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Culture Awards Best Event Sunderland finalists: Show Me The Money at the NGCA, Summer Streets and Sunderland Stages

Singing in the streets, finding new places to perform and charting the art history of finance caught the eye of the judges in Sunderland

Supported by the University of Sunderland, this award recognises large and small scale events, festivals and exhibitions in Sunderland. The winners of each category qualify for the shortlist in the Overall North East Event of the Year award.

Show Me The Money: The Image of Finance at the Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art

Seeking to ask questions about our true place in a society where very few of us properly understand how high finance works and effects our lives, Show me the Money looked at the varying ways that the financial world has been depicted in art over the last 300 years.

Show Me The Money: Trading floor at London Investment Bank
Trading floor at London Investment Bank.

A joint venture between curators at The Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art and academic researchers from universities including Manchester, Southampton and Edinburgh, the exhibition featured over 100 artworks including highly regarded printmaking works by Gilray and Hogarth, much lesser-known contemporary pieces, and an opportunity to watch the K foundation burn £1,000,000.

Alistair Robinson, programme director, NGCA says: “We’re delighted to be recognised for our work as part of this prestigious event – and to help celebrate the many achievements in the region. We’ve noticed in previous years that visitors take The Journal Culture Awards seriously - deservedly so - and seen the spikes in our visitor numbers when we’ve won.

“The exhibition included major new commissions along with the UK premieres of works by international artists including Molly Crabapple and Goldin and Senneby, alongside loans of historic adverts from TSB, and the tools of the trade of Georgian, Victorian and modern-day bankers from Barclays’ archive – from stock tickers to newspaper illustrations to electronic data.

“The project asks how artists have grappled with how all of our futures are tied up with the world of finance – whether we like it or not.”

Website: www.imageoffinance.com/

Twitter: @imageoffinance

Summer Streets

Summer Streets was a new community music festival developed for Thompson Park in Southwick, Sunderland. It was led by artistic director Ross Millard on behalf of the Cultural Spring, and took place on July 18, 2014.

The event was designed to showcase musical talent from Sunderland and South Tyneside across a wide range of genres from rock, folk, opera, barbershop and big bands. The programme featured 27 acts, from up and coming local talent such as The Lake Poets and Lilliput through to long standing community barbershop choir The Harton Harmonisers.

The Lake Poets perform
The Lake Poets performed at Summer Streets

There were also musical workshops for both children and adults and a parade led by the a Samba band formed part of one of the festival’s participatory projects SAMBA magic. Summer Streets was a great opportunity to showcase the multitude of musical talent that exists within Sunderland and South Tyneside.

Rebecca Ball, project director, The Cultural Spring, says: “2014 was our first Summer Streets so being nominated for a Culture Award means a huge amount. We’ve been really thrilled by the response to the festival. People really liked seeing Thompson Park being used for this sort of big event – so much so we are planning to do it all again on the July 18 and 19, 2015.”

Website: www.theculturalspring.org.uk/news/want-to-take-part-in-summer-streets-festival/

Twitter: @cultural_spring

Sunderland Stages

This was a new project during Autumn 2014 aiming to put more things on more stages in Sunderland. Celebrating the best of theatre, dance and spoken word, Sunderland Stages brought an accessible programme of professional, contemporary theatre performances to hidden and found spaces around the city.

Sold-out performances such as Unfolding theatre’s Lands of Glass performance at the National Glass Centre were a great example of the project using an unusual space successfully, while balletLorent’s Night Ball performance at the University of Sunderland’s former night club North Shore offered an excellent demonstration of the way in which the project utilised the potential of many of its venues.

Sunderland Stages, Weekend Rockstars Middle Child at North Shore
Sunderland Stages, Weekend Rockstars Middle Child at North Shore

Matthew Blyth, audience development officer at Arts Centre Washington, says: “We are delighted to be nominated in two categories at this year’s awards. And it makes it even more special that the ceremony is being held in Sunderland.

“Over the past year, thanks to funding from Arts Council England and the National Lottery, we have been fortunate enough to put some of very best touring theatre right into the heart of Sunderland.

“We have had some truly unforgettable performances catering for all ages and tastes in venues including The Royalty Theatre, the University of Sunderland’s Students Union’s venues North Shore and Bonded Warehouse, Independent, Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens, The National Glass Centre, The Dun Cow, The Canny Space, City Library and Arts Centre, Sunderland College (Bede Campus) and Arts Centre Washington.

“The project was initiated and led by Arts Centre Washington fuelled by our desire to share our passion for the performing arts across the city, with fantastic support from The Royalty Theatre and The University of Sunderland’s Student Union as well as all of the other organisations who hosted events.

“It linked up cultural organisations all over the city in a unique way and gave members of the public the chance to see some really top quality live performance on their door step.”

Website: www.seeitdoitsunderland.co.uk/news/sunderland-stages-exciting-new-spring-programme

Twitter: @sunstages

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