemporary art practices throughout the Tees Valley, The Auxiliary aim to produce legacy through long term projects and community engagement, fostering cultural exchange with international organizations and artists that share a similar ethos. Recent projects include Middlesbrough Art Weekender, a contemporary arts festival, Stockton Contemporary, a ten day art trail through the town and Creative Arc, a collaborative project between the Tees Valley, Berlin and Detroit.