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Culture Awards 2009: Best Event

DURHAM was lit up in breathtaking fashion in November, thanks to the efforts of arts company Artichoke, which masterminded the festival Lumiere.

BEST OVERALL EVENT sponsored by One North East

Winner - Juice Festival, Tyneside

ALTHOUGH the inaugural Juice Festival officially happened in 2008, there was a definite sense that it really found its identity in 2009.

While the pilot festival had spread itself across seven weeks of the autumn or 2008, the return event offered more programmed proceedings over a shorter space of time.

This was a Juice concentrate, if you will, and made last year’s October half term a lot more interesting than the standard week-long parental "what are we going to do today" headache.

There were nine-year-olds giving haircuts; teenagers writing poetry on the Metro; dance performances and workshops for toddlers; a free-running extravaganza; plays written by 10-year-olds ... and this really is only a small selection of the programme which was on offer to children and young people all over the North East.

Organisers even made our very own Culture Magazine part of what was going on.

We welcomed a group of young writers onto our team over the summer of 2009, giving them a large slice of editorial control when it came to the October issue.

Juice achieved its remit to "celebrate the creativity of children and young people and establish Newcastle- Gateshead as a place which values them," in style.

Festival director, Rachel Adam, said: "The impact of the festival on the many thousands of children, young people and families who took part demonstrated how important it is to support and celebrate the creativity of young people and it is fantastic that it was shortlisted for a Culture Award.

"Plans are already underway for Juice 2010. Some of the great successes from 2009 are being developed further and there will be plenty of new opportunities and events."

Margaret Fay, chairman of One North East said: "I would like to congratulate everyone involved in the Juice Festival on being named the Best Overall Event.

"These awards are a great opportunity to highlight the fantastic events in the region which are helping to make North East England a hub for culture.

"The Juice Festival is a unique event which grabs the attention and creativity of young people across the region and is just one of the many world-class events the region has to offer.


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