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Culture Awards 2011: Best event Sunderland

WINNER: The Split Festival - IT's third time lucky for the Split Festival which enjoyed its third incarnation in 2011.

WINNER: The Split Festival

IT's third time lucky for the Split Festival which enjoyed its third incarnation in 2011.

Having debuted in 2009 amid a "baptism of fire" for organisers The Futureheads, the Festival has grown into a rather kicking event. The Charlatans, Frankie & The Heartstrings, Mystery Jets, The Rifles, The King Blues, Beth Jeans Houghton and Dinosaur Pile-Up were part of the main line up, while the Fringe tent welcomed a bill including Brit Award-winner and twice-Mercury nominated artist Beth Orton, Michelle Stodart (The Magic Numbers) and the Jarvis Cocker-endorsed Withered Hand.

Rob Deverson, event co-founder, says: ""The music element of the Festival is all about creating an aspiration for local bands to develop and improve – it's great to see the headline bands as they are inevitably the most popular but we also love it when Festival goers have that "hadn't seen or heard of them before...and they were excellent" moment!"

FINALIST: Songs of the Sea, National Glass Centre

Focusing on the sea as a metaphor for storytelling, and inspired by an Irish folk song, The Parting Glass, this exhibition explored the stories of personal experiences of the sea – both real and mythical through contemporary artists' work in glass, photography, historical artefacts, archive ships' logs and sound recordings.

The exhibition featured Laura Belém's The Temple of a Thousand Bells – an installation of 1,000 blown glass bells. with an accompanying polyphonic soundtrack narrating an ancient oceanic legend.

Alex Evans, National Glass Centre, says: "We felt the exhibition worked very well in combining the highest standard of arts practice and local interest which is an ongoing priority for us."

FINALIST: Roker Regeneration Project

COMMISSIONED by Sunderland Council and Seaside Town Initiative, this was a collaboration between actor-director Mark McGann and arts development manager Sue Charnley from Monkwearmouth School.

A two-week, multimedia production filmed at locations along the Sunderland coastline told the story of Spottee, a German or Flemish sailor who was shipwrecked off the North East coast in the 18th Century. Folklore states the bewildered visitor lived in a cave in Roker ravine. The final event merged live action sequences with pre-shot footage, live music and an 'original modern day rap pop DVD finale'.

Sue Charnley says: "We are incredibly excited and proud to have been shortlisted. The final multimedia performance, premiered in Spottee's Cave, was a testament to the creativity and exceptional hard work of the participating young people and film, TV and theatre professionals."


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