Since The Journal Culture Awards 2008, an award has been given out to an individual, group, organisation or project which has made a Special Contribution to North East Arts and Culture.
Previous winners have been Jon Bewley, Kathryn Tickell, The People’s Theatre, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Max Roberts and our very own Culture editor, David Whetstone.
At On Tuesday night in Sunderland another name was added to that very esteemed list.
Great North Run Culture has been a much-valued companion to the Bupa Great North Run since it was introduced as part of the event’s 25th anniversary in 2005.
In the decade which has past since, GNR Culture has worked with some of the leading figures from the cultural world, including those based in the North East.
New work has been commissioned from Mark Wallinger, Douglas Gordon, Fiona Banner, Michael Nyman, Jane and Louise Wilson, David Almond, Bill Bryson, Julian Germain, Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard, Kate Fox, Beat Streuli, Graham Dolphin, Neville Campbell, KMA, Sir Peter Blake and Vicki Bennett, among many others.
The GNR Culture team work in partnership with venues and other arts organisations to present and commission work which encompasses film, photography, dance, drama, new writing, education and participation projects.
Key partners have included Baltic, New Writing North, The Sage Gateshead, Film and Video Umbrella, Seven Stories Centre for Children’s Books, Locus+, Live Theatre, Tyneside Cinema,Tyne and Wear Museums, the London 2012 Festival, ARC Stockton and the Cultural Olympiad.
Last year, they were responsible for putting the Newcastle and Gateshead quaysides spectacularly on the world stage, thanks to the dramatic GNR Million Opening Ceremony, which was hosted by Ant and Dec and which featured performances from Mark Knopfler, Sting, Jimmy Nail, The Unthanks, Tim Healy, Jill Halfpenny and Chase and Status.