Silver IPad Creativity

This one-year project was to offer creative iPad learning sessions to people aged 50 and over, supported by Awards for All.

The project was designed to help people to develop their digital skills and gain confidence in using new digital technologies.

Over the course of the year, ARC ran 2 sets of 12 week sessions, introducing people to the creative possibilities of iPads and held a series of development sessions and taster workshops for in local community settings.

Read the full evaluation report.



An Evening with the Silvers
May 2015

ARC hosted An Evening with the Silvers for its second year featuring the music talents of both the Wednesday and Friday Silver Singers choirs and the Silver ukulele band ARC-ulele. This year the performance was bigger than ever as over 100 performers took to the stage to showcase their bands abilities and coming together on joint performances.

During this time the Silver Creative Arts group produced work for their exhibition Flock, held on the Ground Floor Gallery for 2 weeks. Taking the theme of birds, they each produced individual work from a diverse range of material and media. The exhibition was well received, selling work to the public.


Workforce Development

In the past two years, we have worked with Teesside University to offer graduate interns the opportunity to work at ARC.

In 2015 Interior Architecture graduate Mrinalini Elliott joined Creative Programmes for 5 months to work on a number of projects and events. In 2014, Sarah Spowart, a Media Broadcasting Graduate, worked with the Creative Learning Programme.

Read more about Mrinalini’s work placement in her report here

Read more about Sarah’s work placement in her report here

The Moses Project – Breaking Chains Exhibition
May 2015

small_IMG_2723.JPGBreaking Chains was a partnership project designed and managed by The Moses Project, with support from the European Social Fund.

Alongside workshops led by glass artist, Judith Gill, freelance artist Olivia Furber ran 10 weeks of creative writing and spoken word activities at ARC, with a group of men who have engaged with The Moses Project. Over four months, the group came together each week to work with the artists in creating the final installation, which was exhibited in ARC’s top floor gallery space, in early May 2015.

The resulting Breaking Chains Exhibition of art work included a large, intricate installation of glass panels, creative writing and spoken word pieces. The designs created on glass expressed the participant’s feelings and thoughts regarding “breaking their chains” from addiction. Recordings of their creative writing and poetry expressed their feelings, thoughts and emotions.

The Moses Project is a local registered charitable company based at The Rivers of Life Church, which provides guidance, mentoring and support to adult males with past and current addictions to drugs and alcohol.

Mar 2015                                

PULSE North East is the North East’s U.Dance programme for young dancers. 

It is an annual project delivered through the Tees Valley Dance Hub and this year was the fourth annual sub regional performance, with other events taking place in Alwnick, South Shields, Newcastle, Durham and Washington. 

Nine groups participated on the day, with a total of 125 young dancers showcasing their skills. There were workshops from Gabriella Galloway of Fertile Ground, a young company of newly graduated young dancers from the North East and Sarah Hearn, who led a Creative Ballet session.  

The two groups selected to represent the Tees Valley at the regional final at Dance City in Newcastle were Macmillan Academy Cloud Dancers (a group of dancers from Year 11) and Tees Valley Youth Dance Company.

Film Explorers
Feb 2015

film explorers_small_listing.jpgFilm Explorers was a week-long project offering 13 – 17 year olds the opportunity to learn how films are made and how they work.  

Over five days, the group looked at narrative structure, character development, cinematography and editing, watched a variety of clips and full screenings and  tried out practical filmmaking techniques, making their own short films.  At the end of the project, the Film Explorers showcased their final edits on ARC’s cinema screen, as part of a special red carpet style event for their family and friends. 

Since the intensive programme, the group has been continuing to meet with their tutor to discuss and try out more filmmaking techniques and will shortly be working together to choose some titles for ARC’s cinema programme and undertaking a short film commission.

Read the full evaluation report.


Poetry By Heart
Feb 2015

ARC hosted the county finals for the pioneering national Poetry By Heart competition for the second time in 2015. 

Contestants aged 14 – 19 came together from schools across County Durham and the Tees Valley and recited three poems by heart to win a place in the grand final held at Homerton College, Cambridge. 

Congratulations to the County Contest winner, Caitlin Carr. Poems recited were from Pre1914, Post 1914 and a war poem.

Judges at the event: Mark Robinson, Thinking Practice; Christine Chambers, Arts Council England, Stuart Landreth, Stockton Libraries and Heritage and Gordon Steel, professional playwright.

Moving Upstage
Nov 2014

A project designed to engage young people aged 16 – 19 who were Not in Employment, Education or Training (NEET) in a creative project based at ARC.IMG_1867.JPG

The aim of the project was to offer young people in the Stockton area and who are NEET the opportunity to further their career and education chances, whilst learning about drama skills and performing and finding out about the arts industry.

The aim of the project was to help the young people to:

Achieve a Bronze Arts Award
Improve their employability skills with focus on teamwork, communication, administration and solo working
Identify courses or job opportunities that they could move onto, with 50% of participants taking their next steps into Education, Employment or Training (EET)
Build a portfolio of their work and have additional experience in creative industries

The project was run in partnership with the Youth Engagement and Support (YES) team at Youth Direction in Stockton and was funded through the European Social Fund (ESF).  ARC worked closely with Youth Direction to promote the offer to young people in the target groups.

Read the full evaluation report.

BOLD Festival
Oct 2014

ARC was one of participating venues in the first BOLD Festival, a celebration of the arts and older people.

BOLD is a festival of performances, events and workshops made with, by and for older people, as well as audiences and participants across the generations.

The 2014 festival, which took place in Bradford, The Albany, Deptford and ARC put older people centre stage, to inform the thinking of policy makers, the public and participants, and to confront and overcome our fears and
assumptions about growing old.

The aim of BOLD was to look beyond the label of ‘old age’; a label that encompasses 10 million people in the UK over 65, to explore individual human stories and explode some of the stereotypes of age.

Read the full evaluation report.

Summer at ARC
Jul – Sep 2014

In 2014 ARC invested in developing and delivering a summer programme for young people aged 7 – 16 which was exciting, unique and could further develop the existing youth offer at ARC.

The programmed aimed to:

Further ARCs understanding of what both parents and young people need and want from summer activity
Understand how we need to price activity to ensure accessibility, value and a reach of audiences
Develop the existing young people’s creative offer at ARC
Ensure young people feel connected to ARC and see it is a place to socialise and have fun
Increase the number of young people attending ARC compared with previous summers
Increase the number of ‘key’ relationships ARC hold with young people

Read the full evaluation report.

Advance Dance Tour
Jul 2014

In 2014, ARC secured funding from the People’s Postcode Lottery Trust to run the Advance Dance Tour.  The three month project gave the Tees Valley Youth Dance Company, a group of young dancers aged 14 – 19, the opportunity to develop their skills in choreography, teaching, planning, leadership and communicationIMG_0178.JPG

Over three months, the company worked with a professional choreographer to develop an exciting new piece of choreography.  Over two weeks in July, the company toured to 10 primary and secondary schools across the Tees Valley, to perform the original piece and lead practical dance sessions. The project engaged over 300 young people in dance workshops and offered the young dancers invaluable experience of working together as a professional company.

“Now I could go into teaching just from this experience, it has enhanced my CV and I can put that I worked in a school for 2 weeks and not many people can say that.”  Alex, Youth Dance Company member

Read the full evaluation report.

Big Dance 2014
Jul 2014

This year ARC worked with Dance City and the regional hubs to unite dancers from across the North East together in one mass dance city centre showcase.

The event took place in Northumberland Street, Newcastle on Sat 12 July and saw 100 young dancers from across the region participate in a fantastic dance piece with professional dancers; choreographed by Nev Campbell.

12 young dancers from the Tees Valley aged 8-18 who took part in the event having spent 8 weeks rehearsing with the Tees Valley Youth Dance Company and Debbie Waistell at ARC. The group were hugely excited to have this opportunity to work with dancers of different ages and styles in one celebratory performance and had a great time showcasing their skills in Newcastle City Centre.

“It was a memorable experience and we loved it! Teamwork!” Lucy, aged 13

PULSE 2014
Mar 2014dance_forward_listing.jpg

PULSE North East is the North East’s U.Dance programme for young dancers.  It is an annual project delivered through the Tees Valley Dance Hub and this year was the third annual sub regional performance.  Eleven groups participated in the event with a total of 125 young dancers showcasing their skills.  There were workshops from Anna Reed, Hannah McGhee, Kate Pilbeam and Sarah Hearn with all groups joining in with these throughout the day.  Although not all the groups were competing for a place in the regional final the two groups selected to represent the Tees Valley were Artspark from Darlington and YDA Youth Group from Middlesbrough.  YDA Youth Group also went through to the National Nottingham U.Dance event to represent the North East alongside DanceJam.

Spring celebration: Silvers
Mar 2014

ARC hosted An Evening with the Silver Singers and exhibited work from the Silver Creative Arts group.  Over a 2 week periodevening_ss_listing.jpg the exhibition and performance evening showcased the skills and talent of the Silver Singers, Silver Ukulele Band and the Silver Creative Artists.

An Evening with Silver Singers held the attention of 180 audience members and showcased the Silver Singers vocal talent and brilliant strumming from the Ukulele Band.  The evening was a huge success and enabled 120 Silver participants to perform their work to a welcoming and appreciative audience.  90% of silvers commented that the best part of the event was being part of something social.

The Silver Creative Arts Exhibition was the second Silver Creative Arts Exhibition ARC has hosted and this time we celebrated even more diversity in the range of mediums and styles presented by the participants.  From pen to watercolour and acrylic the work attracted positive comments from the general public that were able to enjoy the exhibition for two weeks.


Poetry by Heart
Feb 2014
ARC hosted the county finals for the pioneering national Poetry By Heart competition. Contestants aged 14 – 19 came together from schools across County Durham and the Tees Valley and recited three poems by heart to win a place in the grand final held at the National Portrait Gallery in London. 

Congratulations to the County final winner Nathania Ewruje.  Poems recited were from Pre1914, Post 1914 and a war poem.

Judges at the event: Christine Chambers, Arts Council England, Anna Disley, New Writing North and Glenda Steel, Norton Primary School.


How to work creatively with young peoplework_creatively_listing.jpg
Oct – Dec 2013

How to Work Creatively with Young People was designed to offer local artists and practitioners a theoretical and practical introduction or refresher in working creatively with young people.

The programme was delivered over a period of two months and included two days of theory combined with four days of practical delivery and observation time. By providing this mix of both practical and theoretical learning we hoped to equip six artists with the confidence and skills to deliver exciting, quality, creative activity for young people at ARC and in their own work across the region.

Read the Evaluation Report.


Big Dance Stocktonbig_dance_listing.jpg
Jul 2012  – Aug 2013

In 2012 ARC in partnership with Dance City and Stockton Borough Council delivered a yearlong project in line with Big Dance, the National celebration of dance activity.  The activity included a festival of dance in summer 2012 and a programme of school dance activity in 2013.  From dancing in the streets, dance on film evenings, school dance festivals and professional development for teachers there was a wealth of dancing in Stockton.

Over the period of a year we engaged 1335 children and young people in dance participation, 15 primary schools were engaged and 47 teachers supported to deliver dance, 57 young volunteers helped at festivals and a massive 3000 people saw dance made by young people.

Read the evaluation report.

Watch the video from Stockton Big Dance Festival


Summer 2013!simon_mole_listing.jpg

ARC offered a series of creative activities for young people aged 6-16 throughout the summer holidays.

From dance to drama and poetry over 80 young people came along and worked with professional theatre makers, spoken word artists and dancers to hone their performance skills and put on performances for friends and families.

As part of this programme ARC invited professional spoken word poet Simon Mole to create summer stories that filled the back of a postcard with a group of young people which they performed as a collective.  Through the activity Rowan McCabe a local poet shadowed Simon’s practice to develop his skills in delivery; we are hoping to build on this relationship with Rowan to offer more performance poetry opportunities for young people.


Big Dance 2012big_dance_2012_listing.jpg
Mar  – Aug 2012

ARC delivered a national programme of dance funded by Dance City, Stockton Borough Council, Darlington Borough Council and Middlesbrough Council to increase and celebrate dance activity in the Tees Valley.

Starting in April 2012 ARC supported schools across the Tees Valley to access an online dance resource choreographed by Wayne McGregor to perform as part of a world record attempt to get as many people dancing at the same time on the same day on 18 May 2012. Some schools accessed additional teaching support through the programme and many schools performed en masse in school halls and town centres!

Throughout the summer, ARC supported local Big Dance 2012 events which included Middlesbrough Mela and Darlington Big Street Dance.


Developing the Cultural Offer for people with learning disabilities
Jan – Mar 2012tin_arts_listing.jpg

ARC delivered a partnership project with TIN Arts and Stockton Borough Council in 2012 to test out and pilot a cultural offer for people with learning disabilities.  The project highlighted a demand for more arts and cultural provision for people with learning disabilities in Stockton, a need to develop more practitioners to deliver inclusive activity and an interest in activity for young adults with disabilities that offers both disability specific programmes and accessible mainstream creative activity. ARC is currently working with Little Cog to continue exploring ways to develop this offer.


Keneish Dance
Apr – Aug 2012

Working with Billingham International Folklore Festival. ARC suuported a local primary school and group of young dancers to work with and create a performance for Keneish Dance Company.


Shake the Dust
Sep 2011 – July 2012

ARC created opportunities for young people to experience poetry in their schools and community groups, performing as part of the national Shake the Dust programme.

Click here to view the Shake the Dust project video.

Full on Futures
Jan – Jun 2012

Full on Futures is a non-traditional science, technology, arts and innovation careers event run by young people for young people.

Read the Evaluation Report.


Heritage and Enterprise
Dec 2011 – May 2012

This project, funded by Stockton Borough Council fired young people’s thinking about their own heritage and what Stockton has to offer them.

Read the Evaluation Report.


Poetry Quest
Sep 2011 – Feb 2012

Funded by the Prince’s Foundation for Children and the Arts, Poetry Quest offered local primary school children the opportunity to work with poets and experience the world of performance poetry.


Drama and Dementia
May – July 2011

Working with Sue Buchan from PRO-ACT Theatre a group of young people researched and explored Dementia to create an informative performance for their peers as part of National Dementia Awareness Week.


One World
Jan 2009 – Jul 2012

Funded by Esmee Fairbairn Foundation One World brought together young asylum seekers and refugees from Stockton, integrating them into their host community through theatre, drama and performance.

Read the Evaluation report.