NORTHERN VOICES COMMUNITY PROJECTS
93 WOODBURN SQUARE,WHITLEY LODGE,WHITLEY BAY,TYNE& WEAR NE26 3JD
TEL 0191 2529531
The objectives of Northern Voices Community Projects are to:
1) Offer a platform for the views and experiences of those people living in the North East of England who are normally denied a voice. Through this, question and subvert established views of culture and the distortions which often surround them and give support to local autonomy and integrity as opposed to centralism and the anti-democractic hierarchies of government and big business, the aristocracy, mass media and ever increasing quangos.
2) Contribute to the culture of the region through a projects and events programme which celebrates its diverse communities, in particular the currently neglected working class, and the area's history and politics and dissenting tradition. Recent projects have involved a touring show in Northumbrian churches, performing poetry on the beaches, working in the community of Spittal, profiling Whitley Bay's Spanish City and the Marsden Rock in South Shields, celebrating the Newcastle writer Jack Common and the Durham links of poet Christopher Smart, performing and recording with folk, pop, classical and jazz musicans and exhibiting with visual artists and photographers. Important events have recently been staged with Amnesty International, the Tyneside Irish Cultural Society and the North East Labour History Society.
Northern Voices Community Projects attempts to be original and innovative in its programme and to seriously engage with local people and issues rather than indulge in the predictable and unchallenging nature of many cultural events and projects which are often more to do with careerism and the overbearing machinations of cultural bodies which see the arts as a vehicle for commerce and business.
3) Develop links with likeminded people and institutions, locally, nationally and internationally by a commitment to collective action and to engaging in political activity in an historical context. Recently, reciprocal links have been established with Limerick and Cork, Bradford, Liverpool, Lincoln, Sheffield, Penrith, Aberdeen and Edinburgh and there are significant international links with, for example, Groningen in The Netherlands and Tuebingen in Germany, stretching back some twenty years. Further similar links are actively sought in order to avoid literary and publishing activity being presented in overtly institutionalised, centralised and isolated cultural ghettos which merely replicate prevailing establishment and ruling class orthodoxies.
Such links also question overly cosy notions of 'The North' and celebrate North East England's place in the world and particularly in Europe.
4) Offer help and advice to local people seeking to develop a voice. This can be through creative writing, songs, community research or on tape and through the media and new technology.
Membership is open to anyone who shares the objectives of Northern Voices Community Projects and who wishes to engage in community arts activity in the North East of England.
Northern Voices Community Projects acknowledges project support from the Community Foundation, Awards for All and North Tyneside Council.