Author: GemArtsuk

About Us GemArts is a dynamic arts development organisation - we profile and programme new and exciting culturally diverse arts, by creating and developing high quality concerts, events, festivals, workshops and commissions with regional, national and international artists across all art forms. Over the course of a year we: - programme over 35 high profile performances, exhibition, events and commissions - work with around 330 individual artists/musicans - engage with over 16000 participants - attract over 50000 audience members from all communities

Love, Loss and Happiness

by Bobby Tiwana, curator of Changes: Stories on the edge.

HEER STILL 3

Still from Heer

I was chuffed to be invited back by Vic and the team at GemArts to put together another film programme for the second summer Masala Festival. Working together on ALIVE! last year was rewarding and much fun, and helping launch GemArts brand new summer festival with South Asian LGBT shorts from across the globe was very exciting.

This year’s theme, which had been brewing for some time, is CHANGESstories about personal and political conflict.  Much has happened in the world especially for us personally in the UK: the EU Referendum, and now Brexit. And more globally, the election of President Trump; the era of post-truth and social media vacuity; and the ongoing dead-end conflicts in various parts of the world with no real progress or resolution. This year also marks 70 years’ since Partition, Indian Independence and the creation of Pakistan, so it feels timely to reflect on the state of South Asia and its legacy. How does the exterior world today affect us in our domesticity: daily rituals, schools, homes, love and minds?

I set myself the task of identifying South Asian content where characters are on the cusp of change due to yesterday or today; and consequently tomorrow will never be the same. The programme includes 6 highly commended and award-winning shorts from Canada, India, Sri Lanka and the UK, with narratives situated in all of these countries and Pakistan.

MOH1_SurajMondal

Still from Mouth of Hell

Childhood is a major theme in three films. HEER (by Honey B Singh) is set in gentle rural Punjab (India). The character Heer finds solace in her kid goat Moti during a difficult time in her life. In MOUTH OF HELL Anant’s instinct for survival leads him to the kind-spirited Sushila with life-changing consequences, set in the Indian interior of Jharkhand (by Samir Mehanovic). Farooq and his Ammi (mum) display a tremendous affection for each other as he tussles with her over his young emotions in THE SCHOOL BAG (by Dheeraj Jindal), set in Peshawar (Pakistan).

Watch the trailer for Mouth of Hell here.

Out-of-Darkness_NomaDumezweni

Noma Dumezweni in Out of Darkness

OUT OF DARKNESS is a story told by nine actors. British South Asian writer and director Manjinder Virk has created an arresting work in monochrome where each actor brings their humanity to the fore. We learn about a significant event in the character’s past which has led them to do what they do today. Performed by a sterling cast of British talent.

Watch a trailer for OUT OF DARKNESS here.

Returned_JayampathiGuruge3.jpg

Jayampathi Guruge in Returned

RETURNED is part of a new wave of filmmaking (by Vathees Varunan) attempting to make sense of post-war Sri Lanka after 26 years’ of conflict. The male protagonist played by actor Jayampathi Guruge rises out of the sand like a creature hibernating, waiting for the turmoil to pass. He enters a beautiful, bare world of gentle madness culminating to music by Kapila Poogalaarchchi.

Sisak_JitinGulati&DhruvSinghal

Jitin Gulati and Dhruv Singhal in Sisak

SISAK is a love letter to my former younger self. A chance encounter between two men on an evening train in Mumbai (India) leads to a daily intimate episode to play. They appear to be from different worlds of class and mobility yet are drawn to each other by one of nature’s most potent emotions. Set to an original score by Dhawal Tandon this is a beautifully tender and vital piece of storytelling, by Faraz Arif Ansari in a country which still criminalises sex between men.

Listen to the beautiful score by Dhawal Tandon here.

The films will be followed by a post-screen discussion with industry professionals facilitated by myself, Bobby Tiwana.

Changes: stories on the edge, FRI 21 JUL, 7pm, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, South Shore Road, Gateshead NE8 3BA

Tickets £5 Buy here

Ticket includes welcome drink

Age 14+

Running time 2 hours

GemArts NPO 2018-2022 success!

Following this mornings announcement we are delighted to announce that GemArts is part of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio from 2018-2022.

GemArts Director, Vikas Kumar MBE said;

“GemArts is thrilled with today’s NPO news. This funding is hugely important to our plans for the next 4 years, and we are thankful that Arts Council England has continued to support our work during the 2018-2022 funding period.

The past 3 years have been a very exciting time for GemArts with regional and national awards recognising the positive difference our work makes, and the introduction of our Masala Festival (back 17th-23rd July) placing South Asian arts firmly on the North East arts scene. The coming 4 years will see the organisation continue to deliver an ambitious programme, supporting and championing the creative case for diversity at every level, offering something truly unique for artists, participants and audiences across the region.

This NPO funding alongside project grants, individual donors and corporate support, will enable GemArts to deliver an artistic programme with creativity, diversity and equality of opportunity at its heart”

GemArts Director awarded MBE for services to Arts and Culture

GemArts Director Vikas Kumar awarded an MBE for services to the Arts and Culture.

Vikas Kumar, Director of GemArts, Gateshead has been awarded an MBE in the 2017 Queen’s Birthday Honours list for services to Arts and Culture.

Vikas Kumar of Gem Arts, who has organised the July Masal Festival

Vikas is Founder and Director of GemArts, and since 2001 he has been leading this visionary organisation. Vikas’ passion for creativity, diversity and equality of opportunity has built GemArts into an internationally recognised arts organistion, which continues to grow from strength to strength.

Vikas’ expertise in the South Asian and Diversity Arts sector, from a national and international perspective, has enabled him to develop an excellent network of artists and creative producers worldwide.  Working in collaboration with the voluntary, public and private sector, Vikas has made a significant contribution in increasing arts engagement amongst under represented communities particularly those from a Black and Minority Ethnic and wider backgrounds across the North East.

Through GemArts ambitious and inspiring artistic programme across all strands of work, including concerts, festivals, commissions and workshops, collaborating with flagship venues, community spaces and regional, national and international partners, Vikas has been instrumental in supporting artists at every stage of their career, ensuring that talent and artistic excellence is diverse, thriving and celebrated.

Speaking about his MBE for ‘services to the Arts and Culture’ Vikas said: “I’m honoured and delighted to have received the MBE for services to Arts and Culture. I’m absolutely passionate about the positive difference that arts and culture makes to our communities, and in bringing people together to celebrate creativity and diversity.  This achievement would not be possible without the work and commitment of GemArts and my dedicated team, our amazing trustees, volunteers, artists, communities, audiences and partners, and I’m truly humbled. Finally I want to thank my mum and dad, family and friends for their guidance and support”.

Brief profile (further information available)

Current Position – Founder and Director of GemArts 2001- Present

  • Founder and Director of GemArts, presenting and profiling ethnically diverse arts and culture in the North East, by developing high quality multi-artform concerts, festivals, workshops and commissions with both UK and international artists. In 2016 GemArts launched the first Masala Festival, which brought together Vikas’ vision for the north easts very own South Asian arts festival, and went on to win the Arts Council award at the Journal Culture Awards.
  • Many years involvement, predating GemArts, with local charity Gateshead Visible Ethnic Minorities Support Group (GVEMSG), set up in 1989 to provide support to minority ethnic, refugee and asylum seeker individuals and families in Gateshead. GVEMSG began using participatory arts and cultural events to support integration and promote community cohesion in the local area.
  • In 2001 a pilot project between GVEMSG and Sage Gateshead was launched, funded by Arts Council England’s audience development programme, which focussed its effort on culturally diverse art and artists. The project continued to grow and Vikas launched GemArts, which became a permanent feature in the North East, and is now a sector leader in culturally diverse arts and an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation.
  • Vikas has always been a keen business man with an entrepreneurial mind-set. His business acumen and skills with numbers led him to study Accountancy, and he has undertaken many successful ventures. Following in his family’s footsteps he went on to set up and manage his own companies including a Post Office which he ran for over 5 years, and he is also a property portfolio holder.

 

Voluntary posts that Vikas has held include:

–              Chair of Baltic Centre for Contemporary Arts’ Equality and Diversity Committee- 2013-Present

–              Trustee of Baltic Flour Mills Visual Arts Trust- 2007-2013

–              Founding member of Arts Council England Creative Case North Forum – 2015-Present

–              Vice Chair/Trustee of Bensham Grove Community Centre- 2016 – Present

–              Member of Gateshead Children Safeguarding Board Gateshead Council – 2016-Present

–              Member of Gateshead Council’s Diversity Forum- 2015- Present

–              Member of Gateshead Strategic Partnership-2015- Present

–              Member of Hate Crime Tension Monitoring Group (Gateshead) – 2012- Present

–              Trustee of Gateshead Voluntary Organisations Council – 2012-Present

–              Member of South Asian Dance Alliance – 2014-Present

–              Trustee of Sound Sense Board- 2009- 2014

–              Trustee of Tyne Theatre and Opera House Preservation Trust Board- 2011- 2014

 

Vikas was also awarded Gateshead Volunteers Award in 2009, and the Asian Business Connexions Art and Culture award in 2016.

Vikas dedicates much of his professional and personal time to, and genuinely enjoys attending, as many community and cultural events as possible, and is a true champion for Gateshead and the North East, promoting the region wherever he gets the opportunity. A Gateshead ‘Bensham lad’, Vikas is a keen NUFC supporter, and an active member of the local Hindu temple, having helped develop a popular children’s programme there. Vikas enjoys spending time with all his family, especially his wife Angela and young daughter Anya.

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In 2016 Vikas’s team launched the first Masala Festival which went on to win the Arts Council Award at the Journal Culture Awards 2017.  Speaking of the festival Vikas Kumar said “It’s fantastic for Masala Festival to be named winner of the Arts Council Award at the Culture Awards. This award helps GemArts celebrate the creative talents of artists from the region, across the UK, South Asia and beyond, and recognises the incredible support we receive from our participants, audiences, trustees, volunteers, sponsors, partners and local communities, to whom we are hugely grateful! It was a joy to collaborate, connect and celebrate with thousands of people from across the region at our first Masala Festival, and we can’t wait to do it all again. We will continue to champion creativity and diversity at every level, supporting young and emerging artists, and offer people from all backgrounds and ages, community groups and schools, engaging opportunities to take part in our culturally rich and diverse arts offer.”

Last year Masala Festival offered a truly eclectic programme, spanning traditional and contemporary South Asian arts, and this year’s festival (17th-23rd July) promises to be even more ambitious building on successes, collaborating with venue partners, places and spaces, commissioning new work and presenting internationally significant South Asian artists and art forms from the UK and abroad.  GemArts Masala Festival 2017 will continue to bring a mix and blend of the very finest South Asian Arts and Culture to the North East this summer, with 2017 marking the 70th anniversary of India and Pakistan’s Independence, some work focuses specifically on this important milestone in India and the UKs history.

For more information on Masala Festival visit http://www.gemarts.org.

All media and image requests contact sinead@gemarts.org.

 

GEMARTS MASALA FESTIVAL 2017

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GemArts award winning Masala Festival returns with a mix and blend of the finest South Asian Arts and Culture, 17th – 23rd July 2017.

 Building on the success of last year’s Masala Festival, GemArts bring you an even bigger and more ambitious line up of music, theatre, film, visual arts, storytelling, dance, workshops, food, and lots more, with artists from across the UK, South Asia and beyond! We have put together an incredible programme, and I do hope you can join us.

The North Easts very own South Asian Arts Festival offers audiences and partners the opportunity to reflect on the past, celebrate the present and get excited about the future, in this special year which marks the 70th Anniversary of India and Pakistan’s Independence.

We look forward to welcoming you to the second Masala Festival and sharing this amazing programme of events with you.

Click on the events to learn more about MASALA FESTIVLA 2017 events:

Monday 17th SACRED SOUNDS: Sikh music traditions and the First World War (Sage Gateshead)

Tuesday 18th MASALA FESTIVAL at Q Festival: Indian storytelling, Dance classes, Foodie talks & more (Gateshead Quayside)

Tuesday 18th CHAI, CHAAT & CHUTNEY: cooking demo with ex GBBO contestant Chetna Makan (Food Nation, Newcastle)

Tuesday 18th GANDHARVA CHOIR: the first ever visit to the North East from India’s top choir (Sage Gateshead)

 Tuesday 18th DALJIT NAGRA Heritage and Identity: Poetry reading & discussion (Culture Lab, Newcastle)

 Wednesday 19th & 20th NO DOGS, NO INDIANS: a powerful new play by Siddhartha Bose (Live Theatre, Newcastle)

Thursday 20th SARATHY KORWAR QUINTET: Indian folk & Jazz (The Black Swan, Newcastle)

 Friday 21st CHANGES: stories on the edge, film programme (BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art)

Saturday 22nd MASALA FESTIVAL at Trinity Square: Family workshops (Trinity Square, Gateshead Central)

 Saturday 22nd MOVIES AT MASALA: screenings of The Jungle Book (2016) and Gandhi (1982) (Jam Jar Cinema, Whitley Bay)

 Sunday 23rd MASALA MINI MELA: Free family fun day with workshops, performances & lots more (Live Theatre, Newcastle)

 Further information to follow, any questions do get in touch with sinead@gemarts.org .

Download our beautiful new brochure GemArts Masala Festival 17 FINAL.

PhD Studentship opportunities

National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF) PhD studentships

To begin in October 2017

Deadline for studentship applications: 19 June 2017 applications to supervisors

Award offers will be issued after 11 July 2017

Any queries should be directed to rn.northumbria-sunderland-cdt@northumbria.ac.uk

Find out more here

The Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Partnership and Northumbria-Sunderland Centre for Doctoral Training invite applications for NPIF studentships funded via the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). Each studentship is a collaboration between a partner organisation and University, allowing students to work with industrial and commercial partners, and leading academic researchers. Through the scheme students have access to a number of training opportunities including placements and internships.

Building Capacity in the (Multi)Cultural Arts Sector

New research into the cultural economy shows that while there is considerable public interest in access to creative jobs, there is a concern that these jobs are limited to organisation with privileged backgrounds (Oakley & O’Brien 2016; Taylor & O’Brien, 2016). Yet research that investigates the practices of arts and culture organisations that represent multicultural ethnic communities and employ minority performers and artists is virtually non-existent in the UK. This studentship will study capacity-building and resilience-enhancement in multicultural-led small creative and cultural enterprises, with emphasis on how networking processes and digital awareness impact productivity and opportunities in the sector. Particular attention will be paid to the ways that enhancements to ethnic creative industry production might not only expand and improve the cultural economy, but also act as intellectual and social ‘borderwork’, ‘contact zones’ and/or ‘engines of connectivity’ (Cooper & Rumford, 2011).

How To Apply

If you are considering applying for one of these studentships, you must first consult the Guidance Notes.

Prospective ‘Supervisor-led route’ applicants must also consult the list of 31 Research Fields and e-mail the relevant supervisor as soon as possible.

Prospective ‘Applicant-led route’ applicants must e-mail the relevant lead academic contact with an expression of interest by Wednesday 7 June at 5pm.

Before they begin to complete the Application Form, potential applicants must have made contact with a member of academic staff at one of the five universities.

For full information visit www.nuwebapps.northumbria.ac.uk

HARAMBEE PASADIA FESTIVAL 201

Our good friend Harambee Pasadia Festival returns this Bank Holiday weekend with an extraordinary festival of music, dance, workshops, well-being and loads more. Dont miss your chance to be a part of it!

 

 

Harambee Pasadia: Afro Fusion Music, Dance, & Camping Festival

May 26-29 Gates open 5pm

Venue: The Hub, Shaw Bank, Barnard Castle, County Durham, DL12 8TD

Harambee (Swahili) ‘let’s get together’
Pasadia (Spanish) ‘to spend the day’

Harambee Pasadia is the first Afro Fusion Music and Dance festival in the North East of England and aims to celebrate the diverse music, cultures and fusions of the African and Latin Diaspora; to get folks out of the city and into the country; to create a space where musicians, visual artists, dancers, and theatre makers who specialize or have an interest in African, Caribbean, and Latin cultures can network and collaborate; to expose audiences to new music, art and culture; to increase artists outreach and fan base; to create an affordable space that attracts  audiences from marginalised communities; and to create a community and network of artists, thinkers, activists, community leaders, and volunteers that support and inspire one another.

Our friends are offering GemArts blog readers a 20% discount on weekend and day tickets (http://www.harambeepasadia.com/tickets.html) use the following passwords to access this discount.

Adult Weekend Password: HP17AdltWk20%

Adult Friday Password: HP17AdltFri20%

Adult Saturday Password: HP17AdltSat20%

Adult Sunday Password: HP17AdltSun20%

Under 18 Weekend Password: HP17Und18WK20%

ARTIST OPPORTUNITY: LYRIC WORKSHOP WEEK 3RD – 7TH JULY 2017

An opportunity from our friends at Opera North

LYRIC WORKSHOP WEEK – 3 JULY to 7 JULY CALLING ALL BAME ARTISTS

Where: Lyric Hammersmith, London
When: Monday 3 July – Friday 7 July
Who: Writers, Composers, Directors, Theatre-Makers
Cost: Free
Expenses: Travel & Accommodation for participants from outside

Opera is a place where music, theatre and dance meet. The perfect platform for telling diverse stories in diverse ways. We are looking for music-makers, theatre-makers and writers from a BAME background who are interested in exploring new possibilities in this most vibrant and flexible genre.

This is an opportunity to;
 explore how your practice could relate to opera’s history and its potential
 work with singers and musicians to explore the possibilities of the voice
 meet potential collaborators and share experience
 develop your ideas and receive feedback on them
We want to bring together both established and emerging artists to sow seeds for future collaborations.
Join us at the Lyric Hammersmith for a week-long exploration of how you could make the opera that you would want to see.

How to apply:
You can either complete the on-line application form via the following link:
https://www.surveycrest.com/s/590b3799c7553
Or send a scanned copy of the attached short expression of interest form (along with a short CV) to rachel.lerman@roh.org.uk by Friday 26th May. Lyric Workshop Week

If you’d like to know more please contact Rachel Lerman at 020 3772 6443 or rachel.lerman@roh.org.uk.

 

Award win for GemArts Masala Festival

Masala Logo (Pink) Resized 600 px

Last night GemArts Masala Festival was named the winner of the Arts Council Award at The Journal Culture Awards. The full team (Vic, Alex, Jade and Sinead) attended the ceremony and were there to collect the beautiful award when Masala Festival was named winner at this year’s spectacular Journal Culture Awards inside Hexham Abbey.

GemArts Masala Festival Mini Mela Magic Fish crowd photo Anna Miller  Journal Culture Awards winner GemArts Masala Festival Monks of Majuli and students photo Anna Miller

This festival compliments and builds upon GemArts yearlong programme, to present a mix and blend of the finest South Asian Arts and Culture across the region over seven days. Speaking of the award Vikas Kumar, GemArts Director said “It’s fantastic for Masala Festival to be named winner of the Arts Council Award at the Culture Awards. This award helps GemArts celebrate the creative talents of artists from the region, across the UK, South Asia and beyond, and recognises the incredible support we receive from our participants, audiences, trustees, volunteers, sponsors, partners and local communities, to whom we are hugely grateful! It was a joy to collaborate, connect and celebrate with thousands of people from across the region at our first Masala Festival, and we can’t wait to do it all again between the 17th and 23rd July. We want to thank the Journal Culture Awards and Arts Council North for choosing us for this award, but also for their continued support and commitment to our work, and that of the other great nominees. We will continue to champion creativity and diversity at every level, supporting young and emerging artists, and offer people from all backgrounds and ages, community groups and schools, engaging opportunities to take part in our culturally rich and diverse arts offer.”

Last year Masala Festival offered a truly eclectic programme, spanning traditional and contemporary South Asian arts, including award winning poets, a curated evening of film shinning a light on South Asian LGBT lives, rare Sattriya dance by Monks from Majuli; Indian epics retold for children, Indian classical and Brass Band collaborations, World music jazz fusion bands, exhibitions exploring Turban culture, incredible workshops, talks and demonstrations, culminating with a spectacular family fun day on NewcastleGateshead Quayside.

GemArts is really excited for 2017 as this year’s Masala Festival (17th-23rd July) will be even more ambitious, and building on our award success we’re looking forward to collaborating with venue partners, places and spaces, commissioning new work and presenting internationally significant South Asian artists and art forms. The programme is packed with critically acclaimed award winning poets (Daljit Nagra), specially curated short film programmes (Changes), celebrations of Sikh music tradition and contributions to the First World War (Sacred Sounds), leading choirs from India (Gandharva Choir), innovative new theatre (No Dogs No Indians), Masala Festival takeovers (at Q Fest), Mini Mela family fun days, Indian storytelling for all ages (Henna), extremely talented musicians (Sarathy Korwar), South Asian film screenings, exhibitions, food events, fantastic workshops, talks, demos and lots more. Masala Festival offers a truly eclectic line up, spanning traditional, and contemporary South Asian arts forms from the regiona, across the UK and South Asia!

Sarathy Korway by Fabrice Bourgelle4 BANNER   Peter Chand image of storybooks BANNER IMG_0986 BANNER

GemArts’ year round programme offers audiences something truly unique, and in the 70th Year of India and Pakistan’s Independence, GemArts Masala Festival brings to the North East the spirit, spice and vibrancy synonymous with the Indian subcontinent, and now an important part of British culture.

Details of events and full programme coming soon, to find out more and keep up to date visit www.gemarts.org.

 

Finalist in The Journal Culture Awards

GemArts is a finalist in not one, but two categories of The Journal Culture Awards 2017. This year’s awards received a whopping 1400 nominations, and GemArts Masala Festival has made the final cut for the Arts Council Award, supported by Arts Council England: North, while the organisation is also shortlisted for their work in Trimfest 2016 for Best Event Durham.

    GemArts Masala Festival  600px GemArts Masala Festival Mini Mela Bollywood Dance procession photo Anna Miller

Both Masala Festival and Trimfest launched their inaugural festivals in 2016, so making the final three in the respective categories of these awards is a fantastic affirmation of the quality and success for everyone who contributed. A common theme for both was the celebration and profiling of diverse arts, something which GemArts and our parent charity have vast experience championing across the North East, and nationally. Our parent charity Gateshead Visible Ethnic Minorities Support Group also celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2017, and two potential awards would be a great way to mark this milestone.

Masala Festival, is a weeklong celebration of the very finest mix and blend of South Asian arts. It compliments and builds upon GemArts exemplar year round work, providing an exciting new arts festival for audiences in the north east, bringing South Asian arts to their doorstep. The long term vision of GemArts Director, Vikas Kumar, we were all blown away by the public reaction to the first Masala Festival in July 2016.  “We’re thrilled to be nominated by the Journal Culture Awards as this year we also celebrate the 25th anniversary of our charity, a major milestone.  GemArts has continuously championed the vibrant diverse arts scene, artists and communities within the North East, while bringing the very best national and international artists to the region. The success of Masala Festival, and making the final 3 in the Arts Council Award, is fantastic acknowledgment of the quality and breadth of South Asian arts and culture GemArts has produced and presented over the years, and we are hugely thankful to all our artists, partners, audiences, participants and volunteers for their exceptional support!”

Little Elephant GemArts Masala Festival launch photo Anna Miller GemArts Masala Festival Monks of Majuli and students photo Anna Miller

The 2016 Masala Festival programme included films screenings which explored South Asian LGBT lives, world music jazz fusion bands, big brass band and Indian music collaborations, award winning poets, photography exhibitions exploring Turban culture, rare and sacred Sattriya dance performances, workshops and masterclasses, the very popular GemArts Mini Mela family fun day and lots more, presenting traditional and contemporary South Asian identities. Working with a number of partners GemArts brought the Masala Festival programme to venues and spaces in Newcastle, Gateshead and out to the coast, and the plans for 2017 look even bigger and better.

Trimdon Parish Council wanted to present multicultural events and activities for the local community during October half-term, to bring people together to experience and learn about art and culture across the world, while celebrating Trimdon and the local area too.  GemArts was invited to help programme Trimfest 2016, sharing expertise working with communities and presenting the best diverse arts to North East audiences.

Trimfest Booklet Front Cover - with text IMG_6330

Catering for all ages, Trimfest featured an eclectic mix of music from Brass Bands to The Baghdaddies and Hannabiell&Midnight Blue, a diverse art family fun day, Indian storytelling, Bavarian beer night, the brilliant Home Fires production community and school workshops and lots more. Creating a brand new festival to celebrate art, music and culture from across the world, in a rural area of East Durham, was an ambitious and exciting undertaking for the Trimdon Parish Council. Everyone involved is thrilled that the efforts and high quality of the programme, both events and workshops, delivered over the 10 day festival, have been recognised in this prestigious nomination for Best Event Durham.

“Trimdon Parish Council is very pleased to be shortlisted for such a prestigious award, especially as this was the first time the Parish Council has been involved in such an ambitious festival. It is a great achievement to be finalists for Best Event Durham, and is wonderful recognition of the hard work undertaken by all of the partners, volunteers, residents and artists who made Trimfest 2016 such a memorable event, not to mention a great celebration of our collaboration with GemArts. This nomination will give everyone involved tremendous encouragement as we start our preparations to host Trimfest 2017 later this year”. Anne Delandre, Trimdon Parish Council Clerk.

GemArts is finalising plans for Masala Festival 2017, and in discussions with Trimdon Parish Council to continue work on Trimfest 2017. To keep up to date and find out more visit www.gemarts.org , if you can help support this years festival please consider making a donation here.

Merry Christmas and a look back at a great 2016

Merry Christmas

One of the things I enjoy most in December is looking back over the previous 12 months, being reminded of the wonderful artists, communities, volunteers and organisations GemArts has worked with, and the generous donors and funders who supported our work in so many ways this year.

In 2016 we continued to showcase the best and brightest talent across the arts, while championing creativity and diversity, and always ensuring our artists received the support and profile they deserved. GemArts’ audiences were given access to unique cultural experiences, with people of all ages and backgrounds given opportunities to enjoy and make exceptional music, dance and art, while developing new skills and building confidence along the way. In a year that made many people feel disconnected and alone, we brought people together, and showed what a fantastic and diverse community of people live in the North East.

This year we strengthened relationships and developed new partnerships, allowing GemArts’ performance programme and participatory projects to have further impact across the region and beyond, and our hate crime awareness raising work won us a national award. We’ve picked just a few of our highlights from 2016, and I’m sure you will have your own favourites.
 
On behalf of the GemArts team and GVEMSG, I would like to  thank you for your continued support, and wish you a very merry Christmas, and all the best for a happy, healthy and peaceful New Year.

Best wishes and see you in 2017.
 
Vikas Kumar

Director, GemArts

GemArts Masala Festival Mini Mela Magic Fish banners crowd photo Anna Miller Thank you Feel Good Group glass work  Image by Anna Miller.jpg

Masala Festival – Our brand new week-long festival launched in July, with a mix and blend of the very finest South Asian arts and culture. We couldn’t have done it without the fantastic artists, audiences, participants, volunteers, donors, funders and partners who helped ensure Masala Festival was a huge success. The festival returns on the 17th July 2017, more information coming soon!

Catalyst Evolve – A successful application to Arts Council England’s Catalyst Evolve fund saw us continue to lead a consortium with two Gateshead Arts charities (Equal Arts and The Lawnmowers). This also means we can match your generous donations £1 for £1! Help GemArts deliver life enhancing projects for disadvantaged communities by donating what you can here.

Health and Wellbeing: Feel Good Group – Our Women’s Group brings together women from diverse communities, and this year they have worked with glass artist Effie Burns. They have been busy developing new creative skills to create unique, high quality glass artworks, whilst sharing experiences and developing support networks to tackle isolation and improve health and wellbeing. The women raised a whopping £130 for their project at their first craft fair in December!  

East by North East – Throughout the year our Youth Music funded project offered music making opportunities to more than 130 young people each week. Young participants have really wowed us with their talent and dedication to the project. With new artists also joining the cohort, the last 12 months have truly strengthened the rich offer for music leaders and those they work with in Newcastle. 

Arun Ghosh workshops and performance – In April pupils from Roman Road Primary school were given the chance of a lifetime when they spent three days with international Jazz clarinettist Arun Ghosh, creating three new pieces which they performed at the opening of Sage Gateshead’s International Jazz Festival 2016. Mini Melas – Between February and October we packed in not one, not two but THREE Mini Melas, bringing free family arts activity to Gateshead, Newcastle and Durham. In total over 900 children and their families visited us at a Mini Mela in 2016, taking part in arts activity from all around the world.

WILD WOOL at The Late Shows – We were delighted to present a fantastic new co-commission with Apple Yang’s Appetite Dance Productions at the 10th Anniversary of The Late Shows in May. You can catch Apple Yang: WILD WOOL in all its glory at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art in 2017.

Trimfest – Not content introducing one new festival last year, GemArts also helped bring a brand new festival offering to East Durham in October. Working with Trimdon Parish Council we brought exciting, culturally diverse performances and workshops to audiences in Trimdon. 

Khyal: Music and Imagination – We took our work with Durham University to a new level with this fantastic project, building on academic research into the ways in how we experience and imagine classical Indian performance, using insights to generate new kinds of engagement and creativity. A beautiful exhibition, on display in November, showcased the stunning new work created by artists and local school pupils, as well as an innovative new iPad app.

 

Sign up to GemArts’ monthly e-newsletter here to be the first to find out about our fantastic new Spring Summer 2017 season.