Young artists are transforming a historic Tyneside rail works for an exhibition celebrating a £1m cultural legacy left to our region by the London 2012 Olympics and Cultural Olympiad.
Artists from NE-Generation have transformed Newcastle’s Stephenson Works for a free two-day public exhibition that tells the story of how 11,000 young people from the region participated in national cultural celebrations for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Over the past three years, young people co-commissioned £1m of cultural activity from 15 youth arts projects, funded by NE-Generation, the Legacy Trust UK programme for the North East; creating a lasting impact from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games by funding ideas and local talent to inspire creativity across the UK.
The NE-Generation Collective Showcase takes place from September 1-2 in the historic locomotive works where George Stephenson created Rocket, the pioneering steam engine that influenced developing railways the world over.
Ben Ayrton, programme leader for NE-Generation, said: “We have chosen to celebrate the creativity, talents and achievements of young people from this region in a place where ideas born here shaped the world and left a profound cultural legacy in rail travel.
“The vision of the modern Olympics is about more than just sport, it is about the world coming together, sharing cultures and being united.
“This project has helped our museums, cultural organisations and practitioners better understand how to work with and tap into the potential of young people.”
Over the past two years, young people from the NE-Generation programme have delivered projects including transforming a derelict Gateshead Police Station into an arts venue, winning a national award for an educational time travel experiment, and staging the largest festival of Urban sports and arts in the North of England.
The 10,000 square foot, two-storey building and adjoining Dove’s Yard will showcase young film makers, DJ’s, musicians, singers, actors, multi-media artists, circus performers, free runners, dancers, animators, rappers and graffiti artists.
A team of young creative producers have curated the event, working with young people from each NE-Generation project on ideas that bring together the broad cultural activity of the programme and shaped it into a single celebration.
Sara Jackson, 18, from Heaton, is one of the producers, she said: “This event is going to be special.
“Two days of free gigs, shows and exhibitions entertaining everyone from a museum lover, muso, art buff or technology geek, to people who simply love it when human beings do cool stuff.
“Come down to the Stephenson Works and celebrate a bright future for arts and culture in the North East.”
Several NE-Generation projects have already secured funding to continue beyond the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, including Five Ring Circus, a network of circus clubs in Newcastle, North Tyneside and Stockton and The Factory, a programme of drop-in coaching sessions for young film makers at Newcastle’s Tyneside Cinema. Others are actively seeking funding.
The NE-Generation Collective Showcase is free and open to all members of the public and runs on Saturday September 1 and Sunday September 2, from 12 noon until 7pm, at Stephenson Works, South Street, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 3PE.
For more on NE-Generation: www.ne-generation.org.uk
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