Art In Action: Newcastle City Council Artist Residencies 2019/2020

With encouragement, all of us possess the potential to express ourselves creatively, if only we let ourselves believe. Newcastle City Council's Arts Team have held this wisdom for many moons: not only the relief of being able to have a voice without using words to communicate prevalent issues but the opportunity to build communities, build relationships, build confidence.

Each year, the team, armed with passion, construct up to five residencies for five months to proudly rejoice in the cultural heritage of our city's diverse makeup. Venturesome, professional artists with a broad array of practices are chosen with care for each locality to commence their project, linking with community-based partners and residents who may not have access to exceptional artistic opportunities.

Using the lead's expertise, the art produced holds aesthetic appeal with integrity, but that is merely the sail that tops a boat of newfound skills, friendship and purpose. A legacy shines through as, after the celebratory events, participants often continue their cultural voyage when the project has formally ended. But when all is said and done, heart is at the core, along with a nice cup of tea.

Northern Stars filmmaker Alex Ayre captured the projects visually for others to understand the cause. Loyal to the industry, he trained at Tyneside Cinema as a young man, leading to the reputation he earned that gleams with professionalism and flair. Alex is blessed with a quality that puts participants at ease and proclaims that documentary is his favoured genre, so, was an expert match for the job.

The areas covered change with each fresh cycle to spread a blanket of imagination to all corners. 2019/2020's round saw four individual projects completed in Fenham, Lemington, Cruddas Park and the West End.

Visit Newcastle City Council webpage for the videos

Article by Beverley Knight